Michael Jackson’s Estate Plan – What He Did Right!

We've become all too used to folks in media twisting a story to suit a certain purpose. When Michael Jackson's will was revealed, the media was reporting that he left everything to his Family Trust and then speculating as to what that meant. Of course, no one doing the reporting is an estate planning attorney,[...]

More on Michael Jackson & Estate Planning

My friend Candice Aiston has posted a great article regarding the guardianship issues raised by Michael Jackson's early death. Here are the first two paragraphs and I urge you to visit her site and read the rest. Well-written and very informative: Like many people my age, I am a HUGE fan of "early" Michael Jackson. Loved[...]

Michael Jackson & Estate Planning – The Time is Now.

It's been less than 24 hours since Michael Jackson's death, and already there have been articles posted on the Internet about the singer's estate plan. MSNBC posted this article, concluding that the singer's estate would not be settled without controversy. I feel passionately enough about what I do for a living to take advantage of[...]

Top 4 Approaches To Estate Planning

In my experience, people choose 1 of 4 approaches regarding their estate planning. 1) Do Nothing. By far, this is the largest segment of the population. I often speak to local mom's groups (younger market) and service organizations (older market). These are workshops where there is just as much a chance that someone's done estate[...]

How To Pass On Your Online Information After Death

There was a recent article on CNN.com about services that promise to pass on your "online" life after death. The link to the story is here. Before I get to my take on the whole thing, I just want to comment how amusing I find the names of the companies. LegacyLocker, AssetLock (formerly YouDeparted.com), DeathSwitch,[...]

Why A Living Trust is Better Than a Simple Will

People call our office looking for a "simple" will and powers of attorney. For most folks, estate planning is something on a to-do list that gets checked off when completed. Our clients, however, understand that estate planning is an ongoing process that requires maintenance over time to ensure that the client's goals are met. Occasionally,[...]

Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance – The Value of Trusts

This post is reprinted from my latest newsletter. I hope you don't mind the retreading of the same subject, but the message was important enough to share on multiple platforms. Enjoy. A good part of my practice is dedicated to helping families with young children complete their essential legal planning. Some of that planning has[...]

Estate Planning & Your Second or Summer Home

One of the black letter laws in the world of probate is that real property, that is land, homes, etc., must be probated in the state where they are. That means that if you own a primary home in New Jersey and a summer home or a second home in Florida or New York, you'll[...]

Talking To Your Family About Your Estate Plan

Many clients finish planning their estate with me and then ask me what they should tell and to whom. As you might expect, the answer depends on where the client is in life and on the specific life circumstances for which we've planned. Families With Minor Children For families with minor children, I urge parents[...]

Living Trust vs. Will – A Silly Debate

Will? Living Trust? - Neither! When people learn that I am an estate planning attorney, I usually get asked this question: "Should I have a will or a living trust?" Then, conversation usually turns to what the prospective client heard could or would happen with one or the other. It's as if I'm a surgeon[...]