Thanksgiving can be a good time to talk to parents or other older loved ones about the plans they have in place, whether to understand more about what those plans are or to encourage them to make appropriate plans. It's also a great time to share with others what you've done on that front, to make sure that your own plans are in place.
Families of children with special needs often consult an estate planner like myself after larger questions have been resolved. If the disability results from some kind of accident, where a trust may be needed to administer the proceeds of a settlement, it is not unusual for the settlement lawyers to prepare a suitable trust during the litigation to obtain the settlement. That presents its own set of challenges and is more typically the province of a good special needs litigator.
In a year that is saddened by many celebrity deaths, including some recent deaths in the sporting world, one that's notable from an estate planning perspective is that of Arnold Palmer—but not in the way that you might expect.
In this back-to-school season, parents are about to find—whether their children are 18-year-olds who are still in high school or children going off to college—that when a young person turns 18 and reaches the age of majority, the parents’ ability to deal with the child's private data is severely curtailed.