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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My Mom is on Her Deathbed… What Do I Do?! Oct 25, 2022

Unfortunately, many people leave planning their estate to the last minute, or they never make a plan at all. In this edition, Jeff examines options and advice from other attorneys to a son trying to frantically get his mother’s wishes in place as she lays in her deathbed.

 

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Going Live? What Are We Talking About? Oct 24, 2022

With more and more media choices, people are gravitating towards a live format... even if that live format is a just a replay of the live broadcast. When it comes to video, views, likes, shares, and comment numbers don't lie. It's also one of the most relaxed formats to execute, so why isn't...

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My Spouse Isn’t My Beneficiary?! #beneficiary #estateplanning #namedbeneficiary #probate #spouses #trusts Oct 18, 2022

When it comes to estate planning, coordinating ownership title and beneficiary designations with your revocable living trust and the overall plan is essential if you actually want to avoid probate. In this video, Jeff explains the reasoning behind why your revocable living trust should be the...

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How Much Does Probate Cost? #costs #estateplanning #financialplanning #financials #lastwillandtestament #livingwill #probate #trustplanning #trusts Oct 17, 2022

Probate will cost. A lot. When given the statistics, my clients are usually appalled that their estates going through the probate court system would cost so much. On average, the probate court system will eat up about 4-10% of an estate. Many states allow a standard 5% fee for an executor or...

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Special Needs Myths Oct 14, 2022

In this outtake from The Advanced Institute, a professional conference for estate planners, Jeff reviews the prevalent myths in special needs estate planning that need to be overcome when discussing planning with clients.

 

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Shielding Wealth in the Next Generation Oct 13, 2022

How can you protect the wealth you leave the next generation? There are varying levels of protection depending on how long you want it protected, and how much control and involvement you want the beneficiary to have. In this video, I review and compare protections in a Revocable Living Trust, an...

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"But the Will Says..." Oct 12, 2022

When it comes to a Last Will and Testament, it only controls what ends up in probate. This review of a Reddit thread in r/estateplanning makes it clear that a Will does NOT control everything.

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Asset Protection: Selling an Inherited House Inside a Trust? Oct 11, 2022

Should you keep the proceeds of an inherited house inside Mom’s trust? Does it provide asset protection from creditors, divorcing spouses, and disability/Medicaid spenddowns? In this reaction and commentary on a Reddit question, Jeff reviews the question, options, and pros & cons of...

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Parents Doing Estate Planning... What Should I Know? Oct 10, 2022

The following was a post to Reddit on the r/estateplanning thread along with my response. The person posting was looking for information on what to expect in the meeting with the parents and their attorney... but most of the traditional attorneys jumped into providing advice to the parents on...

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The Bank Won't Honor The Power of Attorney?! financial institutions health care power of attorney incapacitated institution’s forms living will powers of attorney Oct 10, 2022

Unfortunately, there is a trend of banks and other financial institutions refusing to honor powers of attorney because they are not on the institution’s forms. This can cause any variety of complications if discovered after someone is incapacitated. But how can they do that? This video,...

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Is Your Suitcase Packed? #estateplanning attorney livingtrust trust Oct 03, 2022

When it comes to estate planning with a revocable living trust, I often use the suitcase analogy.  When it comes to avoiding probate, a revocable living trust is like a suitcase. It is designed to take your things from one place to another, and there are many different levels of quality. My...

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In-Law Risk Sep 28, 2022

Depending on your family situation, there may be a son-in-law or daughter-in-law you just don’t trust. But what risks need to be addressed when planning an estate? In this outtake from a recent conference Jeff taught at, The Estate Planning Source's Advanced Institute, he examines the types...

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