Pet Trusts — Important Planning for Pampered Pets

Q:   What is a Pet Trust? A:    A pet trust is legal instrument that you can create to insure your pet receives proper care after you die or in the event of your disability. In Virginia, pet trusts are authorized by Virginia Code … [Read more...]

When Should You Take Your Social Security Benefits?

As you approach retirement, you must decide when to begin taking your Social Security benefits. You have three options: You may begin taking benefits between age 62 and your full retirement age, you can wait until your full … [Read more...]

Charitable Donations From an IRA Offer New Opportunity

For those wishing to make charitable donations from their IRA accounts, dealing with the resulting tax issues just got a lot easier. In August, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Touted … [Read more...]

Ten Reasons to Create an Estate Plan Now

Many people think that estate plans are for someone else, not them. They may rationalize that they are too young or don’t have enough money to reap the tax benefits of a plan. But as the following list makes clear, estate planning … [Read more...]

Aging Drivers and the Law

We rely heavily on cars in our society; in many places, they are the only convenient link to the outside world. Unfortunately, as people age, driving can become more difficult and more dangerous. The elderly drive less, but have … [Read more...]

Does Your Estate Plan Include Your Pets?

Have you considered your pet or pets when planning your estate? If not, you should, according to The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization. "Since pets have shorter life spans, … [Read more...]

Joint Account Fails To Do Its Job

A court decision in Virginia highlights the potential dangers of relying on joint accounts for estate planning. Caine v. NationsBank, N.A. (Va. Sup. Ct., No. 002615, Sept. 14, 2001). In May 1989, Dr. Andrew A. Freier opened a … [Read more...]

A Do-It-Yourselfer Costs Beneficiaries Money and Heartache

Here’s another story about a person who tried to create an estate plan without an attorney’s help, and ended up causing huge problems for his beneficiaries. A California man wrote his own will, in which he divvied up his real … [Read more...]

Estate Plans Should Be Reviewed Due to New Medical Privacy Rules

A new federal law on medical privacy is having a big effect on estate planning, and many people should consider reviewing their documents as a result. The law is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, … [Read more...]

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