Published: December 11, 2018

Like most people, members of the LGBTQ community often wait until after a major life event before meeting with a lawyer to plan their estates.

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Published: October 30, 2018

What will happen to your frequent flyer miles when you're gone? Will your spouse, partner, or someone else you care about be able to use and enjoy them? The airlines' rules are not always clear-cut on the matter. But with proper planning, you can make the most of their policies and help to ensure that your miles are passed on to someone you designate.

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Published: September 6, 2018

One of the many benefits of Saul Ewing's recent merger with Arnstein & Lehr, now Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, is that we now have offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. Many people living in the Northern and Midwestern states have second homes in Florida or have become full-time Florida residents, and they often need additional or different estate planning assistance.

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Published: September 5, 2018

An article in the September 4, 2018 Wall Street Journal discusses the question of what people will spend in retirement. Its author is connected with something called the Center for Advanced Hindsight, which I suppose is humorous. The article indicates that the center brought together a large number of people and asked them what they thought their expenses would be in retirement. Because they had heard the figure of 70% of pre-retirement expenses, that's what they said. So far, not very scientific.

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Published: May 31, 2018

1. Why is it important to have a discussion about buy-sell agreements in the context of estate planning?

The ownership interest in a closely held business represents a substantial portion of an individual’s wealth.  Determining how much his or her family will be paid for that interest and when payment will occur is a very important part of the estate plan.  If the value is trapped in the business or can only be extracted over a long period of time, that changes how the surviving spouse and family can expect to enjoy the transmission of wealth.

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Published: May 22, 2018

A recent program presented by the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association offered suggestions on a safe withdrawal rate from accumulated assets during retirement. After much analysis, the author concluded that 4% was probably a safe rate of withdrawal to ensure that retirees don't run out of assets during the rest of their lives. This is an important concept, and there are other points to consider. As I've written before, it makes sense to summarize what your expenses will be during retirement.

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Published: May 15, 2018

Many publications report on the prevalence of elder financial abuse in our society. It can arise from misuse of powers of attorney, guardianships, and estate and trust administrations, as well as out and out scams. Many institutions are working on this problem, including the US Department of Justice, the SEC, FINRA and state agencies. In future blogs, we will discuss the suggestions made by these agencies to avoid elder financial abuse, but let's start with, why is this such a significant problem now? Here are a couple of basic reasons:

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Published: May 2, 2018

A number of years ago, I spoke at a seminar organized by some clients, called "Sign here, my dear". The point of the seminar was that spouses, in most case wives, know very little about family finances and are often just called upon to sign documents without knowing what they are. In my practice, I continue to see this mismatch of financial information in many situations. My experience is that this is rarely done for a bad purpose, but more often because one spouse has more financial skills and doesn't want to burden the other.

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Published: April 16, 2018

The more articles and blogs I write about planning for retirement, the more advice I get from people who have retired or are in the planning stages. Since the concept of retirement is still a mystery for many, I thought I would pass along some advice I have received:

1. Health maintenance. There is probably nothing more important than preserving your health in retirement as long as you can. Visit your doctor(s) on a regular basis, and consider even taking their advice. Exercise, eat right; you know this drill.

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Published: March 15, 2018

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, universally known as FINRA, is a not for profit organization (not a government agency) that regulates member brokerage firms and the brokers that deal with the public. All securities firms that are not regulated by another self-regulatory organization (the New York Stock Exchange, for example) are required to be a member of FINRA. A Securities Helpline for Seniors (844-57-HELPS) is currently maintained by FINRA, through which older investors can seek assistance for issues relating to brokerage accounts.

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