NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are the latest sensation in the cryptocurrency universe, or as we like to call it the “Cryptoverse.” And if you haven’t heard about NFTs yet, now is a great time to learn because they are likely to be a big part of our collective future.
So what is an NFT?
In the most basic terms, an NFT is a cryptographic token that exists on a blockchain and is used to establish proof of ownership of digital artwork, videos, GIFs, collectibles, and other digital assets. While NFTs use the same blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency, NFTs themselves are not a traditional currency, though they can operate similarly to currency. Some people call them JPGs because they are literally graphic images, but they represent much more than just a simple JPG file.
NFTs have been generating a major buzz in the tech and art sectors for years now, but after Christie’s auction house sold a single NFT...
Some people assume that because they’ve named a specific heir as the beneficiary of their IRA in their will or trust that there’s no need to list the same person again as beneficiary in their IRA paperwork. Because of this, they often leave the IRA beneficiary form blank or list “my estate” as the beneficiary.
But this is a major mistake—and one that can lead to serious complications and expense.
IRAs aren’t like other estate assets
First off, your IRA is treated differently than other assets, such as a car or house, in that the person you name on your IRA’s beneficiary form is the one who will inherit the account’s funds, even if a different person is named in your will or in a trust. Your IRA beneficiary designation controls who gets the funds, no matter what you may indicate elsewhere.
Given this, you must ensure your IRA’s beneficiary designation form is up to date and lists either the name of the person you want to inherit your...
On September 13, 2021, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a new $3.5 trillion proposed spending plan that includes a wide array of changes to federal tax laws. Specifically, the Democrats proposed a number of significant tax increases and other changes to fund the plan, including increases to personal income tax rates and the capital gains tax rate, along with a major reduction to the federal estate and gift tax exclusion and new restrictions on Grantor Trusts that would basically eliminate such trust’s ability to be used as planning vehicles.
While the proposed legislation is still under consideration and far from being finalized, given the broad-reaching impact these changes stand to have, we strongly encourage you to contact us now if you would be affected by the proposed legislation should it eventually pass. With the exception of capital gains rate increase, which could go into effect on transactions that occur on or after Sept. 13, 2021, most of the...
On September 13, 2021, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a new $3.5 trillion proposed spending plan that includes a wide array of changes to federal tax laws. Specifically, the Democrats have proposed a number of significant tax increases and other changes to fund the plan, including increases to personal income tax rates and the capital gains tax rate, along with a major reduction to the federal estate and gift tax exclusion and new restrictions on Grantor Trusts that would basically eliminate such trust’s ability to be used as planning vehicles.
While the proposed legislation is still under consideration and far from being finalized, given the broad-reaching impact these changes stand to have, we strongly encourage you to take action now if you would be affected by the proposed legislation if it does pass. With the exception of capital gains rate increase, which could go into effect on transactions that occur on or after Sept. 13, 2021, most of the proposed...
Maybe you’ve heard that before investing in a professional service you should “get three estimates.” This is often wise advice, but it’s actually a bad idea when it comes to estate planning. Hear me out. This article explains why and how you can ensure you get the most efficient and affordable plan possible for your family without shopping estate planning lawyers the way you may think.
Let’s begin with why “getting three estimates” for an estate plan doesn’t work to actually get you what you want.
First and foremost, this recommendation assumes that you should be shopping for an estate plan based on cost and that you understand exactly what you are shopping for and how to evaluate those estimates.
Shopping for an estate plan based on getting the lowest cost plan possible is the fastest path to leaving your family with an empty set of documents (maybe in a beautiful binder, but not worth the paper they are written on) that...
If you love crime documentaries and shows like 20/20 or Dateline as much as I do, then you probably remember this story in the headlines. In undergrad I dual majored in both pre-law and psychology. These types of stories fascinate me when it comes to the psychology of things like cults and how they play on a person's weakness - often to feel a place of belonging and inclusion when they have experienced loss. Though most of us are not dealing with this level of wealth, the amount of money is really irrelevant to the end message. However much you have worked to build and save, you intend to pass that on to your heirs, and the lessons of asset protection remain the same. Read below as I walk through an example of extreme wealth and one of modest inheritance and how a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust could have avoided loss of inheritance in both scenarios.
When you create your estate plan, the idea that one of your adult children would ever use their...
While some of those TV commercials for free credit-score report companies are pretty funny, having errors on your credit report is no laughing matter. Indeed, your credit score is one of the main factors determining your access to loans, credit cards, housing, and sometimes even jobs.
From late payments that were actually made on time, and paid debts that are still listed in collections, to fake accounts opened in your name by identity thieves, there are all kinds of errors that can end up in your report. What’s more, even if the mistakes were made by the banks, lenders, and/or credit bureaus, they have no obligation to fix them—unless you report them.
Given this, it’s vital to monitor your credit score regularly and take immediate action to have any errors corrected. Here, we'll discuss a few of the most common mistakes found in credit reports and how to fix them.
Finding and fixing errors
The first step to ensure your credit report stays error-free is to obtain a...
The Legal Planning You Need to Do for Your High School Graduate
If you’re the parent of a high school graduate this year, congratulations! You’ve put in a lot of time and effort toward their earning that diploma, and whatever their next step in life will be, you likely want to protect them just as much as you did while they were still in high school.
But before you pack that kid off to college or just an apartment across town, you need to know that when they leave, they will be taking some of the legal rights you had before they turned 18 with them.
Once a child turns 18, they are no longer considered a child in the eyes of the law. And you no longer have the legal right to access their health care, school, or banking records without their permission. Here are some steps you should take before your child leaves the nest that will help ensure your peace of mind and their safety:
Create an advance healthcare directive. Once your child is...
One of the biggest appeals of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, is that it is decentralized, unregulated, and anonymous. There are no financial institutions controlling it, and unless you tell someone you own digital currency, it remains a secret.
When it comes to estate planning, however, that kind of secrecy can be disastrous. In fact, without the appropriate planning protections in place, all of your crypto wealth will disappear the moment you die or become incapacitated, leaving your family with absolutely no way to recover it.
Indeed, we’re facing a potential crisis whereby millions—perhaps billions—of dollars’ worth of family wealth could potentially vanish into thin air unless you take action to protect your digital assets with estate planning. Fortunately, putting the appropriate safeguards in place is a fairly straightforward process for a Lawyer to assist you with completing.
The first step in securing your crypto assets is to let your heirs...
Maybe you, like many of us, have been raised to think that the safest way to live in the working world is to have a "good career" and a steady paycheck. This financial crisis is challenging that framework for many people. Even if you had a steady job, and even if you still have one, by now you’ve learned how easy it is for that security to disappear overnight. You are not owed a job by your employer no matter how hard you work.
A recession can reveal all of our negative thoughts and internal monologues about money. A sad, yet common, attitude is for us to see money as a scarce resource, and income as something that’s outside of our control. Thinking or talking about money can trigger feelings of guilt and shame in many people.
It doesn’t have to be that way! The truth is, money is a tool that you can access and multiply, independent of anyone else’s permission. The society of capitalism want you to believe there is only so much pie and you...