Scriber Law Group, LLC.


How to Talk to Older Loved Ones About Estate Planning

There is no avoiding the fact that some conversations are simply difficult to have, even with the people in your life with whom you feel closest. One of the most difficult conversations anyone can have is the conversation with older loved ones about what happens to them after they die. Quite often, they don't feel comfortable talking about it. This, despite the fact that everyone will die at some point, and most will die with assets. That means they will have to determine the value of those assets and what happens to them.   While "the conversation" with, say, your parents,… Read More

Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

Quite often, an important part of estate planning involves the establishment of revocable or irrevocable trusts. Those involved in planning for the future should understand the difference between the two.   Both types of trust begin with what is called an inter vivos trust. That is a transfer of property that is set up to go into effect during your lifetime. Of course, the next decision you will have to make will be whether or not the inter vivos trust can be revoked – meaning that you can change your mind about the trust, or if it is irrevocable, which means it can never… Read More

An Ethical Estate Plan Deals With More Than Your Assets

The ultimate purpose of a traditional will and estate plan is to give the person who dies control over the distribution of his or her physical assets. In some cases, trusts or other devices may be used to pass assets on to future generations in a more meaningful way. In some cases, however, you might want to leave a lot more than physical property and other assets to your heirs. You may want to share the wisdom of a life lived, for example, or to share memories with your surviving loved ones, or just to let them all know they matter.… Read More

What If You Die Without a Will?

Okay, so everyone you talk to and every article you read is encouraging you to write a will. They're telling you you'll regret it if you don't do so long before you die. They tell you that if you don't have a will, your family and friends will lose everything. First, the state will come along and take almost everything in taxes, and your potential errors will be mad at you because you made such a mess of your legacy. So, you're wondering, are they right?   Yes and no.   It's pretty simple. A person with a will has… Read More

The Problem of Debt After Death

Because it can be very difficult to settle the affairs of a loved one who has passed away, quite often some of the surviving family members will have to make a number of important financial decisions on behalf of the recently deceased. Unfortunately, this occurs at a time when they are already very emotional and possibly stressed out.   One of the biggest decisions left to surviving family members has to do with whether or not they should repay debts incurred by the decedent, including such potentially large debts as mortgage loans, student loans or credit cards. Quite often, a… Read More

Reproductive Technology Has Changed Estate Planning

There are a great many things to be considered during the process of crafting an estate plan, and advances in technology have changed many of the questions that everyone must ask. A prominent example of this comes with the rise in prominence of new reproductive technologies. You and your partner may decide to have a child using methods of conception that didn't exist just a decade or two ago and they must be considered carefully.  New medical technology, referred to as Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) can include artificial insemination, implantation of donated eggs and/or embryos, or even a very new concept; post-death… Read More

Maintain Control of Your Assets After You’re Gone

So far, you've worked hard to get where you are, financially and otherwise. You've done everything possible to scrimp and save every possible dollar. You've done everything smart people told you to do, and you can look back and smile.   So, why do so many hard-working people like you want to suddenly hand over control of everything to complete strangers when it's all over and you pass on?   If you have worked that hard, you are happy with what you have so far and you expect that to grow over time, you're probably thinking, "I don't want to do… Read More

Appointing an Executor From the Family May Not Be the Best Choice

Under the best of circumstances, creating harmony within the family is difficult, even while you’re alive and well. It takes an amazing amount of diplomacy and tact sometimes. Of course, keeping the family together after you pass away is an even more arduous task, especially since you're not there. While distributing assets and minimizing the tax bite are important to an estate plan, you should also try to keep the peace by filling key positions in your estate with the right people, keeping in mind the dynamics of those individuals within the family.   Executors Must Be Both Tough But… Read More

Avoid Family Fights by Building a Solid Estate Plan

When it comes to estate planning, the combination of grief, money and family squabbles can be an explosive combination.  Sometimes it can be the oldest sister, who had her heart set on a deceased relative's painting, and would rather shred it than see it go to one of her younger. Perhaps it's two or three siblings, who spend thousands of dollars each in legal fees to get their hands on their grandfather's antique automobile. It can really be almost anything because, when you combine all of the elements common when a family member dies, you can get something akin to dynamite.… Read More

Same-Sex Marriage Estate Planning is Evolving

When the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional last year, they allowed states to change the definition of "spouse." At the same time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began recognizing such couples as legitimately married. To date, 19 states and the District of Columbia are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the pace of adoption seems to be accelerating. While it is true that the evolution of the law is behind society, as usual, it seems like estate planning for same-sex married couples is becoming far easier and more equal. That doesn't mean you don't need a plan, it… Read More