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If you are a single parent, life for you right now probably couldn’t get any busier. You are likely being pulled between work, school activities, and home - and the inevitable emergencies that fill the lives of single parents everywhere.

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Estate Planning for Single Parents
incorporate charity giving into your estate plan

You are likely well aware of the tax benefits that come from donating to charity during your lifetime—donations to charity are tax-deductible. But you may be surprised to learn about the numerous benefits that are available when you incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan.

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Wills and trusts are two of the most commonly used estate planning documents, and they form the foundation of most estate plans. While both documents are legal vehicles designed to distribute your assets to your loved ones upon your death, the way in which they work is quite different.

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Wills vs. Trusts
legendary rapper dies with no wills

Legendary hip hop artist DMX—born Earl Simmons—passed away on April 9 at age 50 after suffering a massive heart attack a week earlier at his home in White Plains, New York. The heart attack was reportedly triggered by a cocaine overdose on April 2, which left the rapper hospitalized in a coma. After a week of lingering in a vegetative state, his family made the decision to remove him from life support.

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Legendary hip hop artist DMX—born Earl Simmons—passed away on April 9 at age 50 after suffering a massive heart attack a week earlier at his home in White Plains, New York. The heart attack was reportedly triggered by a cocaine overdose on April 2, which left the rapper hospitalized in a coma. After a week of lingering in a vegetative state, his family made the decision to remove him from life support.

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DMX dies without will and millions in debt
estate planning for pets

Don't Forget To Protect Your Furry Family: Estate Planning For Your Pets

It’s sad but true that many pets end up in shelters after their owner dies or becomes incapacitated. In fact, the Humane Society estimates that between 100,00 to 500,000 pets are placed in shelters each year for exactly this reason, and a large number of these animals are ultimately euthanized.

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Recent advances in digital technology have made many aspects of our lives exponentially easier and more convenient. But at the same time, digital technology has also created some serious complications when it comes to estate planning. In fact, if you haven’t properly addressed your digital assets in your estate plan, there’s a good chance that most of those assets will be lost forever when you die.

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digital assets for estate plan
digital assets in estate plan

Recent advances in digital technology have made many aspects of our lives exponentially easier and more convenient. But at the same time, digital technology has also created some serious complications when it comes to estate planning. In fact, if you haven’t properly addressed your digital assets in your estate plan, there’s a good chance that most of those assets will be lost forever when you die.

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Since the age of 16, when she burst onto the charts with her debut single, “...Hit Me Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most famous and beloved pop stars. Yet despite her massive fame and fortune, Britney, who is now 39, has never truly had full control over her own life.

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incapacity planning
the vital importance of incapacity planning

Since the age of 16, when she burst onto the charts with her debut single, “...Hit Me Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most famous and beloved pop stars. Yet despite her massive fame and fortune, Britney, who is now 39, has never truly had full control over her own life.

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Estate planning is an obvious concern for all parents, but if you have a child with special needs, it’s crucial that you are aware of the unique considerations that go into planning for a child who may be dependent on you at some level for their lifetime. If your child has special needs, you must understand exactly what’s necessary to provide for the emotional, physical, and financial needs of your child, in the event of your own eventual death or potential incapacity.

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estate planning for special children
estate planning for lgbtq couples

Whether you are married or not, if you are involved in a committed partnership with another individual, estate planning is about so much more than planning for death—it’s about planning for life and ensuring your beloved will be protected and provided for no matter what happens to you. And if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical, especially if you have complex family relationships.

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Whether you are married or in a committed partnership, estate planning is about much more than planning for death—it's about planning for life. It's the way to ensure your beloved will be protected and provided for in the event of your death or incapacity. Especially if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical.

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estate planning for lgbt couples
father's day

When you are a kid, finding a suitable gift for Father’s Day can be a struggle. You want to get Dad something he’ll enjoy, but few young people can afford a new set of golf clubs or a shiny new grill, so you end up settling once again for the standard necktie and socks.

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With the arrival of summer, young people across the country are about to reach a key milestone: high school graduation. If you have a child claiming their diploma, now is the time to prepare them for life after leaving the nest.

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graduate
young married couple

If you were to become hospitalized for any reason prior to your wedding day, the person you love most in the world would not have the legal authority to make your medical decisions and may not even have the authority to see you in the hospital. Your beloved would have no access to your bank accounts and could even be put into a position of having to move out of your shared home abruptly in the event of your death.

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As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add “estate planning” to your do list. And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind right now, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse.

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young married couple
aretha

When she first passed away in August 2018, her family thought that Aretha died without any estate plan at all.
But since then, four different wills attributed to the late singer have been discovered. And ever since those documents came to light, her four adult sons—Clarence, Edward, Ted White Jr., and Kecalf—have been in court fighting one another over her assets, as well as who among them should be designated as the estate’s representative.

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Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. At the time, her total fortune was estimated to be worth up to $80 million. Yet due to poor estate planning, the late singer’s children have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately do receive will be significantly depleted by back taxes. Moreover, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha ever had a valid will.

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aretha
movie

Last week in part one of this series, I offered a brief synopsis of the movie, which revolves around Marla Grayson, a crooked professional guardian who makes her living by preying on vulnerable seniors, and I then outlined the true events that inspired the fictional account.

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The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real-life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. While the film’s twisting plot may seem far-fetched, it sheds light on a tragic phenomenon—the abuse of seniors at the hands of crooked “professional” guardians.

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I care a lot banner
family

To highlight the ways the ARP can impact your family’s bank account, last week in part one of this series, we outlined three of the legislation’s most important elements. Here in part two, we’ll break down three additional parts of the law that stand to boost your family’s finances. To learn about all the full array of benefits provided by the ARP, meet with me as your Personal Family Lawyer®.

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Signed into law on March 11th, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) is the largest direct-to-taxpayer stimulus legislation ever passed, and it came just in time to save millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits were about to expire. In addition to extending unemployment relief, the ARP provides individual taxpayers and small businesses with a number of tax benefits you can take advantage of right now in 2021.

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mom and kid
reading to child

Even though there are now vaccines for the pandemic and the number of new cases is on the decline, becoming infected is still a very real possibility. And for parents who suffer from any debilitating illness, it can be a colossal challenge to navigate your typical parenting responsibilities, while trying to recover. This is especially true for single parents who are the sole caregiver, with limited outside child-care options.

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Even though there are now vaccines for COVID-19 and the number of new cases is on the decline, becoming infected with the virus is still a very real possibility. And for parents who become infected, it can be a colossal challenge to navigate your typical parenting responsibilities, while trying to recover from the illness.

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teddy bear
teens

While estate planning is probably one of the last things your teenage kids are thinking about, given the dire threat coronavirus represents, when they turn 18, it should be their (and your) number-one priority. Here’s why: At 18, they become legal adults in the eyes of the law, so you no longer have the authority to make decisions regarding their healthcare, nor will you have access to their financial accounts if something happens to them.

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People often come to me curious (or confused) about trusts and taxes. So today’s article is going to sort it out and clarify things for you. 

The first step is to understand the two types of trusts and their different tax consequences.

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accounting


Last week, in part one of this series, we discussed how Larry’s decision to create a handwritten will, rather than take the time to consult with legal counsel to properly update his plan for his impending divorce, is likely to result in a lengthy court battle between Larry’s seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, and his surviving children. Moreover, we also noted that Larry would have been far better off using a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust, instead of a will, to distribute his assets to his children upon his death.

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larry and shawn
larry king

With his success in the media and the fact he continued working long after most people would have retired, Larry amassed a fortune estimated to be worth some $50 million. In addition to Larry’s fame as a broadcaster, he also became equally well known for his numerous marriages. With so much money, so many spouses, and so many children, it was practically guaranteed there would be some conflict over Larry’s estate following his death.

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If you use Facebook to share, track, and report on important life events, it can provide an intimate snapshot of your life, and it can also serve as a key part of your legacy—and one you’ll likely want to protect following your death. With this in mind, as with any other digital asset you own, you should include your Facebook profile as part of your estate plan.

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facebook login on a phone
umbrellas

Within the past year, a combination of new legislation and the recent change of leadership in the White House and Congress stands to dramatically increase the income taxes your loved ones will have to pay on inherited retirement accounts as well as increasing the income taxes you owe on your taxable investments. However, purchasing life insurance may offer you the opportunity to minimize the effect of these developments.

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If you own a business, you almost certainly have intellectual property. However, because your intellectual property is intangible, it can be invisible to you and those who aren’t familiar with the nature of intellectual property and its value, so it often gets overlooked, especially when it comes to estate planning. Yet, if you fail to properly document your intellectual property, your estate plan will likely not protect it—and this could cause your loved ones to miss out on what can be among your most valuable assets.

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IP
grandma

Seeing that the pandemic currently seems to be getting worse, there’s no telling how long it will be before these social distancing restrictions will be lifted. With no end in sight, it’s important for grandparents and grandkids to find ways of staying connected during this period and not miss out on the beneficial effects a close relationship can engender.

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Since people change jobs so frequently, it's easy to lose track of an old 401(k) or retirement account, especially if you only worked in a position for a short time. In fact, forgetting plans is quite common: it’s estimated that roughly 900,000 workers lose track of their 401(k) plans each year. And when you forget to cash out your 401(k) upon leaving a job, your former employer might no longer have control of your account.

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money and calculator
an playing tennis

With people living longer than ever before, more and more seniors require long-term healthcare services in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, such care is extremely expensive, especially when it’s needed for extended periods of time.

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Last week we discussed how Hsieh became an Internet pioneer, starting two wildly successful companies, LinkExchange and Zappos, the latter of which he sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion. It was as CEO of the online shoe brand Zappos where Hsieh developed his vision for life and business: delivering happiness.

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Tony Hsieh
toney hsieh dies

Hsieh was renowned for his kindness, generosity, and always putting others first, yet by dying without a will, he left his loved ones a colossal mess to clean up. Indeed, it will likely take his family many months just to account for all of his assets, and it’s likely they will overlook—and may even never find—some of those assets. 

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Your 2020 holiday season may not feature the big family get-togethers of years past, but you’ll still likely be visiting with loved ones in some fashion. And though the holidays are always a good time to bring up estate planning, given the ongoing pandemic, talking about these issues is particularly urgent this time around.

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family in front of fireplace with stockings
Latino family

A will is one of the most basic estate planning tools. While relying solely on a will is rarely a suitable option for most people, just about every estate plan includes this key document in one form or another. 

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Today, we’re seeing more and more people getting divorced in middle age and beyond. Indeed, the trend of couples getting divorced after age 50 has grown so common, it’s even garnered its own nickname: “gray divorce.”

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mature man drinking coffee
french bulldog

If you're a pet lover, you know your pet is more than a fixture in your home that adds a little dog hair to your favorite sweaters. To you, pets are family, and you want to make sure they are provided for if something happened to you. This week, I’m going to give you the steps to take in creating a pet trust to provide for your companion animal, or animals, if you cannot be there.

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In the first part of this series Covid 19 Highlights - Part 1, we discussed the vital importance of having updated advance directives in place in light of COVID-19. Here, we’ll look at several additional provisions you should consider adding to your directives to address potential contingencies related to the pandemic. 

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covid19
covid-19 statistics

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, doctors across the nation are joining lawyers in urging Americans to create the proper estate planning documents, so medical providers can better coordinate their care should they become hospitalized with the virus.

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You've always heard that you should shop around when looking to hire a service. But hiring an attorney based on who has the lowest price can leave your family with a mess, or worse, a plan that doesn't work when you need it. Do I need a POA?

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man holding out paper money
man signing document

You know you need to get an estate plan in place, but aren't sure what you even need. You imagine you need a will, but what exactly will it do for your loved ones? What is the difference between a will and a trust? This article will discuss which document might be right for you.

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personal family lawyer

Trinkl Estate Planning, S.C.

PO Box 453 Greendale, Wisconsin 53129

E: info@trinklplanning.com P: 414-502-7712

Business Hours

Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Other meeting times available by appointment