Larry Rouse's blog

Reflecting upon Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh, born February 4, 1902, lived his life of triumph and tragedy always in the public eye. His landmark trans-Atlantic flight made him the first person to spend one day in New York and the next day in Paris. He used his fame to promote commercial aviation and air mail. Towards the end of his life, he promoted land conservation and dedicated a public park in Little Falls, Minnesota in honor of his father, a congressman. He aspired to use his influence to make the world a better place.

Pitfalls of Generic Legal Forms

At first glance, do-it-yourself forms seem to be an appealing way to protect yourself legally. For less than $100 you can get a form for just about any need from real estate deeds to structuring a new business to estate planning. Online forms may ask you a few questions and build a legal form around your response. You print it, attempt to complete it, and maybe sign it. With the form now tucked away in your filing cabinet, you may think you have the proper legal protection. The only way of knowing you are adequately covered is in the unfortunate event that the document gets tested.

Special Needs Planning

When a family member with "special needs" is in your care, you should plan on how that support will continue when you are no longer around. Generally, in order for your family member to qualify for important government benefits, such as Medicaid, he or she has to turn over any inheritance they receive. However, a Special Needs Trust allows you to leave money for the beneficiary’s care that will not count against government benefit thresholds, because the assets are still part of your estate, not your loved one's.

5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

No matter what your net worth is, you should always have an estate plan designed by a qualified attorney. Your assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests as well as the wealth you'll accumulate in the future. Estate planning will ensure that you are still helping your family when you are no longer here.

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