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Walt’s Week in Williamsburg, Virginia: November 11th – 16th

Here are the highlights from my daily blog for last week.  If you’d like to read any blog in its entirety, just click on the link provided.  Enjoy!! 

HappyInequality-Servet_Grbz  Sunday, November 11, 2012

For many families, treating all children equally is the right choice. But what if you have children with vastly different needs, or vastly different agendas, your estate plan will need to take that into account.

When it comes to our children, we want to equally divide our time, love, and attention the best that we can.  And when we think about our estate plans for our heirs, equal division may be the first thing that comes to mind.  But it’s not always the best solution as not all heirs are created equal in terms of their needs.

This subject was taken up by Business Insider in a recent article titled “Not Every Good Estate Plan Treats Its Heirs Equally.”  Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

November 12, 2012

Top-notch-business-partner

If you think you had a couple of separate businesses and it turns out that you really had a partnership you can end up with a pretty ugly mess…

When it comes to structuring a business, you have many choices. So how do you choose the best option? A golden rule for business is to do business the way your business is structured, and to structure your business entity in the way you need to be doing business! If you mix and match, it has an unfortunate tendency to create serious liabilities which often come with a fairly aggressive tax assessment. With liabilities and taxes in mind, consider reading a recent Forbes article titled “Beware Of Partnership Status Sneaking Up On Your Business Venture.” Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

 

ArtinvestmenttnNovember 13, 2012

Because people build collections out of love, they often do not consider them with the same financial rigor that they would apply to other assets, and often just insure items for the price they paid for them.
What would you consider are your favorite and most valuable assets? Maybe it’s your stocks, business, or real estate. For some, however, their favorite and most valuable assets may be the beautiful art hanging on their walls.  In life we tend to limit our risks through various forms of insurance. Accordingly, when it comes to your art, this issue was addressed in a recent Forbes article titled “Should Your Art Be Insured?” This is not an easy question to resolve in every instance. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
November 14, 2012Umbrella people  

 Some 60 percent of unmarried boomers are divorced. And that carries serious implications for the next generation: Who will care for those people, how will the emotional and financial costs of that care be shared – and what can society do to prepare for this demographic downpour?

If you think divorce is more of a younger generation problem, you are mistaken. Divorce happens at all ages and stages, and the children of divorced boomers are starting to encounter the challenges of caring for their elderly parents on separate levels.
The evidence has been slowly coming in for a while, of course, but current articles have helped to publicly put the pieces together for us. For example, consider a recent article in Reuters titled “Double the trouble when divorced parents get old.” Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
 

Pipe dreams tooNovember 15, 2012

Can you count on Social Security for retirement income?
Is Social Security a pipe dream, a shell game, a bankrupt program from which you will never receive benefit? Or is it a social safety net for those whose working years are over? A  Morningstar article tries to answer those questions, and provides insight as to whether or not you should count on it.  The problem is that this article was written 18 months ago and the questions it poses are still with us today.
According to last year’s Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans don’t expect to receive Social Security benefits once they stop working. Younger generations are even more pessimistic, with 77 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds reporting that Social Security either has “major problems” or is actually in a state of crisis. Those feelings are not unfounded. It is true that the Social Security Fund now pays out more in benefits than it takes in by taxes, and much of the fund itself consists in Treasury bonds rather than actual cash. Click here to read the blog in its entirety,
Reference: Morningstar (April 29, 2011) “Should You Count on Social Security”
November 16, 2012Article-new_ds-photo_getty_article_88_181_87719088_XS

Pay close attention to your aging parents on a holiday visit this year. Does the normally tidy house now seem neglected? Is there hoarding? Do you notice memory problems, confusion or physical unsteadiness?
The holiday season is upon us!  Turkey, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings are making their way to the family dinner table and guests are arriving to spend quality time with their loves ones. As you settle in with your family to express your thankful thoughts of the year, take the time to check in with your elderly loved ones to make sure they are supporting themselves and assess any care needs they may have.
It’s an unfortunate burden of thought during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important one to bear in mind: as written by the Wall Street Journal not too long ago, you’ve got to ask, is it “Time for Elder Care?”  And then there’s the other half of it: you’ve got to observe, understand, and react in such a way as to truly help the situation. It’s easy to over-react when the well-being of your loved ones is at stake.  Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.

Join me every day as I explore estate planning topics of interest to you and those you love from Williamsburg, Virginia.

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.