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What Happens to Your Online Content When You Die?

Lavelle & Finn


More and more of the music, movies, and books we own exist only online, in digital form. What happens to these collections after the owner dies? Surprisingly, while you may want your heirs to have access to the books, music and films that you loved, without a physical copy these items cannot be easily passed […]

What Is a Directed Trust and What Are Its Benefits?

Lavelle & Finn


Directed trusts can be a useful estate planning tool, allowing you to place your family’s assets in a trust but benefit from the expertise of an advisor who knows more about the handling of certain trust functions than you may.  The benefit of a directed trust is it allows you to retain control while appointing […]

Passing Assets to Grandchildren Through a Generation-Skipping Trust

Lavelle & Finn


Passing assets to your grandchildren can be a great way to ensure their future is provided for, and a generation-skipping trust can help you accomplish this goal while reducing estate taxes and also providing for your children.   A generation-skipping trust allows you to “skip” over the generation directly below you and pass your assets […]

Why Everyone Should Have an Estate Plan

Lavelle & Finn


Do you have a will? A durable power of attorney? A health care proxy? If so, no reason to read on. If not, why not? Failure to create an estate plan risks causing discord in your family for generations to come. The following are four often stated reasons for not having an estate plan: Just […]

Court Case Illustrates the Danger of Using an Online Power of Attorney Form

Lavelle & Finn


A recent court case involving a power of attorney demonstrates the problem with using online estate planning forms instead of hiring an attorney who can make sure your documents are tailored to your needs.   Mercedes Goosley owned a home in Pennsylvania. In 2013, she named one of her six children, Joseph, as her agent […]

How an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Can Be Used to Avoid or Reduce the Estate Tax

Lavelle & Finn


With the federal estate tax exemption possibly about to be lowered, it may be time to think about steps you can take to keep your estate from being taxed. An irrevocable life insurance trust allows you to pass on money to your heirs while avoiding both the federal estate tax, as well as any applicable […]

What Is the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax?

Lavelle & Finn


The estate tax gets all the press, but if you are leaving property to a grandchild, there is an additional tax you should know about. The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax is a tax on property that is passed from a grandparent to a grandchild (or great-grandchild) in a will or trust. The tax is also […]

Younger Adults Now More Likely to Have a Will, According to Survey

Lavelle & Finn


A new survey has found that motivated in part by the coronavirus pandemic, younger adults are now more likely to have a will than middle-aged adults. Nevertheless, the overall percentage of Americans with a will has dropped over the past several years.   Caring.com’s 2021 estate planning survey found that for the first time since the […]

Using a No-Contest Clause to Prevent Heirs from Challenging a Will or Trust

Lavelle & Finn


If you are worried that disappointed heirs could contest your will or trust after you die, one option is to include a “no-contest clause” in your estate planning documents. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will or trust and loses, then he or she will get nothing. A no-contest clause may […]

The Vacation Home: Uniting the Family or Tearing It Apart?

Lavelle & Finn


Inheriting a vacation home with your siblings can be a great thing or it can cause huge problems within the family. Planning ahead can help prevent sibling disagreements.  When siblings co-own property and one sibling wants to sell, that sibling can demand to be bought out. If the other siblings can’t come up with the […]