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David G. Bale

Things You Should Consider Before Drafting Your Estate Plan

The only thing you need not consider before drafting an estate plan is whether you need one. Every adult needs one, even if it is basic. Building an estate plan is all about defining your goals and creating a plan that will achieve them. In order to set goals, you need to consider a range of issues.
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David G. Bale

Properties That Are Commonly Held in Trust

In its annual survey of how Americans carry out estate planning – whether they have a will or other heirship document in place – the website Caring.com has found that the percentage of people with just a simple will has been declining.
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David G. Bale

Wills and Trusts: What They Are and Why You Need Them Part 2

The Last Will and Testament is the primary planning document specifying the transfer of property from a deceased person's estate to his beneficiaries. It also can name a guardian for minor children or dependents, while providing other direction to courts for their care. (It may include a "Testamentary Trust" to provide for the minor's or dependent's financial estate.)
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DAVID G. BALE

Life Planning

Ben Franklin once experienced a constant harassment from an important and powerful political opponent. Franklin was aware that his opponent possessed an unusual and rare book, and he asked his opponent if he might borrow the book. His opponent agreed to the loan. Franklin returned it in due course, having taken good care of it along the way. Thereafter, his opponent never again harassed Franklin. Ben Franklin reported the event as a strategic effort to improve his relationship with that individual, and it worked.
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DAVID G. BALE

What Should I Look for In a Lawyer?

"I just need a simple will," the woman on the phone said. "How much will that cost?" she asked. I'll call her "Wilma," and she called me, saying she had been referred by a mutual friend. We had not yet discussed Wilma's situation at all, but it seemed that she'd already decided her will would not be complex. I felt that if I pushed Wilma on her view, before answering her question on costs, she would conclude I was trying to "up-sell" her on a more expensive plan.
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DAVID G. BALE

Protecting Your Health, Not Just Your Wealth

Alice was 70 years of age when she retired from work. Far from spending her golden years relaxing, though, what this really meant was that she was no longer physically able to work and had to rely on her Social Security check as her only income.
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David G. Bale

Wills and Trusts: What They Are and Why You Need Them Part 1

As I mentioned, I grew up on a small family farm in central Ohio. My dad had bought the land and everything that went with it. Like many farms of that time, my family ran the farm while my parents worked jobs earning the money that supported us. The farm was not a hobby. It was a real working farm that had an even shot of paying its way each year and adding to the bottom line. That was the goal, and usually it worked.
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DAVID G. BALE

How Do I Plan for My Children's Needs?

Gene Wilder, the successful actor and comedian who recently passed away, once described how-when he was a child-he'd helped care for his mother. She had been extremely ill with a heart condition. His mother's physician, upon examining her, warned the young Wilder to be good... or he could kill his mother.
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David G. Bale

Wills and Trusts: What They Are and Why You Need Them Part 3

The above concerns and documents are often affected by unique aspects of a client's situation. These may include tax issues where the property is significant; family law issues, such as a blended family or situations requiring separate financial controls, gifting intent as between spouses to their families, or disability of a family member, to name a few.
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