Orange City Estate Planning Blog

High Five: Geckos and Trust Administration

Geckos are amazing and resilient creatures. They can climb up vertical surfaces. Some geckos can fly. If you cut off a gecko’s tail, they’ll grow it back. These five tips for making an estate or trust administration go smoothly create the acronym ‘GECKO’. So, keeping the amazing lizard in mind, read on for some helpful advice on how to ease the process of estate or trust administration. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: 5 Differences between Wills & Trusts

The most common question I get asked in our Mutual Interview is, “What’s the difference between a will and a trust?” The answer is based on the way each gets treated while you’re living and after you die. Whether you choose one or the other depends on your goals for your plan. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: The Zen Guide to Probate

Life is full of transitions, and the end of someone’s life can be the most significant transition of all. Amidst the emotional challenges that come with laying a loved one to rest, it can be intimidating to discover that you’ve been designated as the executor of your loved one’s estate. Then you find out you are a fiduciary and the heavy responsibility that imposes, and suddenly you’re feeling like a fish out of water. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: The Zen Guide to Planning for a Nursing Home Stay

If you’re dealing with a nursing home, it will quickly become clear that the options for paying the care bill are dizzying. Paying out of pocket is cost prohibitive. Long-term care insurance is probably not workable. For many, that leaves Medicaid, but those rules are spread over hundreds of pages of federal and state statutes, regulations, and policy manuals. What you need is an oasis from the stress, not the exponentially increasing stress that comes from trying to make sense of all those rules. Don’t despair. You can achieve calm in this whirlwind. Follow these five steps and you’ll soon find that the zen of nursing home planning is easily reached. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: The Zen Guide to Creating a Trust

Last week, we talked about the fact that many people see estate planning as an intimidating, even scary, process – only 45% of people have had their will prepared! But we also showed you the zen approach to creating your will with the help of an estate planning expert through planning ahead, organization, communication and clarity. And, surprise, those same principles apply to creating a trust. But, while the principles are the same, the zen of trust planning can be quite different from creating a will. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: The Zen Guide to Creating a Will

Over the last seven years of advising clients, I have come to the realization that many people aren’t doing estate planning because it’s intimidating. It’s scary. Depressing. That’s a lot of negative emotion! But I don’t think estate planning is a negative experience – quite the opposite. Follow this guide to finding the Zen of creating your will, and you’ll soon discover that all those negative thoughts have been replaced by peace of mind about your final affairs. [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: Sign a Healthcare Power of Attorney

Have you been to the doctor? Have you ever taken aspirin or ibuprofen for a headache? Had an out patient procedure? Had a surgery? What led you to take those actions? Did you call the nurse’s station at the local clinic or your health insurance? Did the doctor explain the risks and rewards of the procedure or surgery? Ultimately, you made the decision. But what if you couldn’t speak for yourself? [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: 5 Ways to Pay for the Nursing Home

Nursing home care is expensive, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. With the 2014 average cost of nursing home care reaching $169 per day in Iowa, 70% of people reaching age 65 this year can expect to pay about $123,370-$141,115 (or more!) for their end of life care. The question becomes, how do you pay for an expense that huge? [Read More]

Read More »

High Five: Choosing a General Power of Attorney

When you sign a general power of attorney, you authorize someone to manage financial matters on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. That’s a lot of responsibility to sign over to someone. You need to pick someone who is trustworthy, someone who will act in your best interests. [Read More]

Read More »

I Digress: Anniversary Plans

Our society has assigned value to marking the passage of time in a particular relationship. Collectively, we recognize that the commitment it takes to maintain a relationship is a significant investment of time and energy, effort and resources. So, we honor those persons or entities who have reached a milestone – usually a multiple of 5 – in terms of years spent on a relationship, whether personal or professional. [Read More]

Read More »
Join Our eNewsletter