Estate Planning Is A Women’s Issue

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in estate planning, Probate, Wills |

            As Beyoncé told us, girls run the world! And Business Women’s Day is one of several holidays reminding us of that fact. Women have come a long way in the workforce. In 1950, one in three women were part of the labor force. By 2016, that statistic was three out of five, and, today in 2017, even more gains have been made in women’s leadership. While we still have some ways to go to make sure that the workforce is equal, particularly for women of color, there have been a lot of improvements. We don’t want to squander what our foremothers gave us, and estate planning is a women’s issue because it allows us to protect our hard-won assets.

Estate Planning and Women

To understand why estate planning is a women’s issue, it’s important to realize how little of an “estate” women were historically “allowed” to have. Even just up until forty years ago, women were still not given the abilities men had to control their own money. It wasn’t until 1969 that a U.S. court definitively ruled that labor jobs couldn’t not only be given to men, and firing women from factory work simply because of their gender was illegal.

Estate planning allows you to direct where your assets will go and how your healthcare decisions, financial choices, and other important directives are to be made in the event of incapacitation or death.

Here are some of the ways in which estate planning benefits women:

  • Agency and Control

Things happen, and you want to be able to keep your property and assets where you want them, without being forced into a decision that would cause a loss of property. Estate planning gives you agency over your healthcare choices and financial decisions. There is no better way to be secure that what you’ve worked hard for won’t be for nothing.

  • Peace of Mind

In the event of incapacity or death, the documents contained in an estate plan will give you a trusted person to make decisions for you. Your living will also contains directives that will tell the hospital and other personnel how to manage your care.

  • Longevity

If you want, you can ensure that your money and property are invested or put into a trust fund that will keep them around for a long time to benefit your daughters and granddaughters.

Estate planning is a women’s issue, and, this September, make sure that you retain control over your assets and finances by creating an estate plan.

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Don’t Drop the Ball on Creating Your Estate Plan

Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Legal News |


Football season is upon us, bringing with it cooler fall weather, pumpkins, warm coffees, sweaters, and many more of the great things we love about autumn. And, as any football fan knows, your favorite team is nothing without their playbook and, stored within it, all their carefully laid out plans. Without a strong playbook, a football team cannot hope to win any games.

Think of estate planning the same way. Estate planning allows you to plan what will happen to your possessions, valuables, business, and loved ones after you pass on. There are many reasons why people may not think to start planning their estate as soon as possible. Whether their hesitancy is because they don’t think they have an estate, aren’t old enough, or don’t know where to begin—these reasons should be cast aside in favor of some solid planning.

What Goes into an Estate Plan?

Much like the X’s and O’s in a football play book, there are key elements to an estate plan that you can expect to see throughout. Here are the three main documents:

  1. Living Will and Testament

If you are incapacitated and receiving medical care, you will still want to make your own decisions, even in your diminished condition. A living will is a document that allows you to manage your healthcare via a directive. You give the instructions in the living will and testament, and these instructions must be followed.

  1. Durable Power of Attorney

With a POA, you are the principal (donor) and, as this principal, you grant someone the capability to act on your behalf legally. If you become unable to make your own decisions, this trusted person can take over for you. If you pick someone you are sure will make good decisions, you won’t have to worry about any issues, even when you are incapacitated.

  1. Health Care Surrogate

Your health care surrogate acts on your behalf in medical situations. Often, after becoming seriously ill, a patient is incapable of making his or her own decisions. Estate planning allows you to maintain control using a trusted decision-maker.

As any sports fan knows, you must have a strong playbook to succeed. Estate planning will ensure that your plans are laid out carefully, allowing you maximum security and peace of mind. Don’t drop the ball—contact an attorney today to get started on or update your estate plan.

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Baby Safety Month: Protect The Ones Who Need You Most

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Legal News |

While the suit-clad, briefcase-toting, fast-talking infant from Boss Baby doesn’t need anybody’s help, your baby certainly does! September is National Baby Safety Month, bringing with it helpful reminders on childcare, parenthood dos and don’ts, and other important safety information that will help keep your kids healthy and happy.

When you think of baby safety, you probably picture cutting up food into tiny pieces and covering your house with (nearly adult-proof) baby gates and locks. However, there is an aspect of infant protection that you may have overlooked: estate planning. Estate planning gives your child the financial security needed to keep him or her safe in the long run.

Estate Planning and Your Baby

There are multiple ways in which you can use your estate plan to protect your children. Here are some of them:

  • A Durable Power of Attorney

If you are incapacitated, a durable power of attorney will act on your behalf, whether these actions include paying bills, managing your business, or taking care of your children. Selecting a durable power of attorney and placing, in writing, your expectations of him or her will allow you peace of mind that, if something were to happen, your POA would make important, responsible decisions regarding those most precious to you: your baby.

  • Funeral Arrangements

Certainly, no one wants to think about their own death. It’s a rather morbid topic, even though Halloween is just around the corner. Spelling out your funeral process beforehand gives your relatives and friends time to manage your funeral without having to go through the anxiety of funeral arrangements in addition to the grieving process.

  • Executors

Choosing a responsible executor of your will ensures that your children are being taken care of by someone who will get things done and put your kids where they need to go in the event of a crisis. Estate planning gives you the ability to select your will’s executor. Choose someone who will advocate for your children’s safety through the will execution process, making sure your kids get whatever they need.

  • Beneficiaries

As you may have guessed, a major way that a will protects your babies is through your ability to name them as the beneficiary of your estate if something happens. You can name your child a beneficiary for different types of assets, and the money management will be handled by someone that can act on behalf of the minors. This way, you will make sure that your kids are settled financially in case anything happens.

If only babies were as competent and corporate-savvy as Boss Baby! But alas, they are not, and, thus, you have to take steps to protect those who are vulnerable and need it most. This National Baby Safety Month, start estate planning to keep your kids secure and protected if something were to happen.

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Hurricane Season: Why an Estate Plan Should Be A Part Of Your Disaster Readiness Kit

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Legal News |

Florida has been hit by almost five hundred hurricanes and tropical storms in the past 170 years. If there is one thing every Floridian knows, it’s hurricane season. Hurricane season divides Florida into two basic groups: people who think the storm “will pass” and aren’t worried about it and people who stay glued in mortal terror to their TV screen. It seems like storms are getting stronger; however, luckily, these storms are easier to track using the latest technology. In addition to packaged food, bottled water, flashlights, and other safety supplies comprising the must-haves on your disaster preparedness list, include estate planning as part of the readiness kit.

Confused? Hear us out.

Estate Planning as Part of Your Hurricane Routine

Estate planning is the ultimate form of disaster readiness because it helps you plan for what might happen if you’re incapacitated or killed in a storm. In Florida, which has survived more hurricanes than almost any other state, it’s commonplace to be unconcerned even by the largest hurricane. However, things happen, and a well-thought-out estate plan can help you prepare for the worst.

Here are several ways in which estate planning helps in a disaster situation like a particularly strong hurricane:

  • Incapacitation or Death (Worst-Case Scenario)

If you are injured or killed, your estate plan will contain several important documents to help you, including a durable power of attorney, living will, and healthcare surrogate. A POA carries out decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them yourself. A living will is a directive that tells people your healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so yourself, and a healthcare surrogate is a trusted person who will act on your behalf in a medical emergency where you cannot make your own decisions.

In the event of major disaster in which you end up incapacitated, estate planning gives specific instructions on how to handle your medical care and other decisions.

  • Property Management

After a hurricane, if you are unable to make your own decisions, your business and assets won’t be cast aside and throw to the government.  Estate planning allows you to dictate where your property goes, as well as to whom.  

  • Funeral Arrangements

If the worst-case scenario occurs, you want to have your funeral prepared via an estate plan. This way, your family has an easier time making the arrangements and can focus on grieving and spending time together.

  • Taking Care of Your Kids

If something bad happens, you’ll need to know that your kids will be taken care of. Estate planning means that you can list your kids as beneficiaries, dictate where they will go in the event of your passing away if they are underage, and make other important decisions pertaining to them. In the event of a life-changing disaster, this will be vital to your family’s safety.

Though you might not think of estate planning as a tool to have in your disaster-preparedness kit, it absolutely should be. Estate planning protects you and your family in the worst-case scenario, such as a major, life-altering storm.

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