Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc. From the dawn of time, humans have been concerned with privacy. In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the couple sought the privacy provided by fig leaves as they left the Garden of Eden. When species Homo sapiens emerged, privacy was essential to protect against predators. In today’s world, privacy is more important than ever to protect ourselves from the seemingly … [Read more...] about Basics of Estate Planning: Privacy and Estate Planning
I am always interested in learning why people are coming in to take a closer look at their estate plan. Many people think "estate planning" (i.e., creation of a will, trust or other strategies to transfer assets at death) is about avoiding court processes when somebody dies or making sure to utilize certain federal estate tax exemptions. But those reasons are typically not The Motivator. Sometimes, people will be able to identify The Motivator when I initially ask why they came to my office. … [Read more...] about The Motivator
One of our clients, we’ll just call him Jerry, was in the other day to sign his estate planning documents. He’s a good-looking guy in his early 40s, healthy, and in a great, successful family farming business. Paperwork is not his thing. He would much rather be on the tractor than in an attorney’s office. He has a lot of other things he could be doing. Things he would enjoy more. He mentioned to one of our associates, with a big smile of satisfaction on his face (as he was done signing … [Read more...] about Tackling the “What If” Questions Now Avoids Living with the “If Only” Regrets Later
I met with an amazing gentleman recently. This man, in his eighties, recalled walking to school with a rifle in hopes of catching a rabbit for dinner. On his luckiest of days, he would see a skunk. Skunk pelts could be sold for $5, which was a lot of money in those days. He finished his story this way: “No one told us we were poor. It never affected us because we didn’t know. We made the best of it, and we have been so blessed.” What a valuable perspective! It was so refreshing to hear … [Read more...] about History is Worth Repeating
So many people wonder – how do I bring up the importance of estate planning with my folks? The younger generation often feels torn because they have heard nightmare after nightmare of what has happened to friends or other families when a parent passes away. They hear stories of siblings no longer talking because parents either did not have an estate plan or had a plan that lacked clarity or was impractical to administer after their death. Others have heard stories of families forced to sell … [Read more...] about Cat Got Your Tongue?
At Thompson Law, PLLC., we focus on legacy, but a legacy does not just involve a single person. A legacy requires others to carry it on through the generations. It is not just one person’s values, it is the shared values of a group, of a family. Family Days At Thompson Law, PLLC., legacy (and every meaning that the word carries with it) is so important to us, which is why we have “Family Days.” This can be personalized in a variety of ways. How each Family Day proceeds and how I … [Read more...] about Your Legacy
Part of the joy of being an Estate Planning attorney is hearing stories and building plans that honor who my client is and what he or she stewards. Each client is unique, meaning that I get to position their assets and the character of their family in a thought out, protective manner. It’s a far cry from pushing paper at some desk. My job is to explore my client’s heart and purpose to help them see that their estate plan is not the end, but the beginning for the next generation. After the … [Read more...] about Our Process to Your Estate Plan
Where I spend my time and who I spend it with are so important to me. Before I got cancer I would have said the same thing, but for different reasons. Years ago, circumstances were different and my time was spent differently. My children were younger, my business was young and developing, and there were so many amazing families that needed to design their legacy that I had yet to meet. Now, I have survived cancer and am in remission. There are still demands on my schedule, but they are … [Read more...] about How do you spend your time?
Do you need a legacy plan, but you don’t know where to start or how it works? Do you already have a plan, but things have changed since, and you think it might need a tune-up? Planning is not as daunting it seems, especially when you can follow a step-by-step process. Watch the video below to see what those estate planning stages are, and remember, it’s never too late to be prepared. … [Read more...] about Stages of Planning
We can hope for good weather, hope for a big raise, or hope the cousins still get together for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, hope is not a plan. When we have things that are important to us, it is important to have them in writing. … [Read more...] about Hope Is Not A Plan