Planning for the Inevitable

This month we’d like to hit on a topic that most of us avoid because it can be hard to talk about. That topic is death, and more specifically, planning our own funeral, memorial service, and burial or cremation. On a personal note, I’ve been through this process in just the last two months with


This article is the final installment in a three-part series on estate planning. In part one, we touched on the basics of estate planning – why we all need to put an estate plan in place. We also discussed the attributes of the will and the trust, the two most foundational documents in an estate plan. In part two, we walked through the history of estate and gift taxes from antiquity to present day. Taxes due at death were often used to raise revenue to pay down debt from one-time expenses like wars, but over time they became more ingrained in the tax code. Simply put, governments recognized the inevitable death of each of its citizens as a regular and predictable opportunity to tax the transfer of property from the decedent to his or her beneficiaries.


Last month’s Captain’s Table piece, was the first installment in a three-part series on estate planning. Estate planning is the “most overlooked, misunderstood and procrastinated piece” of the financial plan for most families, when it really shouldn’t be. Putting together a good estate plan is relatively straight-forward, especially with the help of an experienced attorney, and is not as costly, complex or time-consuming as you might think.

In Part one, we discussed the will and the trust. We discussed why the will is the foundation of any estate plan and how a trust can be a flexible, efficient and an inexpensive tool that complements the will, and can also helps keep matters private and outside of the public record. In this installment, we’ll focus on the history of the estate and gift tax system and how present laws impact bequests made while living and at death.


After almost twenty years in the financial services industry, I can tell you firsthand as an attorney that estate planning is the most overlooked, misunderstood and procrastinated piece of the financial plan for most families. I can also tell you from experience why that’s usually the case: most people think putting together an estate plan is a lot more complex, costly and time-consuming than it almost always turns out to be. In fact, with just a little focus of time and resources, a family can save itself thousands of dollars and countless hours of time wasted in picking up the pieces after the death of a loved one because a viable estate plan was never put in place.

This article is part one in a short series on the aspects of estate planning. Today, we’ll touch on the very basics and will feature two important documents – the will and the trust. In a few follow-up articles, we’ll take a deeper dive into issues regarding taxes, gifting, beneficiaries, and we’ll look at which ancillary documents, in addition to wills and trusts, round out the “basic set” of estate planning documents for most families.

The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a Financial Advisor

You’re thinking about hiring a financial advisor to help you manage your assets. I can assume this is the case since you’re taking the time to read this paper. This is most likely because you’re planning for the future— your retirement funding or college, or you’re unhappy with your current money manager, be it a

Importance of Estate Planning

Estate Planning is one of the most important steps that any person can take to ensure that their property and their health care wishes are honored, and that loved ones are provided for in their absence (either death or incapacitation).