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Lauren's Take On The Law

Two Essential Things to Add to Your Moving Checklist

Posted by Lauren Rios | May 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

There is a lot to think about when moving: along with organizing and packing up all of your belongings, there is also starting and stopping utilities, mail forwarding, updating voter registration, and so on. While the ever-growing number of items on your moving to-do list may be overwhelming, it is important not to overlook two essential items that should be added to your moving checklist: (1) locating your important documents and (2) meeting with your advisor team.

Using a Standby Supplemental Needs Trust to Protect Your Loved Ones

Posted by Lauren Rios | Mar 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

We all plan for “just-in-case” scenarios. When packing for our week-long vacation, we throw in a rain jacket even though the weather forecast is sunny—just in case. When planning for the future, it is also important to consider what will happen just in case one of your loved ones becomes disabled. Read this blog post to see how you can include this important safety net into your existing trust.

Estate Planning Lessons We Learned from US Presidents

Posted by Lauren Rios | Feb 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

February 21 is the day on which we celebrate several US presidents who made noteworthy contributions to our country. As with any discussion that involves politics, a discussion about US presidents risks generating a variety of opinions about which reasonable minds can disagree. However, politics is not the focus of this month’s newsletter. Instead, our aim is to examine a few of the important lessons we can learn from the estate planning of some of our country’s most famous political leaders.

Apple User? Here's How to Add a Legacy Contact for Your Apple ID

Posted by Lauren Rios | Dec 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

One of the questions I receive from family members after a loved one passes away is how can they access their deceased family member's iPhone or Mac account to retrieve precious family photos or messages. Until recently I would tell those family members that they would need a court order from the Probate Judge to gain access. In December 2021, Apple released a new update for their products that now allows individuals to designate a Legacy Contact (or contacts) to have access to their data in their Apple accounts after their death. If set up properly, designating your Legacy Contact will eliminate the need for a costly and time consuming court petition. This blog post contains step by step instructions from Apple, Inc. Support for adding a Legacy Contact to your Apple ID account.

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Don't Fall Victim to These Common Myths

Posted by Lauren Rios | Oct 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

Next week is Estate Planning Awareness Week (October 18–24, 2021). To that end, this month’s newsletter is geared toward helping you become aware of and better understand common estate planning myths. Left unaddressed, these myths can create serious trouble for your loved ones, often leading to intrafamily conflict, permanently damaged relationships, and lengthy and expensive court battles. Read about these myths in this blog post.


Posted by Lauren Rios | Sep 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

For many pet owners, pets are members of the family. These individuals often say that if something happens to them, they are more concerned with what will happen to their pets than to their children or spouse. This post examines the issues surrounding caring for pets after the disability or death of the pet's owner.

Preparing for the Reduction in the Estate Tax Exemption

Posted by Lauren Rios | Sep 07, 2021 | 0 Comments

In late May of this year, the U.S. Treasury released a publication detailing a number of the proposed tax code changes that the Biden administration would like to usher through Congress in an ambitious effort to modernize the US tax system to meet its citizens’ needs. While reasonable minds may differ strongly on the best way to stimulate the US economy and create wealth and security for the American people, one thing is certain: the need for individuals to engage in careful estate and tax planning to avoid paying more tax than necessary is not going away.

Did You Choose More Than One Successor Trustee?

Posted by Lauren Rios | Aug 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

When selecting a successor trustee for a trust, it is common for the individual who creates the trust (the trustmaker) to choose one person to serve as a successor trustee at a time. Some attorneys routinely recommend that only a single successor trustee be appointed to avoid the potential for conflicts between co-trustees during trust administration. This can be a prudent approach and works well in many situations. But there are situations where having more than one trustee may be a good idea. Read more about this in our latest blog post!

Planning to Receive an Inheritance

Posted by Lauren Rios | Jul 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

Believe it or not, there are some essential things you must consider when you anticipate receiving an inheritance. Understanding these issues can be crucial to protect that inheritance from unnecessary taxes and outside threats like creditors, divorcing spouses, and bankruptcy.

President Biden's First One Hundred Days: Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Posted by Lauren Rios | May 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

This year has been unprecedented from a political perspective in many ways. President Joe Biden stepped into office facing huge obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy battered by the pandemic, a crumbling national infrastructure in dire need of repair, an ongoing immigration crisis at our southern border, and deep political and social divisions in this country, among other challenges.

Trust Protectors

Posted by Lauren Rios | Mar 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

Traditionally, the three roles that must be filled when setting up a trust are the settlor (also called a grantor, trustor, or trustmaker), the trustee, and the beneficiary. All three roles are necessary to create a trust that functions properly. Although it is relatively common to use trust protectors in foreign asset protection trusts, a trust protector is a fairly new role in trusts drafted in the United States for estate planning purposes. However, as the number of trusts designed to last for generations grows, estate plans need more built-in flexibility. Giving a trust protector, through the terms of the trust, certain powers over the trust, such as removing or appointing trustees, adding or removing beneficiaries, and amending or even terminating the trust, ensures that your intentions for creating the trust are fulfilled despite changing law or circumstances.


Posted by Lauren Rios | Feb 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you have already done your estate planning, you have taken a significant step toward ensuring that your loved ones will know how to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated or die. However, simply having a will or a trust and related estate planning documents is often not enough. A detailed inventory of all of your accounts and property is crucial for helping your loved ones manage your legal and financial affairs effectively.

Estate Planning: Thinking Beyond "Death Planning"

Posted by Lauren Rios | Jan 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

For most people, it is perfectly natural to think about estate planning only in terms of planning for death. While planning for your death is very important, if that is all you plan for, your planning can quickly become woefully inadequate. Read more in this blog post.


Posted by Lauren Rios | Jul 07, 2020 | 0 Comments

When you hire an estate planning attorney, you are often looking for help with preparing your accounts and property to ultimately pass smoothly and safely to your loved ones. This is a key component of estate planning. An experienced estate planning attorney will put much thought and effort into ensuring that an appropriate estate plan is created using a variety of legal documents including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These important tools can ensure that what you own ends up in the right hands, at the right time, and with as little cost and delay as possible.

Retirement Updates Amid COVID-19

Posted by Lauren Rios | May 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

On May 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published questions and answers regarding retirement provisions in Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to providing aid for individuals and businesses, the CARES Act increases accessibility to funds and loans from certain retirement plans and accounts. The information the IRS recently published clarifies which individuals may benefit from the legislation and which plans and accounts are covered.

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