No One Knows Your Machine Better Than You

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If someone asked you if you have your affairs in order, what would you say?  Would you sit back and relax in your favorite chair knowing that you have met with your attorney and your instructions are clearly mapped out, signed and notarized? Your life is a well-oiled machine right?    Well-oiled does not mean…

Planning for a Non-event – Avoid Family Squabbles Over Stuff

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"I never thought my family would act this way."   These are the words out of my friend's mouth when she was describing her husband's family after a death.   Unfortunately, the stories of family discord are outnumbering the "smooth transitions" almost 2 to 1.     The concept of survivorship planning is founded on capturing all the details…

Online Presence: What happens to it after death?

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As I was talking "wall-to-wall" about suvivorship planning on my Facebook page, it occurred to me that people don't really think about their identities in the social networks or email accounts that will live on forever past their death if not managed  by their survivors.    Thus, the subject of this article came to mind -…

Access to Bank Accounts

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Bank accounts are a standard part of  most everyone's life.  It's a pretty easy concept, money goes in - money comes out.   How it can affect your Survivorship Plan when you pass away is another story.      It depends on: 1.  how your accounts are set up. 2. how your family perceives they will have…

Have a Heart – Bringing Organ Donation Front and Center

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His name was Kevin Underhill.   Back in August of last year, he was killed in a bicycling accident while racing in a weekly event called the Driveway Series, held on the east side of Austin.     This news caught my attention as my significant other had also been racing bikes out there.       Since…

IRAs – A Couple of Things Everyone Should Know

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Having up-to-date beneficiary designations is a must for any Survivorship Plan.   Along with everything else in life, an IRA may not be as straight forward as you think.     I have combed through several references including the IRS publications to really understand the nuances to inheriting an IRA and it has left me scratching my…

"If I could do one thing to plan for a death, what would it be?"

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We have collected a great variety of questions from our visitors.      This one came to us from Delores P.  here in Austin. "I don't have a lot of money or time to spend on planning.   What would be the one thing you would recommend I do for my elderly parents who are in their…

"Should I make of list of all items I own and who they go to as part of my will?"

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What a great question!     Most every client who has gone through the inventory process seem to eventually come around to this question.  In my opinion, it's a wise thing to leave instructions for items to be distributed to particular family members or friends, especially if you feel strongly about it.      HOWEVER, the caveat to that…

Death Tax, Estate Tax and Inheritance Tax

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The other day, I was in a conversation with someone who used these terms interchangeably.      About 15 minutes into the conversation, I was confused as to his points on the tax situation he was describing.      So, I thought I had better add this to my list of things to cover so…

Old Estate Documents

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How true the old adage "oh how time flies!"   When it comes to how your estate is set up, take note!     With a plethora of cases where estate documents were "yellowing" with time, it becomes apparent that this is one pitfall that needs to be addressed.   When estate documents are years…