Our EstatePlanner Documents Organizer

Our EstatePlanner Documents Organizer
The EstatePlanner is a comprehensive estate planning and documents organizer system.This useful financial tool is the easy and efficient solution to enable your heirs to quickly locate all your important legal documents and information, and to settle your estate quickly and inexpensively. It consists of 150 pages of tabbed forms, planning checklists, and estate planning information, all housed in a deluxe 3-ring binder. It comes with an instructional CD recorded by Mr. Loveridge to help you use it effectively. $79.95 + s/h. For more information, see our posting for November 28, 2008, below. To order, call us at (801) 262-8889, or email us at emarel@comcast.net. Free Bonus when you order The EstatePlanner: Mr. Loveridge's 172-page estate planning course, "How To Avoid Probate, Death Taxes, and Family Civil War!"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes! http://www.bankrate.com/lite/celebrity-money/celebrity-estate-planning-mistakes-1.aspx

Famous actress and model Marilyn Monroe left most of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. When he died, his interest in Marilyn's estate went to his third wife, who did not even know Marilyn. Marilyn's mistake was not putting her assets in trusts. Strasberg's third wife, Anna, eventually hired a company to license Monroe's products, which involved hundreds of companies including Mercedes-Benz and Coca-Cola. In 1999, many of Monroe's belongings were auctioned off, including the gown she wore to President John F. Kennedy's birthday party, for more than $1 million. Strasberg ended up selling the remainder of the Monroe estate to another branding company for an estimated $20 million to $30 million, according to a remembrance of the star by NPR in 2012.

A trust would have provided for Strasberg while he was alive and then after his death could have directed the remainder of her estate to someone of her choosing.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Dangers of Do-it-yourself Legal "Help" Sites. Excellent article by Michael Brennan, Attorney at Law (see his excellent website, thevirtualattorney.com) on the dangers of using do-it-yourself legal help sites. Highly Recommended! http://thevirtualattorney.com/blog/i-think-i-need-will-so-why-not-use-legalzoom

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our "Dear Leader" Wants to Increase the Estate Tax

Uncle Sam giveth and then tries to take away. At the beginning of 2013, Congress set the current estate tax exemption at $5,250,000 per person ($10,500,000 per married couple). Now, President Obama, in his latest budget proposal, seeks to DECREASE that exemption to $3,500,000 and raise the top estate tax rate from 40% to 45%! (Why am I not surprised?). Read the story, here: 


Sunday, March 03, 2013

Thoughts on How to Die! Great article by Dr. Ken Murray about how doctors choose to die. Careers in medicine have taught them the limits of treatment and the need to plan for the end. Though they have great access to the best medical treatment, many choose to die serenely and with quality of life rather than merely extending it at any cost. 


Friday, March 01, 2013

Review your Estate Plan Inexpensively. When did you last review your estate plan? Are your titles and beneficiary designations worded correctly? Does your trust language conform to the new estate tax law taking effect in 2013? Are you wary of the cost? For $79, we'll review your documents them (in office or by phone) and make recommendations about any needed changes. Most attorneys charge $200 - $300 per hour for this service. Our low review fee is our commitment to help you and your loved ones remain protected, affordably! Are your friends and relatives protected? We also extend this offer to them and will review their estate plan for $79 (less than their own attorney might charge!), or, if they have not yet done their planning, their first consultation is complimentary. Call us at (801) 262-8889 for an appointment.
Visualize  your death! No, I'm not suggesting you spend your day thinking morbid thoughts about your demise, but that you consider--in detail--how your estate would be administered after you're gone. Do you have a business? Who will dispose of it or continue to run it if you can't? Is there a market (i.e., buyers) for it? What about your rental properties? Is your successor trustee capable of managing them? Should they be left equally to all your heirs, possibly causing a "stalemate" if some want to sell and others don't? Or would it be better to leave individual properties to specific members of your family? If you own a family cabin, should you leave it outright to your family or require it to be held in trust for their use (under specific conditions)? Will your estate have sufficient liquidity (i.e., cash!) to accomplish your objectives, such as educating minors or providing for loved ones? If not, can illiquid assets (real estate, etc.) be quickly sold to provide it, or, should you consider purchasing life insurance? After recording your planning objectives in your trust or will, reflect carefully--visualize--how those objectives actually will be implemented. Finally, will the person you've chosen to settle your estate (i.e., your successor trustee or personal representative) bring efficiency and harmony to the process? Can he or she delegate duties if necessary and provide proper accounting to your heirs? Or, will his or her stewardship foment "family civil war?" 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Forbes 2013 Guide To Estate Planning - Great source for estate planning information! 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fun reading! Famous Last Words of Entertainers. http://theweek.com/article/index/239799/the-surprising-last-words-of-11-entertainers
Charles Dickens' Humility. Charles Dickens, the author of great literary works such as Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, had a rather humble will. Here's an excerpt of the last few lines of his will. 

"I emphatically direct that I be buried in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner; that no public announcement be made of the time or place of my burial; that at the utmost not more than three plain mourning coaches be employed; and that those who attend my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band, or other such revolting absurdity. I direct that my name be inscribed in plain English letters on my tomb, without the addition of 'Mr.' or 'Esquire.' I conjure my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial, or testimonial whatever. I rest my claims to the remembrance of my country upon my published works, and to the remembrance of my friends upon their experience of me in addition thereto. I commit my soul to the mercy of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children humbly to try to guide themselves by the teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man's narrow construction of its letter here or there. In witness whereof I the said Charles Dickens, the testator, have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this 12th day of May in the year of our Lord 1869." 

His complete will is at: http://www.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/CD-Forster-13.html

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dead Centenarian Revived at Funeral! Make sure your loved one is truly deceased before dividing the estate! 


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

You Can Have Your "Dark Secrets" Hidden at Your Death!" Have any embarrassing secrets you don't want others to know about if you die? Especially your family members? A firm in Japan may have the answer! It can be employed to ensure that all of a decedent's embarrassing property is disposed of before the decedent's family finds it. 

Uh oh! Attorney Faces Disciplinary Action for Criticizing the Probate Process. Her blog post refers to the probate system in Illinois as the "sleazy world of probate" and the "garden variety theft, embezzlement, malpractice and malfeasance by attorneys and the court."  http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202586530125&slreturn=20130105104150 

Who knew?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

$7M in gold coins found in intestate man’s garage will be auctioned at courthouse.   http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/courthouse/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter.

There's got to be a better way to store this kind of asset and pass it to heirs!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Control your "digital assets!" The widow of one of my clients recently told me that her husband had left a significant stamp collection, which he had meticulously cataloged according to rarity and estimated value. However, that information, needed to facilitate appraisal of the stamps and establish their tax basis for the family, was "safeguarded" on his personal computer, and he had died without leaving his wife his computer password! She was unable to access his computer information or his other password-protected websites and was forced to hire an expensive computer "hacker" to obtain the needed information.  The "hacker," however, adhering to law and ethics, insisted on verification that my client was legally entitled to access that information; he viewed the computer and its contents as an asset of the husband's estate. Although we were able to provide this without the need to probate the computer (!), it still indicates the need we all have to secure this information while we're alive and to make it easily available if we die. (One place to log our passwords is Section 8  (Miscellaneous Information) of the EstatePlanner Portfolio.)      

Friday, January 25, 2013

Update your estate plan! Here's an extreme example of what can happen to your estate if you don't update your planning! Sir Peter Ustinov's estate has helped improve the financial security of the legal profession! (His will, signed 36 years before his death, was declared invalid by the court.) This real-life case reminds me of the famous fictional case, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, a fictional legal case in Dickens' novel, Bleak House, which drags on for so many generations that legal costs devour the entire estate!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beware Of Asset Protection Scams! Worried about "asset protection?" Here's an excellent article which helps you keep the issues in perspective: http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddganos/2013/01/20/beware-of-asset-protection-scams/

From the article: From the article: "In reality, the specific way that asset prot protection/risk management should be implemented for any person will be wholly dependent on that person’s specific objectives and circumstances. The solution should attempt to integrate asset protection/risk management issues, estate planning issues, tax planning issues, etc. You should question anyone who fails to do this."

For many people, the only "source" of a potential lawsuit is injuring another at their home or by their vehicle. Note the author's inexpensive, "common sense" solution most of us can use to protect our assets: An "umbrella" policy. See your homeowners insurance agent for more details.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Applicable Exclusion Amount $5.25 Million for 2013 Deaths

IrsGood news! The federal estate tax exemption will remain $5.25 million for individuals dying in 2013 ($10.50 million for couples).  This amount will INCREASE annually, adjusted for inflation. If you and your spouse have signed trusts with "A-B" trust provisions (assets split into "Marital and Family" trusts at the first spouse's death), and your estate is significantly below $5.25 million in value, you should call us to discuss amending your trust to remove these provisions. We'll be happy to explain the "pros and cons" of doing so. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

An Annual Estate Review Can Pay Off! One of my former clients recently died but failed to convey some of her real estate to her trust. She established her trust twelve years ago, but had not contacted us for a review in all that time!  Her property, located in California, is now subject to probate; California lawyers are quoting her heirs between $10,000 and $15,000 to do the probate. Pretty expensive compared to our office's annual review fee of $79! We can't help you if you don't contact us! 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2013 Changes in estate tax law! Congress has finally set the estate tax exemption at $5,250,000 per person, or $10,500,000 per married couple. See the following for details: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/gift-and-estate-tax-changes-in-the-ameri-03265/

Couples who are worth less than $5,250,000, and who have "A-B" (i.e., "Marital Deduction") trusts, may need to revise their trusts to remove unnecessary estate tax provisions. Contact our office for more information and to see if you are affected by the new law.