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How to handle becoming incapacitated

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Thursday, April 24, 2018. Georgia residents could find themselves incapacitated at any time. This could happen because of a car accident or because old age has lowered a person’s mental abilities. Whether an individual is temporarily or permanently…

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The importance of regularly reviewing an estate plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Monday, April 16, 2018. People who have an estate plan still need to review that plan regularly to make sure it remains up to date. For example, if the estate plan was created in another state, it might…

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Estate planning documents and their uses

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Monday, April 9, 2018. Some people in Georgia might be among the roughly two-thirds of adult Americans who do not have a will. People often postpone creating an estate plan because it forces them to consider their own…

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Living trusts need action to reap the benefits

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Thursday, March 29, 2018. Many people in Georgia work hard to plan their estates in order to maximize the benefits of their assets for their heirs and beneficiaries. One mechanism that many individuals can use to improve their…

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The importance of revisiting estate plans

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a number of Georgia residents will find that they no longer have to worry about estate taxes. However, there are multiple estate plan aspects…

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Options for transferring wealth

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Many parents strive to take care of their children and loved ones in any way they can. A proper estate plan allows them to do so even after they pass away. There are many ways wealth can be transferred in an…

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Examples of asset control and protection enabled by trusts

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Monday, March 12, 2018. People in Georgia who want to bequeath money or other assets to their children need to consider their recipients’ ability to handle money and other financial needs. Bequeathing money outright, even to an adult…

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How a child support judgment might affect an inheritance

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. When people in Georgia create an estate plan, they should make sure that their beneficiaries do not have debts that could cause them to lose an inheritance. Before distributing an inheritance, an executor is…

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Estate planning with new tax legislation

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Georgia residents can implement certain estate planning strategies to take advantage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation allows taxpayers to transfer an extraordinary sum of money without being assessed federal…

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The importance of health care planning in retirement

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in elder law on Friday, February 23, 2018. Many Georgia residents have spent a lot of time planning and saving for retirement. However, they may not necessarily think about how health care costs could impact their ability to live comfortably after they leave the workforce. The…

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How to take advantage of new estate tax laws

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Monday, February 12, 2018. Georgia residents and others may be impacted by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In addition to making changes to the personal and business tax code, it also affected estate tax…

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Estate planning tools at a person’s disposal

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Monday, February 5, 2018. Estate planning is important for any Georgia resident who has assets. An estate is anything that a person owned at the time of his or her death. If a person had debts or other…

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How trusts can help protect your business

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. If you are a Johns Creek area business owner or anticipate becoming one, one of the most important things you could ever do to protect your investment involves estate planning. Though your company might be…

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Talking inheritances with the kids

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning** on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Many people living in Georgia have already completed their estate plans, which could include wills and advance directives. What they may not have done, however, is actually explained to their adult children what these…

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Digital assets can be important in estate planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. With the rise in popularity and value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, new questions have arisen for Georgia residents who want to get involved with these forms of digital investments. Backed up by blockchain…

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Art collections need careful estate planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. More so than perhaps any other kind of collection, an art collection is a reflection of its curator. His or her tastes, quirks, and, perhaps above all else, level of wealth are on display…

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Tailoring an estate plan after tax law changes

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, January 15, 2018. Ideally, Georgia residents will maintain their estate plans much like they would maintain their homes and cars. This means regularly reviewing them to ensure that it still meets their needs. Reviews should be done…

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Important estate planning steps for new parents

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Thursday, December 28, 2017. When you become a first-time parent, you may find yourself consumed with feedings, naps and learning the ropes of caring for a newborn on your own. With everything you have going on, it becomes all…

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What married couples need to know about Medicaid assets

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in medicaid qualification** on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Married senior couples in Georgia who receive Medicaid benefits sometimes have concerns about how assets will affect them, especially if moving to a nursing home is necessary for one spouse. Since long-term care in…

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Benefits to long-term care planning today

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in elder law** on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Georgia residents may benefit from thinking about long-term care planning years before they need it. This may make it possible to limit the impact of rising health care costs that could prevent an individual…

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Court orders new measures to assess intermittent pain

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in va aid & attendance on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Veterans in Georgia who have a service-related disability have some familiarity with the VA rating system for disabilities. The rating has a direct effect on the vet’s disability pension. The higher the disability rating, the higher…

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Charitable trusts and perpetuity

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, December 11, 2017. People in Georgia who are creating estate plans might want to consider the benefits of a charitable trust. This estate planning tool differs from other types of trusts in a few ways. For regular trusts, there needs to…

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How to use estate planning to ensure your company’s longevity

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. As a small business owner in Johns Creek, you have managed to build up a lucrative business from the ground up. The one thing you may have overlooked along the way is making your estate plans. Without them, all…

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Applying early is the key to long-term care benefits for veterans

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in va aid & attendance on Monday, December 4, 2017. Veterans in Johns Creek, Georgia, and elsewhere around the Peach State should be aware of a relatively unknown veteran benefit. It is called the Veterans Aid & Attendance pension benefit and applies to a pension-eligible veteran,…

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Legal documents needed for end-of-life matters

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Having a properly drafted will is an important part of an estate plan. However, there are other end-of-life documents Georgia residents should have on hand. A living will details what type of medical treatments individuals want and do…

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The pros and cons of joint tenancies and trusts

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, November 16, 2017. Some people who are creating an estate plan in Georgia might wonder whether they can pass assets down to their heirs while avoiding the delays of probate. This can be done with either a joint tenancy or a…

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What to know about decanting

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, November 10, 2017. In the past, Georgia grantors had little recourse if they wanted to change or put an end to an irrevocable trust. To do so, it generally cost a lot of money plus the consent of every beneficiary. However,…

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Estate planning and divorce

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Estate plans are useful in protecting assets for intended beneficiaries. Not having a well-planned estate plan in place when one gets a divorce can result in unfortunate consequences for Georgia residents who have specific ideas about what should…

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Estate planning for couples without children

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, November 6, 2017. Georgia couples who do not have children might think they do not need an estate plan. However, an estate plan is just as important for them. While preserving wealth for their descendants might not be a concern, they…

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Different elements of a general power of attorney

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Monday, November 6, 2017. As you prepare your estate plan, it is important that you select the proper person or people to handle your affairs. Such individuals hold a great amount of power in your place, so it is important to select trustworthy, capable trustees.…

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Making a valid will in Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Friday, October 20, 2017. The technicalities of making a will can seem fairly simple, yet many people slip up on them, often because they underestimate the importance of getting every detail right. When you put thought and care into the disposition of your…

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Entrepreneurs and estate plans

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Many successful entrepreneurs in Georgia have allowed their estate plans to lapse. This means that if the unexpected occurs, their loved ones may not be properly provided for. People who want to limit taxes and ensure that their…

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Power of attorney red flags

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, October 13, 2017. When individuals Georgia begin to work on an estate plan, they may decide to provide financial power of attorney to one of their children, another relative or a family friend. The person who has power of attorney can…

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Estate plan options for an IRA

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. People in Georgia who are creating an estate plan may not think they need anything more than a will. However, there are several types of assets that are passed down using a beneficiary designation and not a will.…

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Reasons to make gifts prior to passing away

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. Georgia residents who are planning on making a gift after they die may benefit as much or more by doing it while still alive. One reason to consider giving a planned gift prior to death is to witness…

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Non-financial issues in estate planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. Many people in Georgia see estate planning as arranging for the transfer of physical assets and financial accounts. To a large extent, that vision is correct. Planning for post-death transfers of property is the main reason for creating…

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Using trusts for estate planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Estate holders in Georgia should think about taxes and income when planning for the future of their assets. The goal is for one to be able to have control over their assets after passing away. In conjunction with…

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The responsibilities of the executor of a will in Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. An important part of careful estate planning is appointing an executor whom you can rely on to ensure the carrying out of your wishes when the time comes. Understanding what the executor will have to do can help you…

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Estate planning for women

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Women living in Georgia may have unique estate planning needs. The reasons for this include that women often live longer than men, may earn less over their lifetimes and might not be as familiar as their husbands with…

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The benefits of a power of attorney

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Georgia residents may benefit from adding a durable power of attorney to their estate plan. A power of attorney allows an individual to name an agent to act on his or her behalf. By making that power durable,…

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Reasons to hire legal counsel to create an estate plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, August 21, 2017. Some Georgia residents may not want to pay for an attorney to help them create an estate plan. However, there may be downsides to using a will template or other templates that can be downloaded from the internet.…

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Estate planning and final arrangements

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. When Georgia residents begin the estate planning process, they are often concerned about issues such as asset distribution, establishing trusts, and end-of-life decision-making. Sometimes, however, estate planning neglects the issue of final arrangements. Unfortunately, it is not unusual…

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Using a qualified personal residence trust

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. With a qualified personal residence trust, a Georgia resident can transfer their home to a trust and reserve the right to live on the property for a certain number of years. Conducting a home transfer with this type…

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What to know about wills before meeting lawyers

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, August 7, 2017. How many people today lack a will? A report from the American Association of Retired Persons showed that only about four out of every 10 American adults have crafted a will. It is vital to get this document out of…

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New law makes it easier for disabled individuals to create SNTs

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in medicaid qualification on Monday, July 31, 2017. Individuals who live in Georgia might know about a federal law that was passed earlier this year called the 21st Century Cures Act. The act was signed into law by President Obama toward the end of 2016. The…

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Business owners overlooking estate planning basics

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, July 28, 2017. Many Georgia business owners require steady cash flow to support their other investments and family. Much effort is put into establishing a solid business and growing the many relationships it relies upon, yet many Johns Creek owners fail…

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The use of irrevocable trusts

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, July 17, 2017. When Georgia residents are planning their estates, there are many ways for them to ensure that their loved ones will be provided for. However, there are situations where they may want to keep control over their assets. Irrevocable…

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Wills and drafting mistakes

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, July 10, 2017. Many Georgia residents draft their own wills. However, they should be aware of which mistakes to avoid so that their preferences are honored after they die. One is failing to name all immediate relatives or those who would…

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Reasons to discuss your estate plans with your family

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Thursday, July 6, 2017. You may not look forward to discussing your estate plans and instructions for your end-of-life care with your family in Georgia, but it is one of the most important conversations you can have with them. Talking to them now…

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Types of charitable trusts

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, July 3, 2017. Georgia residents who wish to leave a portion of their estate to a charity might want to use a charitable split-interest trust. This type of trust provides an income for the beneficiary as well as supporting a charity.…

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IRA trusts as part of an estate plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, June 26, 2017. When Georgia residents have worked all their lives to build up a sizable estate, they may worry their heirs may not be good money managers or will fritter away their inheritances in a short while. There are, however,…

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Keeping a power of attorney current

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Georgia residents who have prepared medical or financial powers of attorney might want to review them with an attorney to make sure they are still current. Starting in 1993 with the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act, there have…

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Strategies to create a stronger estate plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. An estate plan may provide several benefits to Georgia adults. For instance, it may help them limit the burden of estate taxes or provide greater control over where assets go after death. It may also make the process…

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Estate planning strategies for a blended family

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, June 9, 2017. Remarriages and blended families are common in Georgia, but many of those involved are unaware of how to deal with pitfalls in finances and the law. The management of an estate and and naming of beneficiaries, as well…

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4 basic requirements for Georgia wills

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. If you wish to apportion your estate through a will in Georgia, you can reduce the risk of potential challenges by making sure to comply with technical requirements. Georgia law sets out four main requirements for a valid will.…

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What trusts can do that wills cannot

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, June 2, 2017. People in Georgia who are creating estate plans may wonder whether they should use trusts instead. A trust may offer a number of advantages over a will, one of which is avoiding the potentially costly and lengthy probate…

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Why letters of final wishes are important

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, May 22, 2017. While attorneys may draft wills, powers of attorney and trusts, Georgia estate holders must write their own letters of final wishes. A letter of final wishes gives a testator’s family members, close friends and trusted colleagues information that…

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Possible changes ahead in estate tax laws

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Georgia residents who have created an estate plan with a strategy that aims to minimize federal estate tax might want to review that plan in case the estate tax is repealed. While its future is uncertain, thinking about…

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Veterans groups concerned over AHCA language

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in va aid & attendance on Monday, May 8, 2017. Georgia residents who suffer from preexisting medical conditions, have limited incomes or are former members of the U.S. armed forces were likely paying close attention on May 4 when the House of Representatives voted on the…

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How to protect your estate from creditors

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Monday, May 8, 2017. You need more than a last will and testament to protect your estate in Georgia and ensure that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. If you die with debt, your creditors can sue your estate to receive what is owed…

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Financial strategies to cover long-term care expenses

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in elder law on Monday, May 1, 2017. Many Georgia residents will need to pay for some form of long-term care when they are elderly. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of people will eventually need to enter a…

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Handling online accounts after a loved one dies

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in probate and estate administration on Thursday, April 27, 2017. People of all ages in Georgia and many other places now use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate and stay on top of the news. When someone passes away, unless there is a…

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Tips for estate planning in Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, April 17, 2017. When creating an estate plan, many Georgia residents focus on their will and how they want their property distributed when they die. While these are important topics, people should also think about other things. Some potential areas of…

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Trusts play important role in estate planning for parents

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Estate planning consists of several tools that are important for Georgia parents who are looking to protect the well-being of their children. Parents can provide protection from the possibility of incapacity or death by ensuring assets are used…

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Designating a guardian for your children

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in blog on Monday, April 10, 2017. If you have minor children, appointing a guardian ranks among the most important parts of your estate plan. There are many legal and personal issues to consider while making your decision. A knowledgeable estate attorney can help you come…

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Special Workshop Event!

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, April 7, 2017.      Gibbs Financial Group is sponsoring a free “Estate Planning Essentials” Workshop at the Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby jones Dr., Johns Creek, on APRIL 13 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. To sign up contact Gibbs Financial Group 770-753-6359. Attorney James Miskell…

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The value of a power of attorney

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in elder law on Monday, March 20, 2017. Georgia residents are likely aware of the benefits of saving for retirement. However, it is also important that they take steps to protect the money that they have accrued. Roughly 20 percent of older adults will be the…

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How to handle an estate’s credit card debts

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in probate and estate administration on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. In certain situations, Georgia residents may inherit a deceased friend or relative’s credit card debt. This may be true if an individual was named as a cardholder along with the deceased individual. It may also be…

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Singer Bobby Vee’s children involved in estate dispute

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in probate and estate administration on Thursday, February 9, 2017. Georgia residents who are fans of the late singer Bobby Vee may be interested to learn that his children have been arguing over his estate. Robert Velline, known publicly by the stage name Bobby Vee, died…

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Coordinating beneficiary designations in estate planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Georgia residents who are preparing their estate plans should keep in mind that any beneficiary designations they have made will override contrary bequests in a will. Assets from bank accounts, life insurance policy proceeds and retirement accounts may…

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Providing for heirs with an education trust

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Many people in Georgia are firmly committed to helping their children and grandchildren with their educations. Knowing that the cost of schooling has increased significantly over the past decades, these individuals often look for options that can provide…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers:Estate Planning Lessons from the Late Anna Nicole Smith

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, September 19, 2016. After nearly 20 years of litigation and fighting in the press, the conflict between the estates of Anna Nicole Smith and her billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall has been resolved. On Monday August 18th, a federal judge in…

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Passing assets to beneficiaries who can’t manage money

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, September 15, 2016. When parents in Georgia are thinking about estate planning, they might be worried about their children squandering their inheritances too soon. However, there are steps that parents can take to help prevent their children from mismanaging the inheritances…

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Coming Up To Speed on the Inheritance and Coming Out Ahead on the Market

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Regardless, this tale serves as a good reminder to the rest of us: When you inherit a property-especially in an improving real-estate market-don’t underestimate its worth. Inheriting a property can be an immense gift and boon to your…

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Estate planning: the importance of talking to your aging parents

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Estate planning is very important in order to make sure a person’s wishes are carried out when they pass away. While it may seem uncomfortable, talking to your aging parents about their estate planning is also very important. There are…

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Estate planning should include a plan for incapacity

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Wills and trusts are some of the most common estate planning documents. Equally critical, though sometimes less talked about, is the importance of addressing incapacity in your estate plan. If you suffer an illness, injury or disability that renders…

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3 major life events that require updating your estate plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Estate plans should be regularly updated, particularly after major life events. Some of the events that require updating your estate plan include marriage, remarriage, the birth of children and illness or disability. Marriage and remarriage Marriage is one…

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Planning your estate and will: Why to use an attorney

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, June 3, 2016. Estate planning might not be something you’re thinking about at the moment, particularly if you’re young. However, it’s important to focus on estate planning eventually, because it helps determine what happens to your possessions if you die. There…

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Prince’s estate: More at stake than diamonds and pearls

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Music fans across the world were devastated by the recent news that iconic entertainer Prince unexpectedly passed away. Friends, colleagues, musicians, fans and loved ones have shared countless stories about how the superstar touched, improved and/or affected their…

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How’s That New Year’s Resolution Coming to Organize Your Finances?

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Gaining control over our finances is usually at or near the top of all New Year’s resolutions. What many people don’t realize, though, is that good legal planning is an essential component of our financial health. Effective legal…

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Rules Announced for Care Facility Residents Suffering from Dementia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Massachusetts regulators appear to be falling short in ensuring that nursing homes follow rules designed to improve care for some of their most vulnerable patients, those with dementia, a Globe review shows. Nursing homes have been notably slow…

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The Hits Keep Coming in DJ Casey Kasem’s Estate with Charges of Elder Abuse

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, February 16, 2015. The late, legendary DJ Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri Kasem and family members staged a press conference at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles Friday to urge the Los Angeles Police Department to arrest Mr. Kasem’s widow Jean Kasem.…

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Tips on College Education Savings

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, January 29, 2015. The government encourages saving for a college education by providing tax advantages through college savings plans. The world of these plans is a complicated one, with many, many alternatives available, each with slight variations and differences. To simplify,…

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Estate Tax 101

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, January 22, 2015. The estate tax is one of the most complex parts of the tax laws, drawing a lot of controversy among Americans. Even as opponents label it an unfair death tax on already-taxed money, proponents believe it’s one of…

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Award Winning Director May Have Used Trust to Keep Estate Secret

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. A recent headline in the New York Daily News, pertaining to the death of film director, Mike Nichols, highlighted the misinformation and confusion regarding how assets pass upon death. The headline said Nichols “left his estate to his…

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Don’t Leave Your Estate Planning To “The Beaver”

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, December 18, 2014. Today’s families are a lot different than Ward and June Cleaver. There are more families today with non-traditional situations than ever before. It is very common in my profession to have clients with same sex marriages, second marriages…

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Business Owners and Rising Taxes

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, November 20, 2014. As changes to the American Taxpayer Relief Act and the Affordable Care Act of 2012 become effective, business owners are facing escalating tax rates. Insightful enterprises are employing wealth management strategies to counteract the cost. Continual planning is…

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Be a Sweetheart and Remember Your Better Half in Estate Planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. What should you and your spouse do if you own your house, are retired, with a high six-figure nest egg, and no will or trust? The Wall Street Journal says, in an article titled “Estate Planning for Childless Couples,” that you…

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For Gwinnett, Suwanee, and Johns Creek Readers: A Discussion about Trustees

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, October 24, 2014. Selecting the executor of your estate or a trustee is one of the most important decisions in estate planning. A recent Investing Daily article, titled “Making Your Most Important Decision,” has some strategies to consider when selecting the financial fiduciaries for your…

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For Gwinnett, Suwanee, and Johns Creek Readers: Alzheimer’s and Planning for the Future

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, October 23, 2014. More than 5 million people live with Alzheimer’s, and that number, absent a medical breakthrough, could reach 16 million by mid-century. Medical research confirms one of the first things people have trouble with in the very early stages…

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For Gwinnett, Suwanee, and Johns Creek Readers: IRAs and The Supreme Court

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. When is an individual retirement account not a retirement account? When the Supreme Court says so. In a unanimous decision in June, the Supreme Court ruled that an inherited IRA is no longer a retirement account-noting that a…

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For Gwinnett, Suwanee, and Johns Creek Readers: Don’t Forget the Cranberries … or the Estate Planning!

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Thanksgiving weekend is a time to reflect, visit family, and of course, eat your fair share of pie. And while we may be thankful for the people and the wealth in our lives, not enough of us have…

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For Gwinnett, Suwanee, and Johns Creek Readers: Are You a Do-It-Yourselfer? Don’t Tackle This Project Alone

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, October 20, 2014. The Internet is a wonderful tool for so many areas of life. However, drafting legal documents is not necessarily one of them. While it may sound enticing to use that website form to draft your will, here are…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: The Basics of Estate Planning

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Too often, the need for the most basic estate-planning documents is overlooked or misunderstood. While many people would admit they should have a will, 50 percent of Americans with children and 41 percent of baby boomers age 55…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: Your Plan for the 529 Plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, September 26, 2014. The $5 million exemption fromfederal estate taxeliminates the need for many to do complex estate planning. Because the exemption amount is indexed for inflation, a married couple’s assets must exceed $10,680,000, before estate tax would apply, and then…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: Estate Planning Lessons from Hollywood

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, September 26, 2014. Celebrities seem to live a charmed life, but for all the advice they can buy, they’re still not immune to estate planning issues and the consequences of ignorance and bad planning. Several recent celebrity estate issues in the…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: Estate Planning Is No Saturday Morning Project!

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Americans, by and large, are do-it-yourselfers. Information abounds to help us tackle all kinds of situations — including estate planning. However, it might be best to use caution when considering preparing your own will and other estate planning…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: New Protection for Reverse Mortgages

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, September 18, 2014. A new federal rule has taken effect aimed at protecting certain spouses of reverse mortgage holders from being forced out of their homes when the mortgage holder dies. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to use the equity in…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: Veterans: The Importance of Keeping Those Military Papers in a Safe and Known Place

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Consider the experience of John J. Scroggin, who runs a tax business and estate-planning firm in Atlanta. His father, who died in 2001, wanted to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. “I called Arlington and they…

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Johnny Football Doesn’t Look To Be An All-Pro Planner … Yet

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Jonathan Paul Manziel got paid. The most talked-about quarterback in college football since Tim Tebow recently signed a four-year contract with the Cleveland Browns. According to an official press release by the National Football Association, insiders believe that…

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For Gwinnett County and Johns Creek Readers: Famous Actor’s Estate: Learn From Oscar Winner What Not To Do!

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, August 21, 2014. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, an accomplished actor, died suddenly in February at age 46 of a suspected drug overdose. Seymour had a long-term companion, Marianne O’Donnell, with whom he had three young children. Under the terms of his Will,…

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Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: Talking To Your Senior Parents About Finances

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, August 21, 2014. In addition to the strain imposed on millions of Americans related to managing their finances, many are also facing the task of stepping in to help their parents as they age and encounter health related obstacles. While you…

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For Gwinnett County and Johns Creek Readers: Second Marriages Can Cause Estate Planning Issues If Not Handled Properly

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Estate planning with one family is hard enough. For families with a mix of biological children and stepchildren, first spouses and second spouses, making out an equitable will can seem impossible. No one wants to leave their heirs…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: The Basics: Identifying Your Assets Is The Start Of a Good Estate Plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Few people relish estate planning. After all, deciding how you want your assets distributed after you die can serve as an unnerving reminder of your mortality. But there are plenty of reasons to tackle the task with some…

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For Gwinnett and Johns Creek Readers: The Basics: Identifying Your Assets Is The Start Of a Good Estate Plan

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. When planning for your estate, where do you start? The first step, according to CNN Money‘s “Identifying your assets” (i.e., part of its Money Essentials Series), is to review and inventory all of your assets. This includes your investments, pensions, retirement accounts,…

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Any Guess What The Top Mistake Is In Estate Planning?

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, August 15, 2014. You may have made a giant estate planning mistake without even knowing it – forgetting to update the names of your beneficiaries for your employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs, life insurance policies, mutual funds, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, annuities…

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FOR GWINNETT COUNTY AND JOHNS CREEK READERS: Does Credit Card Debt Outlive You?

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. After someone passes away different types of debts are handled differently. As Americans continue to accumulate credit card debt, it is important to know how it will be handled by your estate. News stories about the high amount…

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FOR GWINNETT COUNTY AND JOHNS CREEK READERS: When Comedians Tackle Estate Planning Issues

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Income inequality and the estate tax continue to be hot button issues in American politics and culture. Americans have a wide array of opinions about these two linked topics. Comedian John Oliver recently gave his humorous thoughts on…

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FOR GWINNETT AND JOHNS CREEK READERS: Does Everyone Need a Revocable Living Trust?

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, July 28, 2014. Gwinnett County and Johns Creek Readers: Does Everyone Need a Revocable Living Trust? Revocable living trusts solve many common estate planning problems. As such they continue to be extremely popular. However, not everyone needs to get a revocable…

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For Gwinnett County and Johns Creek Readers: Interest Rates Have Your Trust Down?

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Many trusts are set up in a way that creates two different groups of beneficiaries. The first group are income beneficiaries. They have a right to the current income the trust property generates. Another group are remainder beneficiaries…

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Knowing Better Than The Professionals: New Medicare Rules And Knowing Your Rights

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, May 16, 2014. Starting this year, the key criterion for [Medicare} coverage is a demonstrated need for skilled care – even if the patient isn’t expected to improve. That means patients already enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) who need care…

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An Estate With No Family To Pass It To: Motivations To Charity

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. WHETHER it’s treasured pearl earrings or a vintage camera, a house or what’s left of your life savings, deciding who should inherit your worldly goods means making sometimes wrenching choices. For older people without children, stepchildren or grandchildren,…

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Handing Over The Reins: Tricks To Converting Foundations Into Donor-Advised Funds

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, April 28, 2014. Donor-advised funds have become the hot thing for philanthropists who have grown weary of foundations. To run the charitable foundation is to have absolute control and discretion over the charity, its goals, its practices, and all the decisions…

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Handing Down a Headache and Not a Home: Pitfalls of the Reverse Mortgage

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Monday, April 21, 2014. Similar scenes are being played out throughout an aging America, where the children of elderly borrowers are learning that their parents’ reverse mortgages are now threatening their own inheritances. The reverse mortgage has its benefits, especially for many…

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New Considerations in Planning and the Stepped-Up Basis

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, April 18, 2014. Planning for married couples should include an evaluation of whether a portability-based plan or credit shelter based plan makes the most sense in the context of the couple’s financial and personal situation. New circumstances give rise to new…

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In science we refer to the rule of entropy, roughly: things tend toward chaos. It turns out that the same principal holds true for businesses. Chaos in business is litigation. If you are a small business owner, then you simply cannot have your greatest p

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in elder law on Friday, March 28, 2014. Nearly half a million elderly Americans likely died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2010, a figure almost six times higher than previous estimates of annual deaths, according to a new study released on Wednesday. Alzheimer’s disease is a unique…

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Gifting During Life

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. As a result [of today’s more favorable estate tax laws], it’s usually more tax efficient for people to hold onto their assets until death than to gift them earlier in life. Some states, however, still impose a state…

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A Medicaid Primer 101

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. If you have elderly parents, don’t wait to learn about Medicaid – sometimes referred to by a litany of other state names, like Medi-Cal and MassHealth. What is your Medicaid IQ? Most Americans have heard of Medicaid, since…

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Going Back To Basis

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Recent tax law changes are turning traditional estate planning on its head. Indeed, moves long considered savvy-for example, aggressively shifting wealth to younger generations while senior family members are still alive or leaving assets to a “bypass” trust-may…

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Challenges When Selling The Inherited Family Home / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, January 24, 2014. There’s the emotional aspect of getting a loved one’s home ready for sale – which likely includes clearing out his or her belongings and depersonalizing the rooms. There’s the financial cost of making necessary updates to attract buyers……

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Of Family Gifts And Medicaid Lookback Rules

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in medicaid qualification on Thursday, January 23, 2014. Medicaid has some very well-intentioned rules to stop people from taking advantage of the system. Many people set out intending to “beat the system.” It is called fraud. Unfortunately, sometimes the rules intended to stop outright fraud can…

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IRA Conversions To Roth Have Been Popular / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, January 17, 2014. Congress dangled an incentive for high-income Americans to convert their tax-deferred individual retirement accounts into post-tax plans. Their response was overwhelming. Conversions from regular IRAs to Roth retirement accounts increased more than nine times in 2010, rising to…

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Are Your Charities Good Stewards Of Your Philanthropy? / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. Want to better understand the mistakes charities make, so you can do a better job in your own philanthropic endeavors? Philanthropy is a difficult and certainly imperfect science. You give to do good, right? Nevertheless, it is quite…

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Is A Prenup Right For You? / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Friday, December 27, 2013. Prenups are designed to protect assets brought into the marriage, and if you don’t have any yet, don’t feel as if you’re doing something wrong by not asking your partner for a prenup. Prenuptial agreements – prenups –…

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Inheritance Planning – What Should You Tell Your Kids / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, December 26, 2013. While having [estate planning] conversations takes a lot of courage, families that speak freely about these delicate issues can avoid problems down the line. Just getting yourself to think about your estate, let alone put together an estate…

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Survivorship Insurance – Making A Comeback / Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Tuesday, December 24, 2013. Some wealthy people are taking another look at survivorship insurance. The relatively obscure product, also known as “second-to die” insurance, insures two lives, usually spouses, with one policy. Where there is a risk and an attending financial exposure…

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“Estate Planning” Described in Georgia

On behalf ESTATE PLANNING LAW GROUP OF GEORGIA, James M. Miskell P.C. posted in estate planning on Thursday, November 28, 2013. Estate planning is the process of legally structuring the future disposition of current and projected assets. What is estate planning? Estate planning is many things. This lead question, however, is taken directly from the a recent Forbes article titled “What…

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