Estate Planning is a Matter of Timing – And Counseling

In March, Dan Duncan became the first billionaire to die in this year of an federal estate tax repeal - that is to say, no federal estate tax at all.  Assuming no retroactive changes, Duncan may be the first billionaire to pass his wealth onto his children and grand-children free of estate tax. This article[...]

Want Your Estate To Go To The Dogs? Yup, We Can Do That.

Welcome to Absurd Estate Planning.  A category I had to create just to hold stories like this one. Making the estate planning news recently is the inheritance by Conchita the Chihuahua of a $3 Million dollar trust fund and a $8.3 Million dollar mansion in Miami Beach.  You can read the full text from the[...]

Estate Planning in a Google Search Story

Just like the famous Google Ad about finding love in Paris, we've created our own Estate Planning Google Search Story. It's all about why searches on estate planning keep bringing up "" as the top result and finally asks the question, "Who is" The answer, of course, is: Medina Law Group, YourLawyers4Life. Here is[...]

The Power of Story-Based Planning Part 2

Continuing with the great stuff from Scott Farnsworth and Sunbridge Legacy Builder Institute. Here is the second installment in Scott's series about the power of story-based planning. Again, I don't usually repost other people's information, but I've got a different audience than Scott does for his blog, and I want this information out in the[...]

Story-Based Planning vs. “Numbers”-Based Planning

One of the things that guides my practice is the gap between what clients want and what most advisors and planners can deliver. In my experience, clients want a caring advisor who can help them build and leave a legacy to their loved ones (financial and otherwise). However, most professionals lack the skills and tools[...]

Living Trusts For The Non-Rich

The term "trust fund" conjures up images of mansions, yachts and huge fortunes. But once the province of the very rich, trusts have found themselves into the lives of many families who've never thought of themselves as wealthy. Trusts come in myriad forms, but for middle-class families, the living trust is popular because the person[...]

Colbert Report Platinum Club – Estate Tax Repeal

I thought folks would be up for a change of pace. Here is what Steven Colbert thinks about the estate tax repeal. Pick it up at the second segment at minute 12:00. Enjoy.[...]

Probate and Living Trusts in NJ & Transferring Non-Financial Assets

Folks in the Princeton area are probably familiar with the US 1 newspaper that is handed out free to area businesses. It's a good paper that offers a lot of insightful articles on business-related issues and items of interest in the Princeton area. Usually, the newspaper includes an editorial, and a few months ago, one[...]

Balloon Boy Fallout – Should Heenes Lose Custody of Children if Guilty of Hoax?

Amber Watson-Tardiff, who posts a regular column on about Parenting Advice for New Jersey parents asked me to comment for an article she was writing about the fallout from Balloon Boy, including anticipating court intervention with the parents. You can read the whole article here - and I've pasted most of the column below[...]

Estate Planning Myths & Misconceptions – Myth #3 – An Estate Plan Is Not A Will

Most people think of "doing estate planning" as the act of creating and signing a will. While in some cases, a will is the best instrument, you can't get to that answer without engaging in a comprehensive process where the lawyer gets to learn about you and your family, your goals and desires, your values[...]