Plan now to reduce uncertainty
"Wheter your estate is large or small, planning ahead lets you contol cost"
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

“Trick or treat” rings out every Halloween as kids go door to door hoping for their favorite candy. My kids love sorting the candy at the end of the night and finding surprises in their candy haul. Part of the fun and excitement of trick or treating is the uncertainty —you don’t know what you are going to get. Dying without estate planning is a lot like trick or treat for your surviving family members—you don’t know what they are going to get.

Planning for family members with special needs
"We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Making sure that a loved one with special needs has access to all the opportunities and services necessary for an enriching life can be costly and difficult to coordinate. 

Great! I’m a Trustee – Wait . . .  
I’m a Trustee?

"To be trusted is a greater compliement than being loved." 
                     ~ George MacDonald
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Being appointed as trustee is a very real demonstration that you are seen to be trustworthy, that you have the judgment and ability to handle responsibility.  It is a great compliment - And make no mistake, being a trustee is also a great responsibility.  A trustee holds legal title to property for someone else – the beneficiary. 

Which do I need, a Will or a Trust?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

While it can be difficult to confront your own demise, setting up an estate plan is important to ensure that your wishes are followed and your loved ones taken care of after your death. Your estate plan puts your last wishes, hopes, desires and choices down on paper, in black and white, for all to see. The words on the paper speak for you when you cannot.

Unequal inheritances and no-contest clauses 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

If a man dies and leaves his estate in an uncertain condition, the lawyers become his heirs.  Edgar Watson 

When people think about dividing their assets among their loved ones when they die, they very often take for granted that anything that they leave as an inheritance will be divided equally among their children.  While this makes sense, it is not the right result in all situations.  Estate planning is personal to each family’s situation and the disposition of the estate should reflect the wishes of the giver--whether anyone inside or outside the family would agree.

Estate Planning should include End of Life Planning 
By James Miskell, Attorney at Law

Nobody relishes the task of making out a will. Squarely addressing the prospect of your own mortality can be upsetting. Sitting down to prepare a Last Will and Testament is not at the top of anyone’s “this is a fun thing to do" list.