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When Planning Your Estate, Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

Lavelle & Finn


There are many unknowns when planning an estate, but you can’t let the uncertainties get in the way of creating any kind of plan. Having an imperfect plan is usually better than having no plan at all.  When planning an estate you want to be able to consider all the angles, but there are inevitably […]

Five Topics to Discuss With Your Spouse Before You Retire

Lavelle & Finn


You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept. Many husbands and wives are not in accord about retirement. For example, a study by Fidelity Investments found […]

Dealing with a Deceased Loved One’s Debt Collectors

Lavelle & Finn


The last thing anyone wants after the death of a family member is calls from debt collectors dunning the loved one’s estate. While some family members can be contacted by debt collectors, the family is protected from abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices. Usually the estate is responsible for paying any debts the deceased may have […]

Say It Loud: Fight Over James Brown’s Estate May Finally Be Drawing to a Close

Lavelle & Finn


Litigation over James Brown’s estate has been dragging on for 14 years, but the case took a big step towards resolution when the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the woman claiming a spousal share in Mr. Brown’s estate was never legally married to him.  Mr. Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, married Tommie […]

Make Sure Your Beneficiary Designations Match Your Estate Plan

Lavelle & Finn


Many types of property and investments pass outside of probate and allow you to designate who will receive them after your death. It is important that these designations are kept up to date and are consistent with the rest of your estate plan.  When you open up an investment account or retirement plan or buy […]

5 Ways Your Will Can Become Useless, Or Close to It

Lavelle & Finn


Is having an out-of-date will better than having no will at all? While wills do not have expiration dates, certain changes can render them useless. When this happens, having an out-of-date will can be the same as having no will at all. It is important to review your will periodically to ensure it still does […]

May Someone With Dementia Sign a Will?

Lavelle & Finn


Millions of people are affected by dementia, and unfortunately many of them do not have all their estate planning affairs in order before the symptoms start. If you or a loved one has dementia, it may not be too late to sign a will or other documents, but certain criteria must be met to ensure […]

How Your IRA Can Benefit Both Your Heirs and Charity

Lavelle & Finn


Do you want to use your IRA to help a charity, but also benefit your heirs? Instead of leaving your IRA directly to your children, you can leave it to a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) while still benefiting your children. With the SECURE Act making changes to rules about inherited IRAs, this may be an attractive estate planning option. […]