Every family is different, and your estate plan will be unique because of the specific needs of your family. While many families may choose an even distribution for their assets - where every child gets an even percentage of the estate - there are often situations where the distributions aren't … [Read more...] about Dividing Your Assets Without Dividing Your Family
Recently, my wife and I have been watching Downton Abbey on PBS' Masterpiece Classics. The program chronicles the lives of a wealthy aristocratic family in early twentieth century Britain. The sire of the Crawley family, Lord Grantham, holds a hereditary title that passes to his eldest male heir … [Read more...] about What Do Downton Abbey and Estate Planning Have in Common?
Are the beneficiary designations of your retirement assets, such as a 401(k) or IRA, current with your estate planning objectives? If you have a Revocable Living Trust, does it contain the appropriate provisions to be able to name the trust as beneficiary of the retirement asset? Trust Beware: Not … [Read more...] about How to Update Beneficiaries of IRAs and 401(k)s – Naming Your Spouse, a Trust or Others
When considering estate planning and the distribution of your assets, most of us generally think about our larger, more valuable possessions. We think about our property, retirement plans, life insurance policies, savings accounts, and stocks and bonds. We may also think about items such as valuable … [Read more...] about The "Valuables" You Didn't Know You Had
In my prior career I worked as a manager at World Savings Bank in Mesa, Arizona. To this day I can remember the first time a client approached me and said, "I'd like to open an account in the name of my trust." I was so new to the job that I had no idea what the client was talking about! I quickly … [Read more...] about You Can Bank on This: Taking Time to Plan is Time Well Spent
My husband and I had a very hard time deciding who should raise our daughter in the event we both pass away while she is still a minor. We knew choosing a guardian was the most important decision we had to make with regards to our estate plan because if we did not do it, anyone could petition the … [Read more...] about Whom Do You Trust with Your Child?
You may or may not be paying much attention to the GOP debates, but recently a question was raised that we at MH feel is especially important. During the recent GOP debate in Florida, one of the journalists attending the debate asked the GOP nominees what their thoughts were regarding the Terry … [Read more...] about Living Will- Why Every American Should Have One
This Monday, I talked in person or by telephone with spouses, children, beneficiaries and/or successor trustees of fourteen of our deceased clients. That's an unusually high number, but unusual things happen after a death. Most of these clients had their affairs in order, and the successors are very … [Read more...] about Monday Was a Death Day in Arizona
Losing a loved one is a very difficult and emotional experience, made all the more trying by the many details that have to be handled in a small period of time. Below is a list of tasks that need to be accomplished after a death. This list is not all-inclusive as some individuals will have … [Read more...] about What To Do After the Death of a Loved One
In the past few weeks, I have spoken at funerals for three of my good friends. One was 94 and anxious to move on to see her long-deceased husband and daughter. One was 63 and anxious for relief from the awful pain of his cancer, but very sorry not to see the fruition of his many hopes and dreams. … [Read more...] about Many of My Friends Are Dying