On January 26th, shocking news came out of Calabasas, California. Basketball great Kobe Bryant, who was just 41 years of age, died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Seven other people passed away along with them, and they were all minors or relatively young adults. There is nothing that can be stated about this tragedy that has not already been acknowledged in a general sense. However, from an estate planning perspective, it points out the importance of … [Read more...] about Kobe Crash Shows Importance of Planning
Estate planning is something that most people are not particularly anxious to think about. But at the same time, as they say, no one here gets out alive. Going through life without making any preparations for something that is definitely going to take place really doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you do decide to put the wheels in motion and begin to look into the process of estate planning, you will hear about something called probate. When you use a last will to express your final wishes, … [Read more...] about Probate 101
You may think about estate planning as the act of creating a document that will direct the transfer of your assets after you are gone. This is definitely a significant part of the equation, but a well-constructed plan will go a step further. It will also address eventualities that you may face toward the end of your life. Incapacity Is Common Until you have had an experience, it is nearly impossible to truly imagine what it would feel like, and this is understandable. This being stated, when … [Read more...] about Assert Your Choices to Prevent a Guardianship
As elder law attorneys, we are very significantly impacted by an emerging demographic phenomenon. During the years after World War II, there were an inordinate number of babies born in the United States. These are the baby boomers, and over recent years, they have started to reach their senior years. Because of this, there is a rapidly aging of the population underway. Across the country, seniors comprise about 14 percent of the population. Here in the Burlington area, it is 16.4 percent … [Read more...] about Census Report: Burlington Senior Population Exceeds National Average
Studies that are conducted to gain an understanding of the estate planning preparedness of people around the country consistently yield some rather disturbing results. Most adults are going through life without any type of estate planning documents, and a very high percentage of younger folks are remiss. According to the American Association of Retired People, only 22 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 36 have a will or some other asset transfer vehicle in place. For people … [Read more...] about Have You Considered the Impact of a Guardianship?
As estate planning and elder law attorneys, we are intimately connected to the probate court. One of the major functions of the court is to provide supervision when an estate is being administered. If you use a last will to express your final wishes, you would name an executor in the document. This estate representative would take care of the hands-on tasks, and the probate court would provide oversight. During probate, creditors must be notified, and they are given a certain amount of time … [Read more...] about What Are the Responsibilities of the Probate Court?
One of the most difficult truths is realizing that our parents will grow older and possibly develop Alzheimer’s, dementia or any other number of disabilities that renders them unable to make decisions for themselves and their finances. When that happens, a family will typically come together to determine what’s best. Guardianships are usually the preferred protections. Incapacity Planning and Guardianship Incapacity planning is a particular area of Vermont law designed to protect those who are … [Read more...] about Filing for Guardianship