Taylor Kaspar Law

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False Security: Is Your Will Legally Valid?
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: August 4, 2020

A last will and testament can ensure your wishes are respected when you die. But if your will isn’t legally valid, those wishes might not actually be carried out, and instead the laws of “intestate succession” would apply, meaning that the state decides who gets your stuff, and it’s very likely not to be who you would choose. If you’ve created a will online, we congratulate you for doing SOMETHING, but we strongly recommend that you have it reviewed and make sure it does what you want, and is actually legally valid. We’ve seen it far too many times: someone THINKS they’ve created a will, because they did something, but the SOMETHING was the WRONG THING, and their family is left to deal with the fallout, confusion and complications that…Read More

7 Events That Necessitate a Review of Your Estate Plan
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: July 29, 2020

Even if you put a totally solid estate plan in place, it can end up proving worthless if it’s not properly updated. Estate planning is not a one-and-done type of deal: It should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances. No matter who you are, your life will inevitably change: families change, laws change, assets change, and goals change. In the absence of any major life events, we recommend reviewing your plan every 2-3 years to make sure its terms are up to date. Yet there are several common life events that require you to immediately update your plan—that is, if you want it to actually work and keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict. To this end, if any of the following seven events occur,…Read More

Estate Planning Essentials for Parents
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: July 27, 2020

A comprehensive estate plan can protect the things that matter most. For many, this means their property and their family. Including provisions for the care of your children in your estate plan is essential for peace of mind. But many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their child in their plan. Indeed, even the fictional parents in the popular television sitcom Modern Family struggled with this issue in an episode. While Jay and his new and much younger wife Gloria agonized and argued about who they should name as a legal guardian for their children, their children were left at risk that if something happened to Jay and Gloria before they decided and properly named guardians in a legal document, a judge would make…Read More

Are You Clear About How Your Parents Estate Plan Will Impact You?
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: July 17, 2020

Do your parents have an estate plan? Is it up to date? No matter how rich or poor you or your parents are you need to be asking these and several other questions. When your parents become incapacitated or die, their affairs will become your responsibility, and it will be impossible to ask them to clarify anything. So, if you do not know whether or not they have estate planning in place that will help you best support them, read on. The Best-Case Scenario In a best-case scenario, your parents have an updated estate plan, and they’ve walked you through it. They have provided an inventory of their assets that’s easy for you to find listing out everything they own, how it’s titled, and who it should go to and…Read More

Your “Blended” Family Is Likely Headed to Court Unless You Do This
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: July 10, 2020

If you have a blended family and do not plan for what happens to your assets in the event of your incapacity or eventual death, you are almost certainly guaranteeing hurt feelings, conflict, and maybe even a long, drawn out court battle. So let’s start with clarity around what a blended family is and whether you have one. If you have stepchildren, or children from a prior marriage, or other people you consider “kin” who are not considered legal relatives in the eyes of the law, you’ve got a blended family. If this describes you at all, you should consider a thoughtful estate plan intentionally designed to keep your family out of court and out of conflict, and not just a will you created for yourself online. What Will the…Read More

What To Do When There Isn't A Will
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: June 9, 2020

I've gotten a few questions in the past couple months from loved ones of individuals who have passed away without a will. The primary question is always, "Where do I even start?" Here's a few places to start trying to sort out an estate that did not have an estate plan in place. First and foremost, be absolutely certain a will actually does not exist. Sometimes there is a will that's old, outdated or otherwise hidden in a place you may not have thought of. Check the file cabinet, the desk drawers, and the fireproof safe. Call the bank and see if your loved one had a safe deposit box. Go through your loved one’s contacts and see if you can get in touch with any lawyers, accountants, or financial…Read More

3 Health Care Documents To Include In Your Estate Plan
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: May 14, 2020

Decisions about your health care are some of the most important you will ever make. Don’t put off making plans until you are unable to assert your wishes. Including health care documents in your estate plan can ensure your decisions are always your choice, even if you cannot speak for yourself. Health care documents that clearly state your wishes should be included in your comprehensive estate plan. Here are three documents you need to include in your estate plan to ensure your wishes are respected: Health Care Directive This document allows you to name a health care agent. This will be the individual who you grant the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf. A health care agent may also be called a health care surrogate or a personal…Read More

4 Things Trusts Can Do That Wills Can't
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: May 14, 2020

Both wills and trusts are estate planning documents that can be used to pass your wealth and property to your loved ones upon your death. However, trusts come with some distinct advantages over wills that you should consider when creating your plan. That said, when comparing the two planning tools, you won’t necessarily be choosing between one or the other—most plans include both. Indeed, a will is a foundational part of every person’s estate plan, but you may want to combine your will with a living trust to avoid the blind spots inherent in plans that rely solely on a will. Here are four reasons you might want to consider adding a trust to your estate plan: 1. Avoidance of probate One of the primary advantages a living trust has…Read More

Don't Let Your Info Be Used For Medicare Fraud
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: September 23, 2019

Unfortunately, there are people in the world who would rather steal money from others than make money of their own. Stealing from our health care system is increasing through scams run by rogue healthcare providers or others in the healthcare industry who are billing Medicare for unnecessary or non-existent testing, diagnoses and claims. These healthcare industry participants are then pocketing the money they get from Medicare to increase their bottom line. The problem even bigger problem for unwitting individuals is that Medicare then sometimes must cut off coverage and services to the victims of this fraud for future health episodes. Here’s how Medicare fraud is being perpetrated and the what you can do about it. 1. How is Medicare Fraud Being Perpetrated? Many scammers are preying on older Americans using…Read More

What Is the Difference Between a Health Care Directive and a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order?
  • By: Taylor Kaspar
  • Published: July 15, 2019

It is a very good idea to create advance directives in order to plan for the possibility that you may one day be unable to make your own medical decisions. In doing so, there can be confusion about the difference between a health care directive and a "do-not-resuscitate" order (DNR). While both these documents are advance medical directives, they serve different purposes. A health care directive is a document that you can use to give instructions regarding treatment if you become terminally ill or are in a persistent vegetative state and unable to communicate your instructions. The health care directive states under what conditions life-sustaining treatment should be terminated. If you would like to avoid life-sustaining treatment when it would be hopeless, you need a health care directive. A health…Read More

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