Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review


As the year 2009 comes to a close we reflect on estate planning:

In the news:

We learned from the deaths of many notables the importance of estate planning to all. How important it is to have a will and one that is up to date. The death of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawsett and Senator Edward Kennedy all reflected different aspects of estate planning. See prior blogs on these issues starting back in July.

Top Blogs:
And the top blogs for 2009 are:
1/15/09 - 10 Reasons why you should have a will
1/27/09 - The 10 Hottest Estate Planning topics
2/9/09 - Hiring an Estate Planning attorney - 10 things that you should know
7/10/09 - Michael Jackson - 5 Estate Planning Lessons
7/22/09 - Planning for Non-traditional families
8/13/09 - Estate Planning - How do I get started
8/24/09 - Irrevocable Trust - When to Use
9/29/09 - Costly Estate Planning Mistakes
11/10/09 - Facebook, My Space, Linked In, Blog, Oh My
11/24/09 - Great Review o f My Book
12/19/09 - Tax Tips for your 2009 Taxes
Pick your top news stories and blogs. Contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Lost Symbol



As we look towards another day off, think about how you might spend that day. Whether you are with family, friends, alone in deep contemplation or meditation, 2010 is a time to refresh and renew.

I just finished reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown who wrote "The Da Vinci Code" which sold millions and had all of us thinking about the ramification of this fictional account. Well, in my opinion he has done it again. Throughout time secrets, codes and unseen truths have been held by mankind and passed down for generations. What is most revealing in the book is how those secrets, codes and unseen truths are actually available to all and revealed in the most prominent places. Read the book and share your comments here. Dan Brown's estate plan should address the manuscript of his books and the continued royalities that will surely generate from these best sellers.

Leave your comments here or contact me at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hopes and Aspirations Captured Through Estate Planning


I was speaking before a group the early part of December about estate planning. I was telling the story of a man whom I had never met but through whose legacy I would never forget. His story was quite compelling. See my post of December 18, 2009.

In any event, a couple weeks after my presentation, one of the participants called me to let me know that I had made him think for the first time about his business and personal estate affairs. Though he thought he never had much of an estate, he realized through my presentation that he did. It was not about wealth and money but about his loved ones and his dreams for their future. From my presentation, he was made aware of ways to capture his hopes and aspirations.

Do you want to know more about estate planning and how it is not all about wealth and money? Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, December 28, 2009

An International Legacy


We had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. Of course the news on Christmas Day of the terrorist's attempted bombing was shocking and disturbing. Our need for continued vigilance in this area is apparent.

It reminds me how important it is that our personal legacy extends beyond our immediate family needs and interests into what is happening in our nation and in the world. In fact when we do extend our focus outside our personal circle, we are helping our selves and our families. What happens in Nigeria, London, Yemen affects our nation, our community. What happens anywhere in the world is of importance to all of us given the globalization of economy, technology, communication, and the list goes on.

So I continue to encourage us all to look at how we can address not only during our lifetime the issues impacting our nation and world but how can we create a legacy of an international dimension through estate planning. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays


We are up very, very early this morning with our 8 year old daughter who is now cooking the morning breakfast, with just a little help from Dad. She is quite the independent one and has started her own traditions for Christmas morning, as we also get ready to visit Mommom and Poppop, 3 hours away. Fortunately, we do not have to dash through the snow, just a little rain washing away the remaining snow from last weekend.

Creating memorable moments during the holidays and throughout the year is what life and living is all about. Passing on those traditions from generation to generation is what your legacy is all about. So, as we move into 2010 think about what the moments and traditions you are creating for your family and loved ones. Are they full of meaning; making a difference by helping others you do not know who are in need, sharing your wealth and good cheer with those who might not have anyone during the holidays, remembering to take the time to say I love you today and always to those close to you, and being the human being you were placed here to be now and forever.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a wonderous New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tax Tips for your 2009 Taxes


With the first day of winter (12/21) still 2 days away, we watch the falling snow of our first winter snow storm in the northeast. I am reminded that the end of 2009 is fast approaching and it is time to think about our taxes. Since estate planning includes protecting and preserving our assets, how can we save on our taxes and thus maintain more of our money.

Here are my 5 things to consider:
1. Start early gathering tax information, including receipts. You can loose lots of money with last minute tax preparations.

2. Do not forget those deductions - property taxes; mortgage interest; points; home improvements for medical care; tuition and fees; and, moving expenses for that first JOB.

3. Do not forget those credits - first time homebuyer; and child and dependent care care.

4. Make contributions to your IRA.

5. If you have not already done so, invest in a financial management system so that throughout the year you are organizing and tracking your expenses to see where you can save and thus increase your net worth. At the end of the year, with the touch of a button, your tax information is available to you.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, December 18, 2009

Benefitting Others Through Estate Planning


We all understand the importance of charitable giving. We benefit others through our philanthropy, giving and humanity. In return it encourages others to do the same.

When we first moved to Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, we purchased a home next to land under preservation for open space. We have been able to enjoy the trees and wildlife. We soon found out that this land had been donated to the community along with land where the elementary school is built that my daughter attends. It was part of the legacy of man who started his life in America as a poor immigrant. His legacy has touched the life of numerous children and many, like myself, in the community that he grew to love.

Just like this one man we, you and I, can benefit those we will never know through our giving. And how best to do that then through our estate planning. I have looked at my charitable giving during my lifetime and selected those organizations that will continue to benefit when I die.

Think about your life and how you might continue to help others or even start to help others by leaving a bequests in your Will. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Insurance - Review Annually


DID YOU KNOW that insurance is a very important part of the estate planning process. I was reviewing (something everyone should do once a year) our insurance policies to update the beneficiary designations. It just reminded me how insurance helps pay off debts so your family can continue to enjoy their assets whether a home, a car or vacation property. It also provides money to families devastated by a death. It can even address the debt of business ventures.

AND WHAT THAT MEANS your estate (not your family) is responsible for paying off ALL debts before ANY distribution is made to a loved one. You do not want your estate to be bankrupt by your debts, business or personal.

SO MAKE SURE in your buisness affairs and personal affairs, you plan for incapacity and death because your debts do not go away just because you do!!!

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Your Pet And Estate Planning


We recently got a cat, Sneakers, for our daughter. It made me think about how estate planning covers everything that you have, including your pets. So, what happens to little Sneakers if something happens to us. Technically, she "belongs" to our 8 year old daughter but I do not think, in fact, I know the guardian for our daughter has not also agreed to take on the responsibility of a cat. Given allergies of the guardian's own children, it would not be a possibility to even address. So, what happens to Sneakers, the alternative will be to "give" her to another family member so that my daughter could regularly visit "her" cat. That seems to work as an option because we do have animal lovers to choose from.

BUT what if you do not have that option. If there are no family or friends available to take your pet then you could either (1) fund a Trust for the care of your cat; (2) look up places that would take your cat; (3) find cat adoption services or (4) leave money to a family or friend to take care of your cat. Any of these options should be addressed in your Will to make sure your plan is followed.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Today, It's Your Legacy"


I can hardly believe it is December 14th already. December is going way too fast. But, isn't that life sometimes, especially as we get older. I can remember when I was a child that time seemed to stand still and how I wished it would go faster. Be careful what you wish for!

Well, yesterday I did the taping for an internet TV start-up. My program "Today, It's Your Legacy" is all about people because estate planning is all about people and the life they are living. Everyday, ordinary people are doing ordinary things with extrordinary results. They, however, fail to realize how uniquely awesome the legacy they are creating is. My show will explore the legacy people, just like you, are creating everyday. It will help all of us realize how estate planning can work for us, our families and our communities.

I am excited about this new beginning and will keep you posted regarding the launch. First it was writing the script, then it was taping the pilot, what is next? Stay tuned. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

American Doll - Collectibles for your Estate


My mother called me today and asked whether I had started my holiday shopping. She knows that shopping is not high on my list of things I like to do so that was her way to tell me to get busy. It did make me go online and order a doll for my daughter. She asked for an Addy American Doll. We really try not to get into the commercialism of the holiday. It is about being with family and sharing the reason for the season. Helping others and giving, not receiving, are what we "try" to stress.

BUT, in this case, my daughter has made an interesting connection for me. First, she has already read all of the Addy books. She was telling me Addy's story. Addy is the American Doll that represents that part of American history that we all would like to think never happened, slavery, and would hope has ended, racial discrimination. My daughter is 8 and I thought it was very interesting her discussion of Addy's plight. The Addy books have become a learning opportunity and a way for me to address this part of our history in a more concrete way with her.

Your estate planning may entail reflecting on the plight of your ancestors. Because of or in spite of those historical circumstances, you may have amassed a fortune that you might use through effective planning to eradicate the effects of. Maybe the Addy doll will serve as a collectible that my daughter might look back on as what allowed her to emerge as a beacon of hope that justice and equality for all people will be realized for her generation. Or maybe not.......

Happy Holidays. Leave your comment here or contact us http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Legacy of Internet TV


Today was an interesting day. I wondered what I would write about since I had decided to let December be on how estate planning is about life and living. What experience did I have in my day that demonstrates this aspect of estate planning?

I spent most of my day reviewing 2 documents and writing a script for a new program that I hope to bring to TV, internet TV. I will keep you posted on that venture and invite you to the celebratory launch. In any event, I had my sister critique the script. She holds back nothing and that is why I rely on her. She is just not going to sugar coat something or say what she thinks you want to hear. Basically, after spending the good part of 2 days immersed in writing this script, I had to go back to the drawing board as a result of her comments. I just sent her a revised script before writing this post. Let see how I do.

If this program should ever go anywhere and it will, then it will be these moments - developing the script; receiving feedback; revising the script - that will form a part of the legacy of the program, the back story, you might say. I want to take the time to document that and not just breeze through it. It is not always the end result that is important. The getting there has just as much value.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Your Purpose May Find You


Let me tell you a story about a woman I met who says in her own words, "be careful what you ask for" and "she is doing what she has to do."

Well, this woman lost her son-in-law to cancer. Her step-daughter was left to raise triplets, one with cerebral palsy. At 55 the woman was able to retire from the government but choose to find another job because she needed something to keep her busy. She began to wonder what her purpose was in life. She felt her life did not have meaning. Within a couple of years, she lost her husband to cancer. One night while her step-daughter was visiting, her step-daughter had to be rushed to the hospital. Her step-daughter never left the hospital. A brain aneurysm ruptured and she died.

"Be careful what you ask for." This 58 year old woman was the only one left for these 5 year old triplets which she has since adopted. When you look at her with total awe and admiration, she says "she is doing what she has to do". Her purpose found her.

Estate planning will be very important for her, especially now. Provide us with your comments or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Your Sport - Your Legacy


Good Saturday Morning. This is the first Saturday in December and I am sure the malls are packed. For a person, like me, who does not like to shop, the mall is the last place I want to be today. Fortunately, there is nothing that is requiring me to make that visit.

So, today I attended my daughter's basketball game. Parents and siblings scream as their little darlings dribble, past and shoot. I am among the screamers. As my daughter concentrates on her game, I notice every once and awhile she glances over to make sure I have not missed her daring feat. She does have skills and I'm not just being the pride parent, though I am that.

In this case, I am assessing how I am passing on my legacy to my daughter. Remember estate planning is about life and living. Though I never played basketball as a child, my mother played through college. I have shared pictures of "Mom-Mom" leading her team to victory and through my prodding my mother has shared those experiences with her granddaughter. It has not been my mother's manner to talk about her past. While my dad, on the other hand, has written 4 books about his life and I talk about everything, all the time because it is our legacy to share and to enhance the lives of those we love.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, December 4, 2009

Create Your Legacy - Live the Life You Were Meant to Live



This morning I decided I would do Yoga and Meditation. The best time of the morning to do Yoga and Meditation is just before sunrise. If you are like me, once my day begins there is no time for any type of exercise or even relaxation. So if you are so inclined to forego a bit of sleep and get up early, you will find it to be invaluable.


So what does Yoga and Meditation have to do with estate planning or even your legacy. In a nutshell, everything. Life is all about change. Yoga teaches flexibility and if one is flexible in mind and body, your ability to deal with change is enhanced. Meditation, like Yoga, focuses on the breath, your life source. Thoughts will come and go and not take control of you as long as your focus remains on the breath. You clear your mind of the chatter (thoughts) in your head and you can begin to feel a real sense of peace. All of this is important to living a life that creates a legacy that one might wish to pass on in estate planning. But the most important part is that you are living a life that is worthwhile to you.


Yoga and Meditation are not the only way to obtain this state of clarity about our life, our purpose and our legacy. Share ways that have helped you or contact us at www.ythlaw.com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Delaware Canal - Charitable Giving



This morning I was walking along the Delaware canal in Washington Crossing. It is a smooth even trail with historical significance but this morning, for me, it is all about the wildlife. The Blue Herring gliding along the waterway just as I approach his private perch. The mallards, the colorful males and their mates, floating along the water's edge. Squirrels rustling dry leaves as they scamper from the shore up the nearest tree. A black snake slitters across the canal path disappearing into the murky waters. Nature's bounty available for me to enjoy on a morning walk.

But, I can not take this natural beauty for granted. Will it continue to be here for me to enjoy and for my children? Then a thought came to me. I can make a difference in the preservation and improvement of this canal. If it means something to me, I can make that difference now and beyond my lifetime.

So, here is what I did. Today, I joined the friends of the Delaware Canal. And you can too, at http://www.fodc.org/

Let us know how you are living your life now and how that living impacts your estate planning here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December is about Estate Planning


If you are like me, December has arrived way too fast. I was just enjoying Thanksgiving and now the shift is to Holiday gift buying and the like. Well, this season I am creating my own shift. I believe that estate planning is not about death and dying but about life and living. I want to demonstrate it not only in my business practice but in my personal actions as well.

So, I invite you on a December journey with me. I am going to share with you each day an experience in life and living that impacts estate planning for me and could do the same for you.

Stay tuned and feel free to share your life and living experience here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Your Legacy is Your Story


Your legacy is the story of your life. You can document as much of it as you care to share at any time. What is important is that you are here for a reason, your life has purpose and you can share your purpose to those who need it most.

What I have found is that most of us fail to realize that we can and do create our own reality in many ways. We can be proactive, reactive or just plain inactive in the unfolding of our life's story. You can engage the estate planning process as a process of self-discovery to help you understand the life that you are living. It may be the first time that you plant an idea of your purpose that can begin to germinate into your legacy.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/ to begin your self-discovery through our estate planning process.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Three Important Steps to Any Plan


It is a very windy day as I write this blog entry. Today my thougths are about the importance of planning. Whether estate planning, retirement planning, financial planning, long term care planning or personal and business planning, there are 3 important steps. You have to (1) access where you are, (2) determine where you would like to be and then (3) write down the strategies and action steps to get to where you want to go.

Along the way, have a great time because each and every moment is creating the life story that you want to leave as your legacy.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving - An Estate Planning Moment


Hope you had a wonderful and enjoyable Thanksgiving. This is the Holiday when families gather around the table and enjoy lots of home cooked specialty dishes. During the preparation, with parents passing along traditions to their children and grandparents sharing family stories and anedotes, is the time to discuss the family legacy and how it can be passed on.

Yes, Thanksgiving is an estate planning moment. All of the important people are generally present to ask whether they can serve important roles in your estate plan. Your executor, your trustee, the guardian of your children when you die are sitting right next to you at the dinner table. Your agent to assist during any incapacity is carving the turkey.

Why not check this to do off of your list at Thanksgiving? You and your family will be glad you did. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bankrupt, but why?







This is just unbelievable to me. I was reading statistics regarding Players for the NBA and NFL. Sixty percent (60%) of NBA players are broke within 5 years of retirement. What is even more startling is that seventy-eight percent (78%) of NFL players are bankrupt within only 2 years of retirement. How does this happen? Are all of these players just getting bad advise? Are they getting good advice and just not listening or following it?

I just think we have to start teaching people basic life skills early in the education process. Too many people just do not understand money and how to handle it at a very basic level. You do NOT have to be rich to take advantage of how the estate planning process can help you protect your money. In making sure that those you love are taken care of upon your death, the estate planning process makes sure you have money to leave. So while you are living and in your retirement years, you can look at putting money and real estate in a Trust for your benefit and others or consider other estate planning options.

If you know of a NBA player or NFL player that could benefit from our services, leave a comment here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Great Review of My Book





DISCOVERIES - A KIRKUS review writes....

A valuable primer that demystifies estate planning

Estate planning is a legal step many know they must take as they get older, but few consumers understand it. Thankfully, estate-planning attorney Taylor-Hachoose has written a clear, concise overview of the various elements of estate planning, providing a solid foundation for taking action. The author grabs the reader from the outset. Taylor-Hachoose covers wills, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney, living and testamentary trusts and other estate-planning vehicles. She also talks about the probate process, inheritance taxes and elder-law issues. The author admirably explains each aspect of estate planning in simple, uncomplicated language and provides helpful illustrations of the importance of advance planning. She teaches readers about case subjects “Eve and Bob” and their only daughter, Julia, “who at thirty-six still cannot quite make it on her own.” The estate plan of Eve and Bob “includes a trust for the money left for Julia, who is not fiscally responsible enough to manage the money herself.” This and other scenarios in the book are especially helpful in demonstrating estate planning in action. Near the conclusion, Taylor-Hachoose provides a worksheet to help facilitate information gathering in preparation for estate planning.

Readers should come away less intimidated by the process.

DISCOVERIES - A KIRKUS review

We would love to have your review of the book. Provide your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Publicity Rights Are a Valuable Asset


I was up early this morning and thinking about what I would blog on today. I really did not have a particular subject for today. AND THEN it came to me, I had a question regarding publicity rights upon a person's death. Yes, assets include publicity rights. Whoever inherits your estate will inherit the publicity rights. You could even leave such rights to anyone.

Let's just say at your death, your assets were slim to none. Let's further say that your death resulted from you saving the lives of millions by diverting the actions of a would be terroist. You are proclaimed a hero and, in an instance, your picture is all over the news, internet, billboards, in essence everywhere. You are NOW famous, a celebrity. If someone wanted to use your image to promote anything, then they would have to obtain permission from the heirs of your estate. Your heirs could even hire an agent to manage those publicity rights and make even more money from what was a "slim to none" estate.

I read an article about this recently that pointed out that celebrities can make serious money after they die. It was reported that John Lennon earned $44 million in 2007; Tupac Shakur $9 million. Anytime a company uses the image of a dead celebrity—say, in an ad—whoever owns the publicity rights can get paid. Dead celebrities’ images are used to sell board games, fragrances, T-shirts. Serving as the agent of dead celebrities, whether for movie, music, or just publicity rights is big business.

So, understand your worth and make sure those you love benefit from that worth. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, November 16, 2009

What happens to email when you die?


Let's add email to our discussion of social media. Our "assets" are more varied in this technological, multimedia, socializing generation and I only see it expanding. I can only stress, as I research this new emerging phenomenal in estate planning, that it is best if you state in your Will what you want to happen to YOUR creations whether on Facebook, MySpace, Linkin, or in your email accounts. The company policies vary for those that even have one at all. Let's explore a few:

Hotmail - has a policy of deleting email accounts if they are not touched for 270 days. If you die, your next of kin would be able to access your account within that period by proving their identity and supplying a death certificate.
Gmail - will also allow the next of kin or executor of estate to apply for access to a deceased user's email account. However, they need more identification than Hotmail. The person would have to prove their own identity and supply a death certificate as well as proof of an email conversation between them and the deceased. Gmail does not delete the deceased user's account, but the next of kin could choose to do so after gaining access to it.
Yahoo! - will let the user's next of kin ask for the account to be closed, but will not give them access to it.

All internet users who want to be sure their email and other online accounts are accessible to their legal heirs should plan an offline process for such access as part of their estate planning process. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who controls your MySpace when you die?


Previously, we discussed Facebook's policy upon the death of its users.

MySpace has no set policy when it comes to the profiles of deceased users. It seems MySpace would handle each incident on a case-by-case basis which would require some sort of notification from the deceased user's family regarding the wishes of the family if the user had no specific indication. MySpace will not allow anyone to "assume control" of the user's profile, however it won't rule out giving families access to the user's private data. MySpace does not delete profiles after periods of inactivity, but will remove a deceased user's profile at the family's request.

If that does not provide you with the comfort you need, start your estate planning today. Leave your comment or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com%20t/

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who controls your Facebook page when you die?


Sometimes I ask questions that I want an answer to. In the case of social media and estate planning, I find it really intriguing the questions that can be raised and how many of them will have no answers. Social networks are so new that we will be making new laws as we get more and more into this new form of interaction.

Well, I did research our question posed yesterday regarding Facebook. What happens when you die? Per Facebook's policy for deceased users, they memorialize the deceased person's account. This removes certain more sensitive information and sets privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or find the person in search. The Wall remains so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.

Now that sounds all well and good but what if your family or friends want to remove your information. Should they not have the right? Who is in a better position to decide, Facebook or the family? In my legal opinion it would be the executor or administrator of the estate who should make that call. They are the ones in charge once you die. You can even make that call more directly by providing for your social media activity in your Will. What do you want to happen, now that I have you thinking about it? It's your call!

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Facebook - What happens when you die?


Many of us are on Facebook and even more are joining everyday, creating a community with individually unique personas. Many people have developed significant followings which, in some cases, translate into profitability in other areas. So, what happens with all that you have created in Facebook when you die?

There was a specific case involving the death of a Facebook user. Obviously, there are many Facebook users who have died but this particular one resulted in litigation and therefore provides some guidance to us all on what happens on Facebook.

This case will be discussed tomorrow in detail. Follow the saga of social media and the death of the users.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Facebook, My Space, Linked In, Blog, Oh My


We have Facebook, My Space, Linked In, Blogs, Twitter and the list goes on. Well, let's take a look at social media and estate planning over the next few days to see just what we might learn.

Managing Your Social Media Websites After You’re Dead: There are many questions to explore over the next few days. Do social media networking sites have policies for post mortem users? What happens to our virtual identities when we die? Are company policies to delete inactive user accounts? Can a family member have access to the account password after the death? How private are your email accounts, myspace pages, linked in messages, etc. after you pass away?

Few free to add your questions to this list and let's explore the answers. Leave your comment or questions here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Next Major Book Signing - 25% Discount

Pay only $20 per book!
This is my gift to you!

The next major area booksigning will be:
Thursday, December 10, 2009
7pm to 8:30pm
The David Library
1201 River Road
Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
RSVP at (215) 321-4033
Space is limited.

Many families have asked me what is the best way to get their loved ones to address estate planning. My answer to that question was to write the book, Stop! What are you waiting for? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning. I have found that the book is a good way to get the conversation regarding wills and other estate planning issues moving in the right direction.



Now is the time to buy the book.
At this book signing, you save 25% on the cost of the book.
Pay only $20 per book!
As part of the holiday gift giving season,
this book makes a great gift!!



Reserve your space today. Call (215) 321-4033
or

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

7. Discern Elder Needs


We have discussed over the last 2 weeks the 7 essential benefits of estate planning and today we address the seventh essential benefit, discern elder needs.

In 2006, the oldest of the baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, turned 60 years old. As a result, new concerns have given rise to the specialized area of “elder law.” This term was not even mentioned when I attended law school in the early 1980’s. However, with the anticipated increase in the elderly population, the advances in technology, and the increase in life expectancy, the dynamics of our society are changing and the elder law area of practice is growing rapidly.

Elder law looks at the needs of seniors during their longer lifetime. Estate planning, as well as retirement and long-term care planning, forms a natural part of the elder law practice. Seniors are finding themselves working longer to address the cost of healthcare for elders under their care. The fact that we are living longer requires all of us to take a real careful look at long term care questions and put plans in place, like purchasing long term care insurance and getting your will, general power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and living will done.

Want to know more about the 7 essential benefits of estate planning? Check out my new book Stop! What Are You Waiting For? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

6. Ensures Peace of Mind


Today we discuss the 6th of the seven essential benefits of estate planning. Remember the first 5 benefits of estate planning are; (1) protects assets (2) saves money (3) creates a legacy (4) distributes wealth and (5) addresses special circumstances. The 6th is Ensures Peace of Mind.

With the recent loss of his wife, Jack is now rearing three young children on his own. As an only child, he can not rely on any help from his mother Mary or his father Charles. Mary is still working beyond her retirement years just to be able to take care of herself and her husband. Charles has been diagnosed with a mentally debilitating form of Alzheimer’s, which the doctors do advise could be hereditary.


As the sole person responsible for his children, Jack wants to have peace of mind when it comes to their future. Therefore, he has made several inquiries into estate planning to get that peace of mind. He wants to make sure his children are taken care of when he dies. If he does not take the necessary steps to address guardianship of his children upon his death, then he leaves them in unnecessary turmoil and additional pain.


Choosing a guardian for minor children is a major decision. It is a decision that takes careful consideration. Without planning, Jack burdens Mary with making decisions he failed to address in advance. Even more tragic, imagine leaving questions of guardianship to the state or court with no firsthand knowledge of Jack’s children's gifts, talents, needs, and desires. Only Jack can choose the best guardian for his children.


Families unfortunately can fall apart over unaddressed estate planning. Estate planning gives you peace of mind now and will be appreciated by those you leave behind. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, November 2, 2009

5. Addresses special circumstances - continues with Special Needs Trust

In my last post, I discussed 26 year old Julian who sustained permanent mental and physical disabilities as a result of complications at birth. How does one continue to take care of Julian when his parents are no longer living.

A special needs trust, sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is critical to protecting Julian’s health and well-being. The purpose of the special needs trust is to assure continuity of care and non-disruption of government supported programs and benefits, both of which are of primary concern for Linwood and Jordan, Julian's parents.

As pertains to preservation of government benefits, if Julian directly owned the assets, he would not qualify for Supplemental Security Income Benefits referred to as SSI. In addition to providing him with a monthly stipend, SSI eligibility qualifies Julian for other governmental programs. Because Julian has no control over (does not own) the money or assets in a special needs trust, the contents of the trust are not considered when calculating Julian's total assets. The special needs trust thus ensures that Julian will remain eligible for governmental benefits and programs regardless of the actual value of his total assets.

Do you have any questions on Special Needs Trusts? Leave your comments here or contact us at www.ythlaw.com

Saturday, October 31, 2009

5. Addresses Special Circumstances - continues



Yesterday, we discussed Linwood's and Jordan's special circumstances. Today, we focus on Linwood's and Jordan's son, Julian.

As a result of complications during his birth, Julian sustained permanent mental and physical limitations. Though Julian has been blind (one particular result) since birth, there is much that he can see. Through his imagination and the support of Mainstream For Life, a state funded program, Julian has created a world that works perfectly for him. At 26, he still maintains a childlike wonderment and trust for everyone he encounters in his life. Fortunately, his home and work environment support the person that Julian has become.

Linwood and Jordan (Julian’s adoptive parents) realize that they both have contributed to the stable and productive life that Julian enjoys. They also realize the importance of the routine, familiarity, and normalcy provided by the state funded programs. They often worry about not being around to keep Julian safe. However, they also realize that they will not always be there to watch over him. Their focus has turned to how to sustain what has been developed for Julian when they both die.

A part of that answer is the special needs trust which will be discussed tomorrow. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, October 30, 2009

5. Addresses Special Circumstances - continues

This blog post continues from October 24 when we started to look at the 5th benefit of estate planning, addresses special circumstances.
Remember the other 4 of the 7 essential benefits of estate planning are;
(1) protects assets
(2) saves money
(3) creates a legacy
(4) distributes wealth.

Today we continue to discuss how estate planning addresses special circumstances. In the case of Linwood and Jordan who are same sex partners, they have to address their property interests through advance planning. If either Linwood or Jordan died without a will, no property would go to the other unless there was joint ownership, a trust or beneficiary designation with the partner's name. There would have to be planning to minimize the inheritance tax since the 0 rate would not apply to unmarried individuals.

What about their son, Julian? We will discuss his special circumstances tomorrow. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crystal Ball - What's the best investment of them All

On Monday evening, I attended an annual investment briefing from one of our national banks. I always find it interesting to listen to the economic forecast from economist and investment strategist; those whose job it is to study the market. Given the bleak conditions we have experienced over the last year or so, the bank's forecast (unlike others I have reported on) predicted brighter news on the horizon as demonstrated by the rise in the S&P 500. Though the increases have not been monumental, at least it is an upward movement.

The question still remains how does all of this affect you, the consumer. Some have remained in the market because, well, what else could one do but wait it out and hope for the best. Now there is even a suggestion to be bolder in the market by engaging in alternative investments. This would be in addition to a traditional market portfolio of stocks and bonds. It would encompass private equity, private real estate, natural resources and hedge funds. For me, in such uncertain times, the low risk/some return works better than high risk/high return, maybe. How can a person (the consumer or investment advisor) carefully select any investment these days? Oops, my crystal ball has a crack....can you spare yours???

Leave your comment or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning


We continue today to recognize National Estate Planning Awareness Week which was last week. When I wrote Stop! What are you waiting for? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning, I wanted to make more people aware of what the estate planning process entailed so that more people would be encourage to plan, now.

Here are some common mistakes that we all can avoid with a little awareness:

•Lack of signatures. A will must be properly signed and witnessed, with witnesses in the same room. If not, the will can be contested.
•The will can't be found. A will needs to be stored in an accessible place. Some put them into a safe-deposit box. Another suggestion is to keep it at home in a fireproof box with other important papers. You must make sure that the executor can obtain access to the document when needed.
•Multiple copies. You may want to provide your executor with a copy of your will. But if you change it, you should be sure to destroy any original copies.
•Lack of specifics. Some people simply state they wish to leave their entire estate to their children. If there are adopted or stepchildren, it becomes more important to name or define children.
•Choosing the wrong executor. Relatives and friends are not necessarily the best trustees or executors. The right executor is someone who can be trusted, who can work well with others, who is intelligent and who is not afraid to ask for — or hire — help.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Monday, October 26, 2009

Myths About Estate Planning



Last week, I discussed 5 or the 7 essential benefits of estate planning. I will talk about the additional 2 benefits this week. All of this information is so important and timely because last week was National Estate Planning Awareness Week, an educational program sponsored by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.

I have taken polls and generally have found that nearly 65% to 70% of people do not have a will. There reasons range from procrastination to unawareness of its application to them. Still others fear that as soon as they write a will, they'll die. In reality, there's no evidence to suggest that creating an estate plan will hasten your death. However, if you do nothing, you could create a lot of unnecessary chaos upon your death.

My book Stop! What are you waiting for? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning adddresses how and why estate planning applies to everyone. There is an article in today's Managing Your Money that dissects five myths about estate planning and offers tips on how to make things easier for your loved ones after you're gone. Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

5. Addresses Special Circumstances


We have been exploring the 7 essential benefits of estate planning; (1) protects assets (2) saves money (3) creates a legacy (4) distributes wealth. Today we discuss number (5) how estate planning addresses special circumstances. Let's take a look at Linwood's and Jordan's situation.

Linwood and Jordan are the same sex and have lived together for twenty-five years. They do not live in a state that recognizes gay marriages. They adopted their special needs son Julian, who was 10 years old at the time of the adoption. Julian has thrived and progressed significantly over the last sixteen years with the love, attention, and hard work of his parents. Linwood's skills as a nurse have been most helpful to Julian. Julian’s Seeing Eye dogs have helped, and his current dog is an integral part of his life. All of this has enabled Julian to live on his own with the support of state programs.

What issues will Linwood, Jordan and Julian face and how can those issues be addressed through estate planning? We will begin to look at the answer to these questions and any that you may leave here or when you contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, October 22, 2009

4. Distributes Wealth - a final comment



Ria and her estate saga continues today. As a singel woman without children, it is even more essentail for Ria to plan. We discussed yesterday that if Ria died without a will, her ailing parents would inherit her entire estate and all of Ria's assets might then end up being paid to a nursing home.

Today, let's assume Ria's parents are no longer in the picture. They predecease her. Then without a will, Ria's estate would go to her siblings including her estranged brothers. Is that what Ria wants? I don't think so.

Though Ria’s brothers are her heirs, she can decide, with estate planning, who inherits and who does not inherit her wealth. It is her choice, her decision, her plan. But she must take some action and plan!!

There is something to be said about creating a plan that gives you control of the distribution of assets accumulated through your ingenuity and labor. It is within Ria and everyone’s power to take control and plan now.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

4. Distributes Wealth - Continues


Yesterday, we introduced Ria and asked whether the State should control the distribution of her assets. The fact is if Ria does not take any action (plan now), the state will control the distribution of her assets.

Remember, Ria is not married and has no children. Her parents are not in good health and she has 2 estranged brothers. If Ria dies without a will in Pennsylvania, her parents would inherit her entire estate. However, with her parent’s failing health, this would not be a wise option for Ria.

She would probably want to leave some assets for their care but upon their death, control where those specific assets would go. Ria would not want a nursing home to be her beneficiary but that would happen if she does not plan.

Tomorrow, we will look further at Ria's estate and the potential perils. Leave your comment here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

4. Distributes Wealth

Over the last few days, we have discussed 3 benefits of estate planning; (1) protects assets; (2) saves money; and, (3) creates a legacy. The fourth benefit of estate planning is distributes wealth. The following is from my book Stop! What Are You Waiting For? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning.

"Ria enjoys the international travel required of her successful technology consulting business. During her extensive traveling and demanding business, her closest and dearest sibling Michelle has taken on the full responsibility of the care of their parents, whose health has been rapidly failing. Her two older brothers have remained distant from the family and provide no support or interest in the care of their parents. Though Ria never married, she is considering adopting children.

In recent times, Ria has thought about her estate and how it;might be distributed when she dies. She is especially concerned about the ramification of any adoption."

Should the state control the distribution of Ria’s assets? What would happen to all her wealth if she has no husband and no children.

Let's learn more about Ria tomorrow. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Sunday, October 18, 2009

3. Creates A Legacy - Continued



Yesterday, I stated that creating a legacy is the most important benefit of estate planning. The reason I made that statement is because all of us have a legacy. Let the estate planning process help you find yours if for some reason you do not know your legacy.

In an earlier blog, I introduced Max from my book Stop! What Are You Waiting For? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning. Max collected historical memorabilia on the American Revolution. How can he preserve this passion for the historical significance of a major event in American history? Through estate planning, he can build upon this legacy. Future generations could benefit from the knowledge these documents provide. Max can even make sure the next generation is guided by his wisdom by giving specific instructions on the use of assets. He does not want to lose the momentum of his collection through ineffective management by his spouse or children if their interests should differ from his. Professional advice and guidance now can make the difference between creating a legacy and losing an accumulated treasure of the past.

Max’s legacy can be addressed in many ways. If he wants to leave assets to his spouse or children but their interests or passions differ from his, then he can leave the collection in a trust. He can fund the trust and choose a trustee who will be responsible for preserving the assets he accumulated in a way that he may designate. If his interest is charitable, he can give in a number of ways to those who will cherish his generosity, including institutions of higher education, museums, or organizations of scholarly pursuit. Estate planning can even enable Max to create a legacy of philanthropy that can include the involvement of his spouse, children and grandchildren.

Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.buckscountyattorney.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 17, 2009

3. Creates A Legacy



Today, we continue our discussion regarding the benefits of estate planning. The first two,
1. Protects Assets and 2. Saves Money, have already been discussed over the last few days. This third benefit, Creates A Legacy, is, in my opinion, the most important because we all have a legacy to leave. The problem is that most of us fail to document that legacy or even more problematic fail to see the legacy worth of our life.

There has not been a single client that I have counseled who did not have a legacy worth documenting in some way. Remember, estate planning is a process as well as the tangible development and execution of legal documents. And it is that process that gives my practice its competitive edge. I may guide someone into starting a business, a foundation or a charitable organization because of what I learn about them during the estate planning process. I may suggest writing a book, journaling, speaking or putting on a photo/art/sculpture exhibit. Whether it is a financial gain to me or an Aha moment for my client, in my practice the estate planning process is always mutually beneficial.

Tomorrow, let's revisit Max and Margaret to look at their legacy and how estate planning will help. Leave your comments here or contact us http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2. Saves Money - final comment



A final comment regarding Max and Margaret. Not only can they save on Federal Estate Tax but they can save on the state inheritance tax in states with an inheritance tax like Pennsylvania.

Who will get Margaret’s extensive art collection? If she leaves it to a charitable organization or qualified non-profit, there would be no inheritance taxes. However, her sons may also have an interest in art. In order to avoid the taxes on personal property, Margaret could begin gifting during her lifetime some of her art collection to her sons. There would be no taxes if she is under her one million dollar lifetime exclusion amount for gifting.

All of this requires planning on the part of Max and Margaret. In the long term as well as the short term, the value of a little planning today goes a long way to your family's future savings and security.

Contact us at www.ythlaw.com or leave your comments here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2. Saves Money - continued



Yesterday, we were discussing how Max and Margaret could save on their Federal Estate Tax through effective estate planning.

Since we do not know who might die first, both Max and Margaret would need to have a specific trust set up to shelter or preserve the applicable tax credit of the lifetime exclusion. The lifetime exclusion is the amount of Max's or Margaret's estate that is not subject to federal estate tax. In 2009, that amount is 3.5 million dollars.

The tax savings of this amount passes to the three sons of Max and Margaret upon the death of the second spouse, ie assume Margaret in this scenario. The tax credit of Margaret will also pass tax free to the sons. As a result, 7 million dollars would effectively be saved from taxes through the single, simple act of estate planning.

Contact us with your questions at www.ythlaw.com or leave your comments here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2. Saves Money - Continued



We continue today to discuss saving money through effective estate planning. We met Max and Margaret yesterday whose estate is worth well in excess of 5 million dollars. How can estate planning help them?

Well, Max and Margaret can reduce or eliminate their federal estate tax. Throughout your lifetime you, like Max and Margaret, have accumulated wealth in one form or another. Under the current federal estate tax law, individuals have an available tax credit against the ultimate estate tax due.

This tax credit is a direct dollar-for-dollar reduction of Max's or Margaret's tax liability, compared with tax deduction, which reduces Max's or Margaret's tax liability only in proportion to his or her tax bracket. Therefore, for Max and Margaret, each has a tax credit against the ultimate estate tax.

However, the estate tax is not due, for Max or Margaret, until the last one dies. This is because property left to a spouse is tax free. If Max is the first to die, he would transfer his estate to the Margaret free of an estate tax. It is not until the death of Margaret that the entire estate is subject to estate tax.

At that time, the tax credit of Margaret would be available to offset the amount of estate tax due. With advance planning, the tax credit available to the Max can be preserved and would then be available at the death of Margaret to further reduce the estate tax due.

We will continue to explain this significant benefit tomorrow. Stay tuned. Contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/ with your questions or leave your comments here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2. Saves Money



The Second essential benefit of estate planning is saving money. Today we meet Max and Margaret whose estate is in excess of 5 million dollars. They both have high-level corporate careers at companies where they now hold highly appreciated stock options. Both of them have personal passions. For over 30 years, Max has collected historical manuscripts and other memorabilia on the American Revolution. Margaret formed a local foundation that supports women and girls in her local community. She also has a fine art collection that rivals the collection of her local museum. Max's and Margaret's three sons (two of which are sons from Max’s first marriage) are married with children and have their own successful businesses.

The federal estate tax consequences would be significant (almost ½ of their estate would be at risk) if Max and Margaret did not engage in any estate planning. Further, if they reside in a state with inheritance tax, like Pennsylvania, planning could avoid costly mistakes. Clearly, they do not want money they have accumulated over their lifetime to be depleted by taxes and other circumstances that, with advance planning, they can control.

Let's continue to follow Max and Margaret on the road to saving money. Contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, October 9, 2009

President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize


Let the WORLD take a pause to celebrate this momentous occassion. As Americans, we take great pride in the 2009 Noble Peace Prize being awarded to a sitting United States President. President Obama was noted for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" and further it was stated that "only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future".

On a personal note, President Obama's legacy will be something that not only his children and family can benefit but those that lived during his lifetime can also benefit.

Click on the article below for more information.
http://www.comcast.net/slideshow/news-general/news-general-20091009-EU.Nobel.Peace/

1. Protect Your Assets


Inside:

Stop! What Are You Waiting For?

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning,

we visit Eve and Bob. Both Eve and Bob inherited wealth and made a lot more money beyond their inheritance. They now breed show dogs and actively participate in charities benefiting animals. They only have one daughter, Julia, who at thirty-six still can not quite make it on her own. She has already experienced personal bankruptcy and, given her unemployment history, would be on welfare if not for her parents’ continued support.

Eve and Bob want to make sure Julia will not become destitute when they die. Therefore, instead of leaving money outright to her upon their death, their estate plan includes a trust for the money left for Julia, who is not fiscally responsible enough to manage the money herself. A trust is effective because Eve and Bob appointed a trustee to both manage and distribute the money for Julia’s benefit.

The cash left for Julia by her parents will not be subject to the claims of Julia’s creditors. Nor will the cash be subject to any further bankruptcy, lawsuits, or divorce settlement Julia may experience in the future. It is Eve’s and Bob’s legacy that is being protected. They have the right to determine who will be the recipient of their bounty.

For Eve and Bob, money represents their primary asset. How do you define your assets? Do you consider your children, your home, or the money you have accumulated over your lifetime, as Eve and Bob did, your assets? Do you consider yourself an asset? However you define assets, it is important to know that we all have assets, and they are worth protecting.

Tomorrow, we will continue to follow the legacy of Eve and Bob and the journey of their daughter Julia. Leave your comments here or contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Benefits of Estate Planning



In my new book,
Stop! What Are You Waiting For?
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Estate Planning
the 7 benefits of estate planning are discussed. Over the next few days, I will address those 7 benefits by introducing you to individuals in hypothetical situation that may resonant with you. Sometimes we can see the importance of something through the experiences of others.

Through these examples, I want to encourage, motivate, and inspire you to prepare for your future and the security of your family for generations to come. The seven essential benefits of estate planning are protecting assets, saving money, creating a legacy, distributing wealth, addressing special circumstances, insuring peace of mind and discerning needs as you age.

Using the knowledge you acquire over the next few days or by purchasing my new book will advance you on your journey to generational prosperity.

Tomorrow meet Eve and Bob as we discuss protecting assets. Contact us at http://www.ythlaw.com/

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stop! What Are You Waiting For? Local Book Tour

It is an exciting time promoting a book that will help so many to protect their family and their legacy. The book is for those who are unfamiliar with the estate planning process and it gives
a fresh approach to those already familiar with estate and financial planning. Either way the book is for you. You can order the book here or on Amazon.com Be one of the first to give the book a review at Amazon.com.
You are invited to the major launch of the book on October 15, 2009
at the David Library 1201 River Road
in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Social Security and Your Future

I am always reading about the future of Social Security. Recently, I read that in 2016 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes, only 7 more years. Without changes, by 2037 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted and there will be enough money to pay only about 76 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits.

Saving is even more important and in this economy even harder. But, it is essential that we save which for most of us means to stop spending. The money to save has to come from somewhere and if our economic situation does not change, then not spending is our savings program.

Give your comments and thoughts here or contact us at www.ythlaw.com

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Money, Money, Money


As I was doing my bills the other day, my mind could not help but go to the current state of the economy. You have listened to the gloom and doom news comparing our current state of affairs with the Great Depression. Well, what did we, or our parents/grandparents, learn from that period. They learn to save prudently and cautiously. I can not tell you how many of my clients have benefitted from that saving mentality. Over the generations, the family members of my clients have passed on the wealth in hope of making my clients' life better and it worked! Now we have our greatest challenge. How will future generations benefit from our response to this economic crisis? What should we be doing, now? Among the many things we have to do is work together as a unified society. Individually, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and those dependent upon us. We have to plan for our future generation by taking such actions as making a will to pass on our assets and our legacy. We have to set up trusts to hold and distribute our assets, whatever they may be, in a responsible manner. We have to do these things even when we think we have nothing, especially if we think we have nothing. We never know exactly what the future may bring. However, we can and should plan for the future that we hope for, for ourselves and for our children.
Leave your comments here or contact me at www.ythlaw.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Costly Estate Planning Mistakes

I often attend continuing legal education seminar. Actually, I enjoy them because it keeps me current. I like to learn what others are doing for their clients in the area of estate planning. This evening's event addressed the top estate planning mistakes. Here is the run down of the list so you can see whether you need to see an estate planning attorney, like me, soon:
A. Is your estate in excess of 3.5 million dollars....then you should have federal estate tax planning done, immediately and correctly.
B. Is your estate under 3.5 million dollars and you still have federal estate tax planning done, revisit your plan immediately. You do not want terms and conditions that are no longer relevant to your situation. It will only complicate matters for your estate.
C. How many trusts do you have? Make sure you fund the correct trust. Terminate any trusts that you no longer require.
D. Make sure you review joint ownerships and beneficiary designations to make sure they are consistent with your intent for distribution of your estate.
E. Who will be responsible for the inheritance tax that must be paid? Make sure you cover your preference in your documents.
F. Oh, by the way, do not write on your will after you have executed it. Put it away and keep it clean. AND, do not lose the original....that will be a big problem. So, do you know where your original will is??

These are things to think about that I thought would be helpful to my bloggers. Let me know what you think. Contact us at www.ythlaw.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pet Trusts - What Next?

My new book was released September 14th and several papers have made some inquiries regarding the book. The first one that I received asked for information on what is the trend as
relates to Pet Trusts. Yes, that is covered in my book among many other people related trusts.
In any event, according to a 2000 estimate, Americans own about 68 million dogs and 73 million cats. The desire to protect dogs and other animals seems to be of critical importance to many. With an increasing elderly population and more and more people living alone, many people may not have a family member or friends able to care for their dogs.

In states without Pet Trusts, the most predictable and reliable method to provide for a pet is for you to create a trust in favor of a human beneficiary and then name a trustee to make distributions to the beneficiary to cover the pet’s expenses provided the beneficiary is taking proper care of the pet. This technique avoids the two traditional problems with gifts to benefit pets. There is an actual human beneficiary with standing to enforce the trust and there is a human measuring life for the rule against perpetuities (don’t worry, even many lawyers don’t understand that ancient rule). This conditional gift in trust approach provides for more flexibility and a greater likelihood of your intent being carried out.

If your state has a Pet Trust statute and Pennsylvania does, then your dogs can be the beneficiary with the Trustee making distribution for the benefit of the dogs. Your estate planning attorney can help make sure your Pet Trust meets the requirements of the statute.

Have your questions answered with your comments or submit an inquiry through http://www.ythlaw.com/

Friday, September 18, 2009

JUST RELEASED Stop! What are you waiting for?


My Book:

Stop! What are you waiting for?

Your step-by-step guide

to estate planning

has just been released

by

Second Wind Press.



I was motivated to write this book to help sustain families, build communities, create legacies one estate plan at a time. Most people hear estate planning and assume it’s not for them because they don’t have an estate. But regardless of income, we all have estates. It includes everything we own – from homes to cars to jewelry and everything we love – from children to our spouse to charitable endeavors.


The following list are upcoming

“Ask the Expert”

Book Signing Events.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marcus Garvey Book Store, Philadelphia, PA
Friday, October 2, 2009
7 – 9pm

Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA
Saturday, October 3, 2009
2 – 4pm

David Library, Washington Crossing, PA
Thursday, October 15, 2009
7 – 9pm

Farley’s Bookshop, New Hope, PA
Saturday, October 17, 2009
2 – 4pm

Robin’s Book Store, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, October 22, 2009
7 – 9pm

Yardley United Methodist Church, Yardley, PA
Saturday, October 24, 2009
10- 12pm

Doylestown Bookshop,
Doylestown, PA
Saturday, January 16, 2010
2 – 4pm


Hope to see you at an event. Leave your comments here or contact us at
http://www.ythlaw.com/