July 1, 2013   Estate Administration

What Will Your Paper Trail Say About You?

By Wendi Temkin
As with many people of their generation, my Great-Uncle Marcus managed the family finances, thinking he was doing my Aunt Bobbie a favor by leaving her out of this chore entirely.  When he died last year, she was left with the problem of having to reconstruct their financial lives based on random pieces of paper stuffed in drawers, buried beneath 40 years’ worth of miscellany.   While it took weeks to try to figure this all out, imagine how much harder it would have been if there had been no paper trail at all for some of their accounts.  How much of your life is lived on-line?  Do you have bills that you pay automatically, based on emailed invoices and on-line payments directly out of your checking account? Are your paychecks automatically deposited into your che...
March 14, 2013   Inheritance,   Estate Planning

My “Uncle Bud” Earrings

By Wendi S. Temkin, Attorney at Law
My Uncle Bud was one of the sweetest men you could ever hope to meet.  He had a huge heart and a generous spirit.  He died of a stroke at the much-too-young age of 71.    In keeping with Jewish tradition, my family gathered for the unveiling of his headstone a year after he died.  I learned many wonderful new things about my uncle at this event, including that his desk had been littered with half written love notes to his wife of some 50 years at the time of his death.    At the luncheon after the ceremony, my Aunt Lee announced that when they had done their estate plan many years before, Uncle Bud felt it was important to leave a little something to each of his nieces and nephews to symbolize how much they meant to him.  The amount he settled on at...
February 1, 2013   Asset Protection Planning

How to Leave Assets to Minor Children

Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results. For example, many parents think if they name a guardian for their minor children in their wills and something happens to them, the named person will automatically be able to use the inheritance to take care of the children. But that’s not what happens. When the will is probated, the court will appoint a guardian to raise the child; usually this is the person named by the parents. But the court, not the guardian, will control the inheritance until the child reaches le...
October 8, 2012   Inheritance

What and When Should You Tell Your Children About Their Inheritance?

Not many parents like to talk to their children about their wealth. How much money people have is usually considered a private matter, something it’s not polite to talk about. But not talking to your children about how much they may inherit can leave them unprepared to handle even a modest amount.   This is becoming especially important because children of baby boomers are due to inherit more wealth than ever before. It has been estimated that baby boomers will inherit $12 trillion from their parents, and they will leave an additional $30 trillion to their own children over the next 30 to 40 years.   Many who have substantial wealth are concerned that letting their children know how much they have will take away any motivation for the children to be productive and involved...
August 3, 2012   Inheritance

Message In A Bottle: Just How Important is Your "Legacy" to Your Kids?

By Martha J. Hartney, Esq.
Recently I reorganized my kitchen, emptying a series of about 20 bottles filled with corks to make better use of the counter space they occupied. These bottles filled with corks marked every bottle of wine opened in my home since I became a single woman in 2006. Okay, lest you think me a lush, the bottles were, every one of them, opened in the company of friends and family. I collected each one as a remembrance that my life is still abundant, still full of love and laughter and company and joy, despite the fact that I left a very financially secure marriage. Every time I saw the corks, their numbers growing each week because I have a very open door home, I smiled in the remembrance of my chosen, and ever-growing family. They made me feel like a very wealthy woman indeed. Toward the bottom...
July 12, 2012   Inheritance

Family Values and History Are Still the Best Inheritance

If you are concerned that your children’s inheritance is being reduced by the collapse of the housing and investment markets, rising medical costs, a sluggish economy and a longer-than-expected lifetime, you needn’t be. According to a recent study, family values, traditions and history still mean more than money as an inheritance.   These results are from the 2012 Allianz Life American Legacies Pulse Study* which surveyed baby boomers (age 47 to 66) and “elders” (age 72 and older). Allianz Life conducted a similar study in 2005. Interestingly, despite the financial crises that occurred between 2005 and 2012, the results were strikingly similar, with a high percentage of both boomers (86%) and elders (74%) agreeing that family stories, values and life lessons ar...
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