The Law Office of Nicole Israel

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As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add “estate planning” to your do list. And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse. First, be aware of the impact of doing nothing. If you were to become hospitalized for any reason prior to your wedding day, the…
When you are a kid, finding a suitable gift for Father’s Day can be a struggle. You want to get Dad something he’ll enjoy, but few young people can afford a new set of golf clubs or a shiny new grill, so you end up settling once again for the standard necktie and socks. And even after you become an adult, that struggle for the perfect Father’s Day gift often continues, albeit in a slightly different way. When it comes to expressing your love and appreciation for everything Dad has done, more “stuff” doesn’t cut it. If your father is…
With the arrival of summer, young people across the country are about to reach a key milestone: high school graduation. If you have a child claiming their diploma, now is the time to prepare them for life after leaving the nest. Graduating high school is a significant accomplishment. However, it comes with serious responsibilities that your child probably isn’t thinking much about right now. Once your child turns 18, they become a legal adult, and specific areas of their lives that were once under your control will be solely their responsibility. While your child will now be a legal adult,…
As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add “estate planning” to your do list. And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind right now, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse. First, be aware of the impact of doing nothing. If you were to become hospitalized for any reason prior to your marriage…
Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. At the time, her total fortune was estimated to be worth up to $80 million. Yet due to poor estate planning, the late singer’s children have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately do receive will be significantly depleted by back taxes. Moreover, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha ever had a valid will. When she passed away in August 2018, her family thought that Aretha died without any estate plan at…
A last will and testament is the most commonly thought-of document when it comes to an estate plan. But really it is only a very small part of an integrated plan that ensures your family stays out of court and out of conflict if and when something happens to you. Do not think you can just write your own will and that will help your family. You have probably seen ads from services that tout the idea that you can write your own will quickly – maybe even while you are in the security line at the airport (seriously, we…
The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. While the film’s twisting plot may seem far fetched, it sheds light on a tragic phenomenon—the abuse of seniors at the hands of crooked “professional” guardians. Last week ,in part one of this series, we offered a brief synopsis of the movie, which revolves around Marla Grayson, a crooked professional guardian who makes her living by preying on vulnerable seniors, and we then outlined the true events that…
Signed into law on March 11th, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) is the largest direct-to-taxpayer stimulus legislation ever passed, and it came just in time to save millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits were about to expire. In addition to extending unemployment relief, the ARP provides individual taxpayers and small business owners with a number of other vital financial benefits aimed at helping the country rebound from last year’s economic downturn. Of these benefits, you’ve likely already seen one of the ARP’s leading elements—the $1,400 direct stimulus payments, which went to taxpayers, children, and…
The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. While the film’s twisting plot may seem far fetched, it sheds light on a tragic phenomenon—the abuse of seniors at the hands of crooked “professional” guardians. In this two-part series, we’ll discuss how the movie depicts such abuse, how this can occur in real life, and what you can do to prevent something similar from happening to you or your loved ones using proactive estate planning and our Family…
While the quarantines, shutdowns, and social distancing measures related to the pandemic have been difficult for everyone, the elderly have been particularly hard hit. Since seniors face the most health risks from COVID-19, most of them have been careful to avoid close contact with their family members, and this has left many grandparents unable to visit with their grandchildren for close to a year now. This loss of in-person connection for such an extended period of time can cause people to feel isolated and lonely, which can eventually lead to mental health issues like depression. At the same time, children…
If you use Facebook to share, track, and report on important life events, it can provide an intimate snapshot of your life, and it can also serve as a key part of your legacy—and one you’ll likely want to protect following your death. With this in mind, as with any other digital asset you own, you should include your Facebook profile as part of your estate plan. While you’ll want to include your Facebook profile in your plan’s inventory of digital assets, Facebook also offers a special function, known as a “legacy contact,” for managing your profile after death. Using…
A will is one of the most basic estate planning tools. While relying solely on a will is rarely a suitable option for most people, just about every estate plan includes this key document in one form or another. A will is used to designate how you want your assets distributed to your surviving loved ones upon your death. If you die without a will, state law governs how your assets are distributed, which may or may not be in line with your wishes. That said, not all assets can (or should) be included in your will. For this reason,…
Discussing death can be awkward, and many people would prefer just to ignore estate planning all together. However, ignoring—or even putting off—such planning can be a huge mistake, as these celebrity stories will highlight. The next time one of your relatives tells you they don’t want to talk about estate planning, share these famous celebrities’ stories to get the conversation started. Such cautionary tales offer first-hand evidence of just how critical it is to engage in estate planning, even if it’s uncomfortable. The Marley Family Battle You would think that with millions of dollars in assets—including royalties offering revenue for…