Financial Planning

I had a breakfast meeting this morning with Alli Joseph, creator of Seventh Generation Stories, who shared with me her vision as to the meaning of the word “legacy.” Customarily, in the financial professions and in the estate planning field, we generally think of “leaving a legacy” in financial terms, or otherwise with respect to property and inheritance. When used in this context we believe you should consider forming a domestic asset trust to protect your financial treasures.

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Online Wills & The Ethical Dilemma

My friend in the insurance business sent me last week an article from the Wall Street Journal which generally came out favorably towards online Will preparation systems. Usually I would have gone on a rant as to the ignorance of people who believe they can get an estate plan done over the internet for $15, but at that particular moment I instead found myself in an ethical dilemma.

The reason is that by and large will and trust preparation is simply not a good profit center in my practice for couples in the $100,000 – $300,000 income bracket, and with assets less than than a few million dollars (including the house and 401(k)’s). This is because those folks, generally couples in their 30′s to 50′s, simply are not going to (by and large) pay $3,500 or more (depending on complexity) to have their Wills, Trusts, and Advanced Directives drafted. But I know from experience that such a couple is going to come into my office for a first interview and talk to me for an hour or more about their assets and issues and ask a ton of questions; and then I’ll draft their documents, and the couple will want to come in again and review and ask more questions and make changes, and then I’ll have to draft the documents over again; perhaps another telephone conversation, and another draft of the corrected documents, and then the execution ceremony, where things perhaps need to get changed again.

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Estate Planning

An excellent way for your clients to save money (perhaps a lot of money) on their estate planning engagement is to have much of the preliminary work done ahead of time. In other words, much of the cost of having an estate plan prepared is caused by the time and effort it takes for the attorney to educate the client about the options available, gather and sort the various documents which are needed to develop the plan, and then discuss your clients’ goals and objectives. Many run estate planning practices by Continue reading Estate Planning

Immigration is Demographically Inevitable

With so much debate on illegal immigration, we rarely discuss legal immigration – our laws and policies – and how they can be used to lessen the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.  Here to shed light on one of those policies, in what he calls the tyranny of priority dates is Gary Endelman.   But first, Gary discusses why immigration in the United States is ‘demographically’ inevitable.  Endelman is the In-house Immigration Counsel for BP America Inc., handling all U.S. immigration law for the BP group of companies through­out the world since 1995.


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