Estate Planning

the five most important estate planning documents

The 5 Most Important Estate Planning Documents

What are the 5 Most Important Estate Planning Documents? Noted author and financial planner Suze Orman says, "Estate planning is an important and everlasting gift you can give your family." And she's right. But if you create one, you need to do it right. So first, talk with an estate attorney. Second, make sure your […]

couple looking at estate planning documents at home in front of laptop

What is Estate Planning?

Let’s start by understanding what estate planning is before moving on to why it’s essential. But hopefully, after reading through this, you’ll feel comfortable reaching out to an estate attorney near you to begin planning your estate. What is an Estate? To answer the question of what is estate planning, let's first begin with defining […]

what happens to the debt of deceased releatives

What Happens to A Deceased Relative's Debt When They Die?

A common concern of clients during the initial estate planning process is what happens to debt when you die. This is a valid concern for next of kin and estate beneficiaries, and we'll delve into it below. Who is responsible for paying off the debts of a loved one? Can the debt of the deceased […]

accessing digital assets with the help of an estate attorney

How to Access the Digital Assets, logins, and passwords of Someone who Has Died

Accessing the digital assets of a loved one after they have passed can be difficult. Below are some tips to make it easier for everyone. In the age of Covid-19, most of us do everything electronically. Banking, communicating, paying bills, shopping, storing important papers, photos and contacts, filing taxes, keeping a calendar and reminders, sports […]

businessmen figuring out the alternate valuation date for federal estate tax purposes

What is an Alternate Valuation Date for Federal Estate Tax Purposes?

You may have heard about the “alternate valuation date” when valuing assets for federal estate tax purposes during estate administration. Generally, when a person dies, the personal representative is required to value the decedent’s assets as of the date of death. However, under federal estate tax law, the personal representative can do so up to […]

college kid needs a medical power of attorney during the pandemic

College-Bound Kids? Why a POA for Teens is More Important Than Ever

With the possibility of students returning to school during a pandemic, making sure they make the right decisions regarding their health is paramount. Talk to an estate attorney about a POA for teens. Colleges and universities across the country are releasing their return-to-school plans in an effort to address the uncertainty for students and staff. […]

secure act

What is the SECURE Act?

High Swartz estate planning attorneys down and explains the highlights and how they can affect your retirement plans. What is the SECURE Act? The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) is a bill designed to help Americans improve their ability to save for retirement. Currently, many financial analysts say that America is […]

ancillary probate

Ancillary Probate and How To Avoid It

Just when you thought you were done with the fine print of a dead loved one's will, you find an "ancillary" problem, in another state. In the following paragraphs, we offer a brief understanding of probate, ancillary probate, and how one can avoid this sometimes tricky situation. Talk to an estate lawyer for more insights. […]

Is crowdfunding taxed? | blog by Mary LaSota of High Swartz LLP

Is Crowdfunding Taxed?

An elderly man beaten with a brick on July 4th in Los Angeles is in critical condition. A German Shepherd is beaten and shot while protecting his young owner during a burglary. Then, there is the little girl born prematurely who needs tests, treatments, doctors and surgeries to survive. In each of these situations, the […]

how to plan a funeral

How to Plan a Funeral

People love to make plans-the perfect wedding, that dream vacation, a comfortable retirement, the kitchen remodel.  Making plans is one of the great joys of life- except for when it comes to making plans for the end of it. Understandably, we don’t like to think about—much less make specific plans for—our own deaths or the […]