New Yorkers are our own breed: Our pets are our 'fur babies'. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are, unequivocally, an integral part of the family. Perhaps a tough thought, but what happens to them should you pass away?
November is known as the month of giving. The reason for that is shrouded in history and tradition, but that does not diminish the fact. What makes this year different from years past, though, is that it is the first November since Congress enacted massive tax reforms.
There are numerous reasons to develop a thorough estate plan early in life. It ensures your loved ones honor your wishes after death, but that is dependent on your family members being able to locate the documents.
Leaving your lover is a big focus of pop music. Michael Bublé sings "It's a Beautiful Day" now that his lover is gone away. Paul Simon offers that there's no "need to be coy, Roy. Just get yourself free." But what if the loved thing is something only a parent could love?
The family of Tim Conway--co-star of the Carol Burnett Show--has recently announced that he is suffering from dementia. Progression of the disease is advanced. Conway is no longer able to take care of his own daily needs, and he is largely unresponsive.
This is a midterm election year. Among accomplishments claimed by the Republican Party controlling national government is the passage late last year of major tax reform. As we noted in a previous post, the package contains a great many benefits, not the least of which is the passing of what is commonly called the death tax; the levy governments use to tax benefits transferred to a decedent's heirs and beneficiaries.
When people want to talk about their wills and trusts, they tend to turn to their spouses, friends, executors and attorneys. However, one potential group that people tend to put off discussing the estate with is their heirs, more specifically their children.
Is it impolite to turn down a gift? Do a search of this question online and you'll find that opinions differ. Some observers say you should always accept with gratitude. Others suggest you factor in the intention behind the gift, or consider what negative implications the gift might hold for the recipient.
We have noted often over the years that one of the biggest mistakes anyone makes regarding estate planning is failing to keep the living documents up to date. Every time we experience a life change, whether it be a marriage, divorce, death of a child, or some other divergence from the normal flow of things, updating the plan becomes a priority. Too often it doesn't even make it onto the radar and what results is unwanted pain and expense down the road.
There's a notable quote that goes, "No parent should have to bury a child." As the original source of that phrase also said, it's unnatural. The notion makes sense. The normal cycle of life calls for those of the older generations to pass before those in the younger, and most of the time that's how things work.