The Plain English Attorney Blog

Far too many attorneys overcomplicate things, making topics convoluted and difficult to understand to the average person. This blog is committed to explaining legal planning topics in an easy to understand format, in plain English. Enjoy the blogs, and please let us know if there is a topic you would like covered.

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Estate Planning and Choosing Trustees estate planning checklists trustee trustee cheat sheet and checklist Jan 30, 2023

One of the most important decisions you can make in the estate planning process is choosing a list of trustees who will pick up the financial ball if you become incapacitated and who will manage your final affairs and distribute inheritances if you pass on. In fact, it is the first of what I...

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Short Form Estate Planning Cheat Sheets Released basic estate planning cheat sheets estate planning checklists getting started Jan 23, 2023

At the beginning of the year, I and my office recommitted ourselves to providing good, accurate estate planning information to both our clients and the general public. As lives get busier and time grows shorter, people who are beginning to look into a subject often begin with small nuggets of...

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Charity Minefields in Estate Planning #estateplanning #trustplanning #trusts 401k assets attorney advice charity ira north carolina stocks tax-deferred accounts Jan 16, 2023

Giving to charities through gifting and estate planning can provide may rewards, and not just a good feeling knowing you are helping others. There are plenty of tax breaks that can come along with being charitable. However, there are also several minefields that can unintentionally hurt you and...

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Estate Planning Traps Impacting Beneficiaries with Special Needs #activitiesofdailyliving #beneficiary #caregivingbasics #disability #estateplanningbooks #guides #medicaid #specialneeds #specialneedsestateplanning Jan 09, 2023

When it comes to estate planning for a beneficiary with special needs, there is no margin for error. This is true not only in terms of making sure that they are protected from themselves or outside influences who may push them to recklessly spend money but also to prevent the loss of valuable...

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New Year’s Revolutions #2023 #estateplanning #estateplanningbasics #financialplanning #legaldocuments #longtermplanning #newyear #resolutions address the press fact-based Jan 02, 2023

It sounds ridiculous that it even has to be stated, but with the New Year we need to focus on fact-based solutions to our problems... and that will be considered "revolutionary." As I usually do, I have been on my annual end-of-year break and, unfortunately, I had a chance to dig a few inches...

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Trust 101: A New Webinar for a New Year Dec 26, 2022

We have launched a new estate planning webinar focused on the basics of a living trust. While a Last Will and Testament is thought of as the norm, a revocable living trust may be a better alternative to avoid probate. In getting back to some basics for 2023, our office decided to create and...

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‘Twas the Night Before Probate #beneficiary #costs #estateplanning #probate #probateprocess #seasonalfavorites Dec 19, 2022

'Twas the night before probate, and all through the house

Not an asset was spared, for there was no spouse

Nor were there children, or any appointed heirs

For the deceased had no plans, nor had he cared

 

The forms were stacked high, with supporting documentation

Billable hours were spent,...

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Medicaid or Moneyball? Dec 06, 2022

When faced with a long term care crisis and the accompanying astronomical monthly costs, families often push to keep doing things the same way they always have, just better or more efficiently. They keep pushing ahead with their fingers crossed that, somehow, they can preserve enough money to pay...

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No Kids… Who Gets My Estate? Dec 05, 2022

A frequent question from clients is who should be their beneficiaries, or contingent beneficiaries, if there are no children or grandchildren? In this review of a Reddit thread on r/estateplanning, Jeff reviews the advice and comments given as well as providing his own experience as an estate...

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Mom Needs Help... What Do We Do?: Basic Long Term Care Options #activitiesofdailyliving #adls #caregivingbasics #estateplanningbasics #howtoprovidepersonalcare #iadls #instrumentalactivitiesofdailyliving #longtermbasics #longtermplanning #medicaid #medicaidplanning #process #seniors Dec 05, 2022

While Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning is often focused on preserving money, at least for the families who speak with me, but the overall process has to be about more than just assets and income. Unfortunately, many professionals push those aside and focus only on the money without sufficient...

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The Red Tape Estate: The Probate Process Explained #estateplanningbasics #probate #probateprocess Nov 28, 2022

Ever since my grandfather passed on and my grandmother had to deal with a year and a half of uncertainty, convoluted procedures, and legal bills, I made it my mission to find ways for my clients to avoid the red tape of probate. But not only did I want to help my clients, but I also wanted to...

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Seven Traps and Five Power-Ups in Special Needs Estate Planning #beneficiary #estateplanning #planning #specialneeds #specialneedsestateplanning Nov 21, 2022

There are multiple traps, myths, and outright falsehoods when it comes to estate planning for a special needs beneficiary, and it doesn’t help when these lies spread like wildfire. But why do they spread? Usually because someone had a single good or bad experience, and they wrongly...

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