Blog Posts in 2016

  • How to Make Your Estate Plan Easy to Administer

    “I want to make my [child’s, spouse’s, niece’s, friend’s] life easier.” This is the one of the most common reasons my clients list for why they want to create an estate plan. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to review your big blue binder and ensure you have provided your friends and family the information they need to easily administer your carefully crafted plan. ...
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  • Writing an Obituary

    A client recently asked me for advice on how to write an obituary. Having no idea, I consulted my father-in-law, Dave Callahan, who spent most of his career working for Gannett newspapers. All credit for this newsletter belongs to him. When to write an obituary Sometimes it's possible, and advisable, to prepare the obit ahead of time. If death is imminent, a family member who writes with clarity ...
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  • Isn't Trust Settlement Automatic?

    I have noticed a consistent misunderstanding amongst clients and potential clients that should be addressed. Too often I hear people exclaim that settlement of a trust at death is ‘automatic.’ I am not certain how they arrived at this conclusion; however, it is completely and utterly flawed. Let’s reason through this together. First, a revocable living trust (RLT) is a document, pure and simple. ...
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  • JGB Richmond Office Expansion and TrustguardTM

    Now that summer is winding down, we can reflect on the year’s events and look forward to finishing it out with happiness and success. With that said, Johnson, Gasink & Baxter, LLP is happy to announce a few changes with the firm regarding our Richmond office as well as an early reminder about our TrustguardTM program. New Office Our Richmond office has moved to a new, larger space at 3741-B ...
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  • The 4 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

    Please take a moment to read this article from Forbes.com describing the four most common estate planning mistakes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/04/27/prince-made-one-of-the-4-big-estate-planning-mistakes/#469046e45795 -Spencer
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  • The $400 Emergency

    Most of our clients are prudent and fortunate enough to have set aside an emergency fund. A recent study by the Federal Reserve indicated that most Americans cannot come up with $400 to pay emergency expenses. Consumer debt is so easy to get that many forget how hard it is to make ends meet with additional monthly payments. Many Americans, including our friends and loved ones, are locked in a ...
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  • Celebrating Mom

    Celebrating the bond with mom is something enjoyed on Mother’s Day. That bond is particularly important for children who have mothers with Alzheimer’s. The attached article discusses three mother-daughter stories and how they are dealing with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s; as well as some startling statistics about women with Alzheimer’s. ...
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  • Probate of Prince’s Estate

    Over the last few weeks we have seen the drama unfolding with the tragic death of Prince. Prince resided and passed away in Minnesota and with no known estate plan. This leaves his substantial estate (estimated to be between $150 and $300 million) to be probated according to Minnesota law. The court recently appointed a trust company as the administrator tasked with protecting and controlling his ...
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  • Celebrities Who Have No Estate Plan

    What can you learn from Prince's estate? That you need to plan for your own affairs. Read the two below articles, one discusses Prince's estate in more detail and the other reminds us of other famous musicians who passed away with no plan in place. Prince's estate: 6 key questions answered http://usat.ly/26pIWps 6 legendary stars who died without wills http://usat.ly/1Sz2E8M - Dan
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  • The Cost of Alzheimer’s

    Alzheimer’s effects millions of people, not just those dealing with the disease, but also their family members. This article looks at the effect that Alzheimer’s has on caregivers of people dealing with this disease and the hardships that some individuals are facing because of cost of care. Proper planning can be a beneficial tool to avoid financial hardships on caregivers and loved ones. ...
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  • Doctors End of Life Decisions

    Please take a moment to read this article. It examines the startling difference between end of life decisions doctors make for themselves, versus the decisions the majority of the population makes for themselves or their loved ones. http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/17/opinions/doctors-choose-quality-of-life-over-length-corley/index.html -Spencer
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  • Can I retire?

    Do I have enough savings to last my lifetime? We get these questions from clients all the time. The short answer I give is to talk to your financial advisor – we know many good ones if you need a recommendation. This article from USA Today explores how few Americans feel secure in their retirement savings: ...
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  • Writing Your Own Estate Plan

    The following article discusses some of the many reasons you should not write your own testamentary plan. Even with services like LegalZoom, every state has different laws on estate planning and these generic forms will not suffice. Finding forms online will only cover the very basic necessities and there is no guaranty that it will comply your state’s law and avoid intestacy. ...
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  • Estate Planning Check Up

    Many people foolishly believe one estate plan, without subsequent reviews and edits, is sufficient for their needs. In many instances this results in out of date documents that are inconsistent with current wishes and goals. The acquisition of new assets, moving to another state, or even loss of trusted family members/friends all happen in normal life and can significantly impact your estate plan. ...
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  • The Ins And Outs of Inheriting an IRA

    An IRA is often one of the largest assets in an inheritance. It has tax benefits and passes quickly after death to the beneficiaries. This article discusses some of the issues involved in inheriting an IRA but misses some other important ones. Bottom line: read this for general info but please call us and your financial advisor before you fill in a IRA claim or rollover form. IRA inheritance ...
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