News and Articles

What's your "endgame"?

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Many of us have heard the term "endgame."  An endgame is the very last part of a strategic game, like chess or backgammon. The last few moves you make in your chess game are your endgame. From the chess meaning, endgame is also used figuratively to mean "end stages of negotiation." But this term could also be used in the estate planning arena. Wouldn't your "endgame" for your life include the two major decisions for everyone: who will get your possessions or estate and who will take care of your person and/or your finances?  Many of us have never considered our personal endgame unless it was something vague like intending to retire after a certain number of years, planning to travel after retirement, or hoping that our children won't sell off the family land. It is a sad fact that 67% of Americans have no estate plan and no power of attorney designating who will make their decisions if they become unable to do so. Yet all of us will reach this stage at some point in our lives. Why is there such a resistance to having an "endgame" for our lives?   Recently I watched the film "Farewell" in which an American young woman of Chinese parents struggles with her Chinese family's refusal to discuss her grandmother's serious illness and imminent death. In some cultures it is still taboo to have frank discussions regarding incapacity and death. It was so sad that everyone in the film (based on a "true lie") quietly suffered alone while pretending nothing was wrong with their grandmother.  I kept thinking that it would have been wonderful if the family had been able to discuss the illness and make plans for how to deal with the grandmother's decline and eventual death.  Over and over again we have clients tell us after they have had a frank discussion about their choices for the end of their lives that they feel relieved, comforted, and calm. Contact us today to discuss your "endgame."   

Who Will Handle My Funeral Arrangements?

Saturday, June 01, 2019

When we think about estate planning, we typically think of wills, powers of attorney, and trusts. Yet, these estate planning documents usually do not tell your loved ones what your last wishes are. Families are often left with questions like:  Read More...


What Happens to Your Debt When You Die?

Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Most people have debt. We accumulate it in the form of student loans, mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and more. The choice to go into debt is often times a choice to invest in our future. Whether you’ve taken out a student loan to pursue higher education or mortgaged your first home, debt is a part of life. 

Have you ever considered where your debt would go if something were to happen to you? What would happen to the next ten years of mortgage payments and all the credit card debt from Christmas? Understanding and preparing for what will happen to that debt when you’re gone is vital.

Most people die with debt, but that debt is typically not passed to heirs. Instead, your estate – all your assets and liabilities at the time of your death – pays down the debt. Only after your estate pays outstanding debts do your heirs get whatever’s left. The legal process that repays debts and distributes assets to heirs is called probate. Read More...

Has Your Will Been Notarized Properly?

Monday, April 01, 2019

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Social Security Retirement Benefits: When Should You Start Receiving Yours?

Friday, March 01, 2019

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Just Because Your Name Is On An Account Does Not Make It Yours!

Friday, February 01, 2019

If your name is on a shared certificate of deposit account (the kind that says “Patricia Miramon or Someone Else”), the funds in that account will not necessarily go to you (the other account holder) in the event of the account owner’s death. Read More...


Things to Look for in Your Continuing Care Home

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Have you thought about what would happen if your retirement community had a financial wipeout? Though industry members in this world point out this is rare, there are cases in which retirement communities have had to raise their monthly fees or reduce services. Read More...


Selecting an Executor

Friday, October 03, 2014

Many people automatically select their spouse or oldest child as executor of their will. The job of the executor is an important one and although some spouses and adult children handle the job competently, you should consider the duties of the executor and their abilities before automatically assuming that a family member is the best choice to administer your estate. Read More...


Record Transfer Services - Do not pay this company

Monday, September 30, 2013

Following the completion of recording documents at the local courthouses, some clients are receiving letters from "Record Transfer Services" stating that they should to pay this company to obtain certified copies of their documents. This is absolutely false. All of my clients are provided with certified copies of their documents and additional copies can be easily obtained either through my office or through the clerk of court's office without using "Record Transfer Services."  Read More...


Small Succession Procedure

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Louisiana does have a provision for an out of court "small succession" but it has several requirements that do not apply to most estates. There can be no will or only a will which has been probated in another state, the heirs are the children, parents and/or brothers or sisters. Further, the assets owned by the deceased must not exceed $75,000.00. The home also has to have been occupied by the deceased or his or her surviving spouse at the time of death unless they were not residing there due to illness, incapacity, natural disaster or destruction.  Read More...