As families continue to change and evolve, so do estate planning policies. In 2019, when we discuss estate planning, we must account for a broader definition of family than ever before. Here are several issues to look out for when planning for the future.


Marriage: The first issue concerns marriage; specifically, who is a Spouse and whether or not a person is legally married.  Legal  marriage is usually determined in accordance with  state law.

Continue Reading Estate Planning for 21st Century Families: A Primer

Preparing Your Home and Your Life for Children as a Disabled Parent

Preparing your home for parenthood is something every new parent needs to do, but for parents with disabilities, this sometimes takes a bit more planning. For example, just holding your child might be a special challenge for you depending on your disability, so it’s important to make sure your plans accommodate special circumstances. Perhaps you need to hire someone to modify baby furniture or buy special items that make carrying your baby easier.

Safeguarding Your Home

Childproofing is not a new concept, and it is mostly the same process for you.

Continue Reading Guest Blogger: Ashley Taylor from – Preparing Your Home and Your Life for Children as a Disabled Parent

In the United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court rules that federal government must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in a state for federal law purposes. Below are some tips in an estate planning concept:

  1. Boomerang assets.

Lots of same-sex couples do not have children. While the couple may want to provide for each other, after the death of the second-to-die spouse, they each may have different dispositive wishes.

Continue Reading Estate Planning Tips for same-sex couples

Sometimes adults get adopted. Even though most adults no longer need a parent to make legal and financial decisions for them, adult adoptions still happen for other reasons.

The main reason for adult adoption is usually inheritance. If a person is not related to you biologically or legally, if there is no Will, then the person will not inherit your money. Of course, this issue can often be easily resolved by writing a Will and naming that specific person in the Will.

Continue Reading Can you adopt an adult in New York?

The rate of second and third marriages in the United States continues to increase. Each spouse may bring children, assets, heirlooms, and very specific wishes into the new marriage. Some want their children to inherit the bulk of the assets. Others want specific heirlooms (painting / jewelry / watch) to be passed down to specific people. Relationships within the extended family can deteriorate very fast.

Continue Reading Protecting Your Estate Starts with a Prenuptial (or a Postnuptial) Agreement

The newly enacted ABLE accounts permit people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. Account holders can have up to $100,000 in these accounts without jeopardizing their SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits. Medicaid benefits do not get jeopardized regardless of the amount of money held in these accounts.

These accounts enable disabled individuals to hold money in their name without a need for a Supplemental Needs Trust. This can be very beneficial for people with limited assets.

Continue Reading ABLE accounts

There are many things that can go wrong with an outright distribution:

  1. Judgment creditor can seize a beneficiary’s inheritance

  2. Bankruptcy court can seize a beneficiary’s inheritance

  3. An incapacitated beneficiary can squander an inheritance before anyone can step in to help him.

  4. A divorce court can award some of the beneficiary’s inheritance to an ex-spouse

  5. If the beneficiary doesn’t plan properly himself, his spouse’s family can receive your money

A lifetime discretionary trust, set up either during your life or through a Will, can mitigate against some of these risks. Some of the benefits of a lifetime discretionary trust include:

  1. Protection from beneficiary’s liabilities

  2. Protection from beneficiary’s divorce

  3. Protection during beneficiary’s incapacity

  4. Protection from beneficiary’s profligacy 

Talk to an estate planning attorney to see if setting up a lifetime discretionary trust may be beneficial for your family.

Disclaimer: This article only offers general information.  Each situation is unique.

Continue Reading You may want to think twice before leaving an outright distribution and gift