Blog Posts

Caldwell Law is committed to providing our clients with resources to help them best understand their estate planning. Our blog posts are meant to encourage you to think critically about various aspects of estate planning and to strive to learn more.

Please let us know if there are topics you are interested in learning more about and we will do our best to post content on that subject matter!

Latest Blog Posts

Money Isn't Everything

Posted on: June 20th, 2017
While it’s true that money is probably the most talked about topic in estate planning, the riches of experience and wisdom can sometimes mean more to family members down the line. Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding money, property, and belongings. After all, what really defines a family is its values and traditions — not the way its finances read on paper....

The Pros and Cons of Probate

Posted on: December 19th, 2016
In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often comes with a starkly negative connotation. Indeed, for many people — especially those with larger estates — financial planners recommend trying to keep property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the property of the deceased and their heirs, and in a few cases it may even be advantageous. ...

Consider a Trust to Avoid Probate

Posted on: December 15th, 2016
Ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in peace. In fact, the whole business of estate planning – or at least a significant piece of it – is concerned with ease. How can assets and legacies be transferred to the next generation in a harmonious, stress-free, fair process?...

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners

Posted on: December 1st, 2016
When you’re in a romantic partnership - as opposed to a marriage - you need to create the legal protections and benefits automatically afforded to those who are married...

Is a Financial Plan Enough? Why Experts Say You Need an Estate Plan Too

Posted on: November 14th, 2016
If you want to leave a robust financial legacy for your family, a financial plan alone is like trying to guide a boat with just one oar: It’s only part of the big picture for your overall monetary health. A well-informed financial plan is worth your time for several reasons, but let’s look at how financial and estate planning can work in tandem to create the best possible future for you and your family in the years to come....

Your Estate Planning Binder: Tips for Proper Care and Maintenance

Posted on: November 2nd, 2016
You finally crossed “getting your estate plan done” off your list, and you’ve (rightly) breathed a huge sigh of relief. By tackling this challenge, you’ve not only established protections for your loved ones and legacy, but you’ve also freed up some important “mental space” that had previously been occupied....

Time to Get Organized if You Find You are an "Overwhelmed Executor"

Posted on: October 27th, 2016
While it is an honor to be named as an executor of a will or estate, it can also be a sobering and daunting responsibility. Being a personal representative requires a high level of organization, foresight, and attention to detail to meet all responsibilities and ensure that all beneficiaries receive the assets to which they are entitled. If you’ve found yourself in the position of “overwhelmed executor,” here are some tips to lighten the load....

Did you include your grandkids in your will? 5 Tips to Avoid Common Problems

Posted on: October 14th, 2016
As we build wealth, we naturally desire to pass that financial stability to our offspring. With the grandkids, especially, we often want to provide well for their future. However, this can be difficult if proper precautions aren’t set in place. If you’re planning to include the grandchildren in your will, here are five potential dangers to watch for, and ways you can avoid them....

Your Cyber Legacy: 3 Tips for Your Digital Assets

Posted on: October 3rd, 2016
There's an entire category of commonly-overlooked legacy to consider - digital assets. Don't worry if you didn't consider these assets when made your will or trust - it's surprisingly common and, luckily, easy to correct. ...

5 Mistakes Made by Successor Trustees (and How to Prevent Them!)

Posted on: September 29th, 2016
When establishing a trust, you need to give serious thought to choosing your successor trustee—the person who will administer your trust once you’re no longer able to do so....

Want to Give Your Children an Early Inheritance? 4 Things to Keep In Mind.

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016
If you’re thinking about giving your children their inheritance early, you’re not alone. A recent Merrill Lynch study suggests that these days, nearly two-thirds of people over the age of 50 would rather pass assets to their children early than make them wait until the will is read. It can be especially satisfying to fund our children’s dreams while we’re alive to enjoy them, and there’s no real financial penalty for doing so, provided that you structure the arrangement correctly. Here are four important factors to take into account when planning to give an early inheritance....

Stress Test Your Estate Plan

Posted on: August 29th, 2016
Estate plans are living, breathing creations. Your life can and will change due to new births, children getting older and other shifts in the family; changes to your portfolio, career and business; and changes to your health, where you live and your core values. Likewise, external events, such as tax legislation passed in your state or the development of a novel financial instrument, can throw your plan off track or open the door to opportunities. It is important to remember that regular steps should be taken to ensure the estate planning strategy you've selected will maximize your peace of mind and protect your legacy....

What to do when a disability suddenly shifts your Estate Plan

Posted on: August 15th, 2016
As poet Robert Burns mused centuries ago, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Despite thoughtful effort and a concerted strategy, you cannot prepare for every emergency. A car accident, sudden illness, workplace injury or chronic medical condition can force you to re-evaluate the core assumptions you used to plan your future and set up your legacy....

Charitable Planning: Finding Your Passion and Renewing Your Life

Posted on: August 8th, 2016
As social beings, people like helping others and giving back to our communities. We are innately drawn to working, living, and growing together. Today, with our busy lives and high cost of living, it can be hard to find the time and resources to invest in the betterment of others. However, giving - in some way - to charitable organizations is something that anyone can do, and we can all derive joy by investing in causes that light our passion. ...

How to Choose a Trustee

Posted on: August 2nd, 2016
When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee does what you currently do with your financial affairs: collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records, and overall ensure your finances are in good order. This is an enormous amount of responsibility, and it is therefore very important that you name a capable and trustworthy person as trustee. The following is a basic guide to help you start considering - or re-evaluating - your choice for trustee. ...

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: July 25th, 2016
Many young families put off estate planning because they are young and healthy, or because they don’t think they can afford it. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness. And while none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible....

Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?

Posted on: July 21st, 2016
Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate planning goals or may even be detrimental to achieving those goals. ...

Financial Smarts Peak at 50, Here's How to Protect Your Older Self

Posted on: July 20th, 2016
A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University concluded that a person's ability to make smart financial decisions peaks at age 50. This decline was observed in both men and women, showing that both sexes are equally vulnerable to financial fraud as they age....

How Often Do You Update Your Estate Plan? More Often Than Your Resume?

Posted on: June 21st, 2016
A resume is a 'snapshot' of your experience, skill set, and education which provides prospective employers insight into who you are and how you will perform. Imagine not updating that resume for 5, 10, or even 15 years. Would it accurately reflect who you are?...