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Estate Planning

Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler > Estate Planning

Don’t Drop the Ball on Establishing a Special Needs Trust

We all know how fast time goes by during the holidays – before we know it, the ball will drop on a brand new year! On the bright side, this is a great time to resolve to do the things we’ve been meaning to do but somehow never got around to. If you have a special needs child receiving government benefits and you plan to leave them money, or anyone else in your family may leave them money, it’s essential to have a Special Needs Trust in place so the money does not pass through their hands and they do...

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Clearing the Cobwebs about Estate Planning

October is the month for apples, pumpkins, crisp fall weather and Halloween spells – and National Estate Planning Awareness Week, October 18-24. For the attorneys at Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler, the time is always right to dispel some of the common misconceptions about Estate Planning. According to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC), Estate Planning is an often-overlooked element of financial wellness. It is estimated that over half of Americans – 56% – do not have an up-to-date estate plan. If you fall into that category, it’s possible that one or more myths have been standing in your...

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Make 2021 the Year you Act to Protect your Family’s Future

By Mariann Crincoli, Esq. January is the start of a new year, bringing new hopes and possibilities. It’s also National Financial Wellness Month, a great time to make sure you have a comprehensive estate plan in place to protect your family and your special needs child into the future. Why is having an estate plan important, no matter the size of your estate? Through estate planning, you ensure that your assets will go to your intended beneficiaries. You also may save money on taxes, court costs, and attorney’s fees, and prevent disputes and financial confusion among heirs. In addition, you can protect...

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Special Needs Estate Planning: Which Documents Do I Need?

(This is the third article in our multi-part estate planning series.)   If you have a child with special needs, there are countless issues you must consider as you plan for their future care and well-being. You are their primary guardian today – but what happens if you are suddenly incapacitated or otherwise unable to continue in your caregiving role? Of course, you want your child to be cared for according to your wishes. Now, we understand this is very personal information. You may feel you want to “keep it in the family” and not involve an outsider in your personal business. However, you...

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Prior Proper Estate Planning Eases Stress of the Unknown

(This article is part two of a multi-part series: Estate Plan Development for Parents of Children with Special Needs)   The basic premise of this article holds true regardless of whether you have a child with special needs or the simplest of circumstances. Planning is the key to estate planning – it’s even in the name! There are so many parts of the puzzle when it comes to making sure that your wishes are carried out in the event of a life-altering crisis. It’s especially critical when the plans you make today will considerably impact the future of your child with special needs. As...

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Organization: 1st Step to Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs

It’s never too late to plan for the future when you have a child with disabilities. While it’s easy to feel that the future is far away and there will always be enough time to plan, we all know that life offers no guarantees. In fact, when it comes to making sure your child with special needs is guaranteed care, if and when you are unable to provide care, a good strategy is to prepare an estate plan — now. Planning an Estate Plan early offers important benefits. Since prior property planning saves on costly mistakes, you can save money. Also, your...

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The fundamentals of Estate Planning: How to protect your family’s future

One of the best ways to help assure that your assets will be managed for your family as you intend is to develop a comprehensive estate plan designed to meet your individual needs. The estate planning process typically involves working with your financial, tax and legal advisors to develop a customized estate plan. Many estate plans include the following: Last Wills and Testaments Durable Financial Powers of Attorney Advance Medical Directives Revocable and/or Irrevocable Trusts Insurance Trusts Charitable Remainder Trusts Minor's Trusts - Spendthrift Trusts By-Pass or Credit Shelter Trusts Marital Trusts (QTIP) Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts or Grantor Retained Uni-Trusts ...

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Type of Trusts

There are two basic types of trusts: living trusts and testamentary trusts. A Living Trust or an “inter-vivos” trust is set up during the person’s lifetime. A Testamentary trust is set up in a will and established only after the person’s death when the will goes into effect. Living trusts can be either “revocable” or “irrevocable.” Revocable trusts allow you to retain control of all the assets in the trust, and you are free to revoke or change the terms of the trust at any time. With irrevocable trusts, the assets in it are no longer yours, and typically you can’t make changes without the beneficiary’s consent....

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What you need you know about special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for your family’s future

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Alex Hilsen is an attorney and Certified Financial Planner at Sussan Greenwald & Wesler.  In the following interview, he answers some of the most common questions he has fielded lately from his parents. Q: Who needs to think about estate planning and special needs trusts – everyone, or just parents who have children whom they expect will not live independently as adults? A: Everyone with a child should have an estate plan. It lays out or directs how your money will be distributed and who should care for your children in case of emergency or death.  If...

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