All posts by Donald Rolfe

The Essential Legal Documents You Need For Incapacity Planning

Comprehensive estate planning must include incapacity planning. Estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about having a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated during your life.

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The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes

Estate plans that include trusts must name at least one successor trustee to serve in the event of the trustmaker’s incapacity and after their death. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees.

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A “Simple Will” Is Not Enough

"I need an estate plan, can you just draft a 'Simple Will' for me?"

I've heard this request more times than I'd like to admit and it makes me cringe. It's not because I can't fulfill the request, but because the request is just wrong. Let me explain.

Having a Will is a good, making it simple is good, and knowing you need an estate plan is good. However, having a Simple Will does not mean you have an estate plan. A Will is just one of many tools used to build an estate plan. On its own, a Will is just a Will; and it only works after you pass away.

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Does Your Trust Have a Protector?

Many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts designed to continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and future generations. It is important that these trusts include a trust protector; with the power to change trust provisions as circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws change.

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How Powers of Appointment Can Improve Your Trust

Many trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime and for the benefit of several generations. By design, these trusts may span multiple decades. It is important for the trust creator to consider including powers of appointment; allowing the addition or removal of beneficiaries at each generation.

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