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2 Conversations About Money and Death You Need to Have With Your Parents Right Now

If you’ve given any thought about estate planning, you probably associate it with preparing for death. But did you know that there are critical reasons (and significant benefits) for planning while you’re still well and alive? That’s why we refer to our services as Life & Legacy Planning. When done right, planning for your assets and your death is something that should start right now through honest, open conversations with your family.

It starts by talking with your parents, siblings, and children about what you want the future of your family to look like, how you’d like assets managed, and what type of care each family member would want in the event of a debilitating or terminal illness.

You may have already started a conversation about estate planning with your family. But here, we dive deeper into the conversations you need to have right now to truly understand your family’s financial picture and plan for the future in the best...

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Want to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them? Put Them In Your Will?

Uncategorized May 29, 2024

Love is undoubtedly the most profound and cherished thread that weaves us all together, and there are many different ways to express our love to the people who mean the most to us. Often when we think of showing our love, we think of bouquets of flowers, surprise gifts, and meaningful notes. But an often overlooked – and incredibly meaningful – way of showing your love is to put that love into a plan for the future. 

While estate planning may seem like a realm of financial jargon and legalities, it is, at its core, a tangible expression of your care for those closest to you. (And that’s why I refer to estate planning as Life & Legacy Planning.)

In this blog, we'll look at why adding your partner to your not only your Will, but your holistic estate plan isn’t just a romantic gesture but the ultimate act of love.

Providing Care and Protection

Estate planning is typically associated with financial matters and legal technicalities, but at its core, it's...

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PARENTS, STEP-PARENTS AND CHILDREN, OH MY! BLENDED FAMILIES + DEATH = A POTENTIAL NIGHTMARE

blended family May 23, 2024

Anyone who’s seen an episode of “Modern Family” knows that families these days come in many different shapes and sizes. Long gone are the days when a “family” was defined as a mother, father and two children (or was it 2.5 children? Where does the .5 come from anyway?). In this article, we’ll focus on one of the types of families that’s common in our modern culture: the blended family. 

The Unique Dynamics At Play in Blended Families

A “blended family” comes into being when parents divorce, or are widowed, and a person remarries. You also don't have to actually be married (a partnership of any shape counts) to have a blended family situtation. While everyone may get along effortlessly while the parent is alive, that too-often doesn’t happen once the parent dies. Why? Because the law still hasn’t caught up to our modern definition of “family.” The law often favors the spouse, which works well when the...

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Think Your Kids Will Automatically Be Cared For In the Way You Want? They Might Not Be Unless You Do This

As parents, we're hardwired to prioritize our children's well-being above all else. We work tirelessly to provide for them, nurture them, and ensure they have every opportunity to thrive. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to overlook a crucial aspect of their future: what happens to them if we're no longer here to care for them?

It's a sobering thought, but one that deserves your attention. You may assume that in the event of your untimely passing, your children will automatically be cared for and inherit your assets. However, the reality is far more complex and potentially unsettling.

Let's unpack why relying on these assumptions could leave your children's future in uncertain hands.

The Myth of Automatic Care

Yes, it's true that your children will inherit your assets upon your passing (if there is not a surviving spouse in most cases). However, without advance planning, the management of those assets will fall into the hands of a court-appointed trustee....

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14 Ways to Show Your Finances Some Love This Year - Part 2

We talk a lot about love and legacy here at Breiner Law Firm. Specifically, how to show your loved ones, well, love, through specialized Life and Legacy Planning®.  

But, there's a different kind of love that deserves our attention: the love we show ourselves, our family, and our wallet through thoughtful financial planning.

Now I know what you’re thinking – that doesn’t sound as fun or showy as a fancy night out,  a bouquet of flowers, or even a night in with Netflix - not that kind of love! But trust me, making smart planning decisions with your assets is one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones – and a gift that keeps giving over time.

Last week we explored 7 ways to show your finances and your family some love with smart, tax-advantaged financial tips for the new year:

  1. Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)
  2. Front-load Your 401(k) Contributions
  3. Set Up an IRA for a Child
  4. Make Donations During Spring Cleaning
  5. Give the...
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14 Ways to Show Your Finances Some Love This Year - Part 1

We talk a lot about love and legacy here at Breiner Law Firm. Specifically, how to show your loved ones, well, love, through specialized Life and Legacy Planning®.  

But, there's a different kind of love that deserves our attention: the love we show ourselves, our family, and our wallet through thoughtful financial planning.

Now I know what you’re thinking – that doesn’t sound as fun or showy as a fancy night out,  a bouquet of flowers, or even a night in with Netflix - not that kind of love! But trust me, making smart planning decisions with your assets is one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones – and a gift that keeps giving over time.

This week, we explore seven tax planning tips that not only secure your financial future but also spread love and prosperity to those you cherish most. Next week, we’ll be back with another 7 ways to spice things up financially this year.

1 | Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution...

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3 Estate Planning Documents Your Parents Need Right Now

Today, we're diving into a topic that is absolutely crucial: estate planning for your parents. As they gracefully navigate their golden years, ensuring their peace of mind (and yours!) becomes a top priority. Whether they raised you the way you want, or showed you how you want to do it differently, as your parents' age, one of the very best things you can do for your own best future, and that of your entire future lineage - your children, grandchildren, and beyond - is to take great care of the people you were born to or raised by.

The questions you need to start asking now are: How will you help them if they become ill or injured? Who will take care of their bills and make sure their health needs are met? How do they want to be cared for, if and when they cannot care for themselves?

The starting place is open conversation and a power trio of estate planning tools swoop in to save the day: the General Durable Financial Power of Attorney, the Advance Directives (including Power of...

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This New Law Makes It Easier to Save for Retirement and Pay Off School Loans At The Same Time

Navigating your financial journey with the heavy burden of student loan debt on your back can feel overwhelming. You're faced with a critical decision: should you prioritize paying down those loans, or should you focus on the future, contributing to your workplace retirement plan? It's a tough call, especially when choosing loan payments means missing out on the opportunity to grow your savings through employer retirement matches.

But there's good news on the horizon, thanks to the SECURE 2.0 Act. This groundbreaking legislation is here to offer a helping hand, allowing your student loan payments to qualify for employer retirement matching contributions. It's a win-win, enabling you to tackle your debt while also building your nest egg.

Are you wondering if this financial boost applies to you? Keep reading, because we're about to explore how the SECURE 2.0 Act could be the solution you've been searching for.

What The SECURE 2.0 Act Means for The Student Loan Dilemma

For many of us,...

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Protecting Your Family's Safety Net: How to Set Up Your Life Insurance Policy The Right Way

A comprehensive Life & Legacy Plan is about creating a strategy that lets you enjoy your life to the fullest while protecting your loved ones' future when you can no longer be there. It might seem like life insurance is an easy way to help secure your loved ones’ future – and it is – but your policy must be set up in the right way to have the best possible impact on your family.

The way you set up your beneficiary designations on your insurance policy can significantly impact its effectiveness, how it’s used, and who controls it after you die. In this blog, we'll explore how not to name beneficiaries on your life insurance and how to name beneficiaries to ensure your loved ones have the funds they need to thrive when something happens to you. 

DO NOT Name a Minor As The Beneficiary of Your Life Insurance Policy  

Naming your child or grandchild as a direct (or even backup) beneficiary of your life insurance policy may seem like a natural...

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April Fools! How DIY Wills and Trusts Offer a False Sense of Security … and May Leave Your Family With an Expensive Mess

If you’ve been traveling around the sun for a while, you’ve no doubt heard of a Will, a document that says what happens to your money and belongings after you die. You may even have a Will, or know you should get one. And maybe you’ve heard of a Trust and wondered what it is and how it works. You may have even done research on Google about how to do your own Will or Trust.

In fact, it’s hard to poke around the internet and not find a do-it-yourself (“DIY”) Will and Trust service. Legal Zoom, TrustandWill.com, and even media personalities Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman offer cheap DIY documents. What these websites won’t do, however, is explain the potential consequences that can happen if you use one of their services. 

Legal Documents Have Legal Consequences

The truth is that Trusts and Wills, and other documents that all adults should have in place, like a health care directive and power of attorney, are legal documents with legal...

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Minnesota Parents' Night Out!

It's time to take a break & enjoy a night out! Join us for the perfect combination of entertainment & education.