Probate potpourri

A Probate Potpourri

This week we looked for cases (and stories) illustrating important principles from probate court. We found a surprising batch of cases, and wanted to share them all. Hence this probate potpourri. We have four cases (from California, Louisiana, Maine, and New York) to share with you. California: “right of survivorship” may not mean what it…

Nosy questions

Nosy questions

When we meet with a new client, we ask a lot of nosy questions. You can guess why we are so invasive, but we do want to assure you that it is more than just prurience or idle curiosity. We really do need to know about family dynamics, capabilities of your family members (or limitations),…

Do you need a trust?

Do You Need a Trust?

Are living trusts oversold? That is, do you need a trust? This basic estate planning discussion is the one we probably get asked about most often by our clients. There is much mystique about the need for and utility of revocable living trusts. Are there people who should not create one? Are there others who…

Placing Restrictions on Your Trustee

Placing Restrictions on Your Trustee

When you sign a trust, you probably have a vision of how the trustee will operate. Will they continue to utilize your trusted advisors? Liquidate all your carefully-selected assets? Understand your intentions regarding distributions to your beneficiaries? You might place restrictions on your trustee to make sure they behave in accordance with your vision. Much…

2020 COLA

Social Security’s 2020 COLA Increase

Each year the U.S. Social Security Administration calculates an adjustment in the cost of living (COLA). The 2020 COLA increase has now been set at 1.6%. That means that, starting January 1, 2020, a number of changes will cascade through the benefit structure. How will the 2020 COLA increase affect you, or your family member?…