Dispelling Common Myths About Living Trusts

Most people have a general idea of what a Last Will and Testament is and the purpose it serves. However, if you mention establishing a Living Trust, many people will look at you quizzically with no idea what you're referring to, or they'll mistakenly claim that a Living Trust is reserved for "rich people." This is not the case. In fact, there are many misconceptions surrounding Living Trusts. Below are some of the most common myths about Living Trusts and important facts you need to know. Myth No. 1 – I Don't Need a Trust Because I am Not Wealthy This is,...

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Alkaline Hydrolysis – The Future of “Green” Funerals?

In April 2016, Business Insider published an article titled, “Traditional Burials are Ruining the Planet.” More information has surfaced showing the environmental toll that is taken when someone is buried in a traditional casket featuring steel, wood and embalming fluid. Cremation became a popular alternative to traditional burials. In fact, cremation rates have increased to nearly 75 percent in some states, according to the Cremation Association of North America. For those people interested in being even more environmentally-conscious are considering a procedure known as “alkaline hydrolysis.” Is it right for you? Can you even do it in the state you reside in? Find out...

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You Can Now Retire in Margaritaville

If you’re a diehard Jimmy Buffett fan (also known as a Parrothead) you’ll now have the opportunity to go “searchin' for your lost shaker of salt” at Latitude Margaritaville, a new Florida retirement community. Jimmy Buffett is partnering with an Ottawa-based developer called Minto Communities to develop the Margaritaville-themed community in Daytona Beach, Florida. The community will eventually have close to 7,000 homes for residents age 55 and older. The homes will be built on streets affiliated with lyrics to Buffett’s 1977 mega hit “Margaritaville.” For example, you will be able to live on Flip Flop Court, Coral Reef Way or St. Somewhere...

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Important Info You Need to Know About How Divorce Can Impact Your Estate Plan

Most people never expect to get divorced. They love their spouse and anticipate spending the rest of their lives in marital bliss. Unfortunately, the data indicates this is not the norm. In fact, in the United States, nearly half of all married couples wind up getting divorced, according to the American Psychological Association. This is why it is important to be prepared and have as much information at your disposal. Below is a general overview of how a divorce can impact your estate plan. How Divorce Can Impact Your Will When you get divorced, any items or funds that are directed to your...

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Advances in Medical Technology Making Prospect of Living to 120 and Beyond a Possibility

In trust and estate planning, there is an emphasis on the end of life and what needs to be done after you’ve left this earth. This blog will be a breath of fresh air since we’re focusing on living longer and enjoying as many years on this earth as possible. Advances in medical technology have made it possible to actually identify risk factors in the human body before they can inflict significant harm on your overall health. These risk factors are identified through “biomarkers” and “genome sequencing.” Basics of Biomarkers Biomarkers are biological data points that reveal the current physical state of affairs...

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Understanding the Shocking Link Between Sleep Problems and Dementia

The Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention reports that approximately 1-in-10 men and 1-in-6 women will likely be diagnosed with symptoms of dementia after they reach the age of 55.  The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, more than 60 percent of dementia patients are subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What Exactly is Dementia? Dementia is a fairly broad term that includes a number of pathophysiological conditions. For example, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, forms of dementia include Parkinson’s disease, Shy-Drager syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The Connection Between Sleep Disorders and Dementia The...

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Skin in the Game – Should Doctors Comply with a “Do Not Resuscitate” Tattoo?

Many patients find it difficult to communicate their end-of-life wishes to family members and doctors at critical points of time, especially if you are confronted with a sudden or unexpected ailment. There are legal documents designed to help address this important issue. For example, your estate planning attorney can draft an advance directive that tells your doctor and loved ones what kind of medical care you desire if you are incapacitated or deemed unable to make such decisions. You can also draft a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order to be included with your advance directive. A DNR is a request not to...

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Estate Tax May Survive Federal Tax Reform

Congress is in the midst of debating tax reform which features an attempt to possibly repeal the federal estate tax (also referred to as the "death tax"). This tax typically effects high value estates that can result in a whopping 40 percent estate tax. In fact, the 40 percent estate tax affects approximately 0.2 percent of estates in America. That translates to 5,460 estates in 2017, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Institute. Though, there are sizable exemptions to the estate tax under current law. For example, in 2017, the estate tax exemption is $5.49 million per individual. This means an...

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Tips to Protect Yourself from The Equifax Credit Breach

Equifax, one of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies (including Experian and TransUnion respectively) announced a massive data breach impacting an estimated 143 million consumers. Experts have declared this to be the worst consumer data breach in U.S. history. The breach means that nefarious characters now have access to Social Security numbers, dates of birth and address information of 143 million Americans. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey described the breach of Equifax to be "the most brazen failure to protect consumer data we have ever seen," according to NPR.org. Several state AGs and the Federal Trade Commission have opened investigations into...

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