Stretch IRAs Out with SECURE Act

By Doug Chalgian on December 27, 2019

The so-called “SECURE Act” recently passed by Congress and signed by the President makes several changes to the laws which direct the way retirement plans operate.  For...

Rosa Parks’ Coat Triggers 12 Year Court Battle

By Doug Chalgian on March 22, 2018

Earlier this week, the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down a decision, presumably bringing an end to litigation that has been ongoing since Rosa Parks died. She died October 24,...

The Threat of a Lawyer

By Doug Chalgian on February 16, 2018

Doug Chalgian
So your parent died and one of your siblings is the executor of the estate, or trustee of the trust – and nothing is happening. Gentle prodding hasn’t worked. Months, even...

OMG They’re Thinking About Getting Married!!

By Joseph Weiler on February 16, 2018

Joseph Weiler
Few things can shake up adult children more than a parent thinking about getting remarried late in life. It comes up in two contexts – one much more difficult to deal with...
Estate Plans for When Kids Don't do As Well As You

By the time I meet with clients (usually in their 50s or 60s, if not older), they have a pretty good idea of how
their children will make out: whether their marriages will be successful, whether they will have children, and what
their prospects are for a sound financial future. All this is good to know when preparing an estate plan.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of clients who have done well financially themselves, but who can see that their children
are never going to enjoy the same level of material success as they did. They love their children and grandchildren to death
— but they worry about how they will fare financially in the future. Typically these clients have two main concerns:

  • Providing a mechanism to assure that their children will have
    something to live on when those children are no longer able
    to work.
  • Providing their grandchildren with the ability to get a college
    degree without being burdened with a large debt.

With respect to each of these concerns, there is more than one
way to approach the issue, and there are special considerations
with respect to each approach.

A Matter of Trust

By Doug Chalgian on October 22, 2011

Matter of Trust

For many people, the process of estate planning begins with the question: “Do I need a Trust?”

In the remainder of this article, a question and answer approach will be used to help the reader understand what a “Trust” is, and what considerations go into deciding whether having a Trust would be beneficial in their situation.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is an agreement. In fact the term “Trust” is shorthand for “Trust Agreement.” agreement is between the person who creates the Trust (the “Settlor,” sometimes also known as “Grantor”) and the person who receives the property from the Settlor, the “Trustee.” The Trust is the document that spells out the manner in which the Trustee will handle any property that the Settlor transfers to the Trustee.