James Gandolfini’s will–a dicussion of the merits of the document.

The NY Times has an interesting article about James Gandolfini’s will.  In particular, it points out some common mistakes that are made in the will of many in the general public.  For example, leaving property to someone not of age to properly decide what to do with the property, not making allowances for who is required to pay for upkeep of shared property, and problems with ownership of foreign property.

See the NY Times Story. 



Is Medicaid Planning Illegal?

NO. Medicaid planning is no more illegal than seeking the advice of an accountant or tax attorney to minimize your income taxes. The government sets the law for taxes and for qualifying for Medicaid. These requirements change on a regular basis. It is important to seek the advice of a competent professional in order to take advantage of all the law allows.

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a comprehensive plan by which a person plans how her assets are distributed after her passing. A proper estate plan accounts for estate taxes, probate costs, medicaid law, and veterans affairs law. A proper estate plan memorializes your wishes as to your personal health care in the event you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to communicate your wishes to the medical professionals that are providing you treatment. Your estate plan should include a financial power of attorney so that in the event you are incapacitated a trusted friend or loved one can pay your bills and/or protect your assets while you are unable. Many estate plans further provide instructions as to your personal preferences and desires in the event you were placed in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Make a Book or Special Place For Your Important Documents and Passwords!

A great article in today’s AJC by financial planner Wes Moss about the importance of creating a place for all of your critical documents and passwords. A will or trust is of no value if no one ever finds it after your death. Your health care wishes may be ignored if the medical provider is not furnished a copy of your advance directive. In order to use it, someone has to be able to find it. Please do your loved ones a favor and spare them the stress of having to locate your essential information.

Business clients should also pay attention, if your critical passwords cannot be located, your business may suffer mightily in the event you are medically unable to attend to matters.