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Estate Planning & Elder Law

Your Financial Power of Attorney May No Longer be Valid After 2014

There are numerous things to look forward to in 2015: A New Year, new goals, and a new law regarding Financial Powers of Attorney. A Financial Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to name one or more Agent(s) who can make financial and other decisions for you. But I’m perfectly able to care for myself – why do I need this Power of Attorney? You never know what might happen. Suppose you are injured in a car accident and are unresponsive for weeks, or suppose you go on a last-minute vacation. Who will pay your bills and manage...

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Frequently Asked Questions in Estate Planning

Many estate planning clients have similar questions about how to plan their estate and how the law works. Below are answers to a number of frequently asked questions. Q. If I have no Will, would all of my estate go to the state? A. Only if you do not have relatives who survive you; if you have living relatives, then the people who are your nearest class or group (i.e. children, siblings, or cousins) will receive your property. The Commonwealth would receive your estate, by “escheat,” but only if you have no close living relatives. Q. What is probate? A. Probate is...

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Estate Planning in a Digital Age

Estate planning has traditionally included signing a Will, a durable financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney. As technology has rapidly progressed, there are now huge quantities of information regarding assets which are digitally stored and password protected, some of which is further encrypted. Email accounts and bank statements are just some examples of digital assets. If you are disabled, and/or at your death, it is necessary to access all asset information to begin the process of estate settlement. If your executor does not have access to passwords, decrypting information and location of storage sites, assets may be...

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The Family Business – Special Planning Needs

The family business is often the parents’ legacy to one or more of their children. It represents a lifetime, or sometimes several generations, of struggle and success. Without special estate planning by the parents, a child who has devoted himself to the family business can easily lose the fruits of his labors. Tax planning is also vital in this instance. When a family business is owned by the parent, the value of the business at the death of the parent will be subject to distribution under the parent’s Will, or in the absence of a Will, under state law. Suppose a...

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