All posts by Janet Colliton

Do You Really Need A Non-Probate Estate?

non-probate estate

Assuming you have listened to the many presentations voicing the idea you should avoid probate, you might have decided to jointly title all of your assets or make all your accounts payable on death or transfer on death believing that these actions avoid all complications. You anticipate you will avoid inheritance taxes. As a spoiler […]

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Moving to a Care Community? – Read the Agreement

Moving to a Care Community? – Read the Agreement

When you have finally decided to move from home to a senior retirement community that has levels of care – or when moving to a personal care/assisted living community – you and your family might not be in the mood to read legal agreements. The type is usually small and you figure you have no […]

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When You Might Go to Court Because of a Trust

Courthouse Becuase of Trust

Here is a situation you might consider. Your great-great Uncle Cyrus named you as a beneficiary of a Trust established by his Will. Every month (or quarter or year) you receive a distribution that you await with anticipation. You never actually read the documents but you know your cousins have been complaining recently because the […]

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How the Government Shutdown Affects Us

Now that the government’s partial shutdown is entering its fourth week, Americans are asking not just how long it will last but also how it affects them and those close to them. For some estimated hundreds of thousands of government workers the answer is obvious. They have gone without at least one paycheck and are […]

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Ten Mistakes in Drafting Your Will

Ten Mistakes in Drafting Your Will

So it is the New Year and you have resolved to rewrite your Will, or at least take it out, review it and decide whether it still fits your current circumstances. While you do this you might want to consider some pitfalls that Wills might have, many not of your making. You would not want […]

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Find Your Home For the Holidays

Since this year my column falls on Christmas it seems fitting to consider what Christmas and the related holidays, Hannukah, New Years, Kwanzaa mean to us. There is an old song “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.” What does that mean? What is home when a family member needs to move – maybe […]

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Dealing With Death Over the Holidays

Loss does not take a vacation over the holidays and sometimes it seems this might be the time when some of the greatest losses occur. Whenever you have to face the death of a loved one it is difficult. Here is some information to pull matters together at that difficult time. Keep it available in […]

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Knowing Trusts – What You Can and Cannot Do

Knowing Trusts

From time to time our office receives requests to establish a trust. This might be discussed during an appointment or a caller might simply call the office and say he needs a trust without further information. The caller might have read somewhere about the difficulty of probate or his/her financial advisor might have recommended a […]

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How Joint Accounts and TOD Can Torpedo An Estate Plan

ruin estate plan

You just met a nice person at a bank, you did not remember her position, who told you there might be a way to avoid the horrors of probate by titling all of your accounts jointly with one of your children. On the other hand maybe you received information from a friend or neighbor who […]

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Get Rid of Your Mortgage Before Retiring

Get Rid of Your Mortgage

If you want to retire in peace without the worry of long term bills weighing on you there are few better ways than by getting rid of old mortgage debt and not taking out a new one. There are exceptions, of course, as always. If your assets are such that you are making more by […]

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Holidays Are Times For Heart to Heart Examination

Moving into the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hannukah and New Years provides an opportunity for most people for heart to heart conversations and self-conversation unlike any other during the year. You can reconnect, change old habits, adopt new resolutions and decide who you really are, where you will live, and who you will spend […]

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What To Look For With Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment, the time when decisions are made regarding certain Medicare plans, began this year for 2019 on October 15 and will continue until December 7, 2018. The time is always surrounded by questions and concerns and the many glossy flyers consumers receive do not usually help in their decision making for what kind […]

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Health Care Dialogue Continues

Health Care Dialogue Continues

This is a column I wrote almost exactly a year ago on November 28, 2017. As almost everyone knows the health care dialogue continues without final answers. The only change from November 28, 2017 is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and the personal mandate was eliminated. Work continues. “Earlier this year, February 21, […]

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Do You Need To Retire?

Do You Need To Retire

When you reach a certain age – it could be 65 or somewhat older or younger – someone will likely confront you and ask what are your retirement plans or even assume you must be or should be retiring. Retirement for many who either have generous defined benefit pension plans or have saved over the […]

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Second Marriages Might Complicate Long Term Care

Second Marriages Long Term Care

When illness strikes you do not usually think of legal relationships but when a spouse needs serious care and is married to a second wife or husband, family relationships can bring with them unexpected problems and conflicts both for the second spouse and for children by a prior marriage. This is what sometimes happens. Suppose […]

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