The Best Gift You Can Leave to Your Loved Ones!

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Heather McManamy, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, was told her condition was terminal in 2014.  She began reflecting on what the future lives of her friends and family would be like, after she passed away, and gained national popularity as the dying mother who had written cards for many of her daughter’s future milestones.

She particularly wanted to communicate life lessons and advice to her daughter, Brianna, who was only a toddler. So McManamy decided to write greeting cards for big events in her daughter’s life, to be opened as each occasion took place.

The Wisconsin mom left over 40 different cards for events in her daughter’s life, including formal events such as birthdays and her wedding, as well as informal ones, such as advice for bad days and her first breakup.

McManamy also prepared a note for her husband to post on her Facebook page, which he did after her death in December. Her note showed her love of life and for her friends and family.

McManamy’s announcement of her death, like her greeting card notes to her daughter, left wise advice for its readers:

“From the bottom of my heart, I wish all my friends long, healthy lives and I hope you can experience the same appreciation for the gift of each day that I did. . . . Please do me a favor and take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the fragile adventure that is this crazy life. Don’t ever forget: every day matters.”

McManamy’s memoirs will be published in book form in April 2016, “Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter.”

McManamy’s positive attitude and writings also serve as sage advice of something we too often forget. Preparing for and facing death openly and honestly is a gift to our loved ones because it allows us to leave behind what really matters, not just what we’ve accumulated financially, but our wisdom, our love and our leadership.

That’s why we build Family Wealth Legacy Interviews into our estate planning process, so we can ensure you leave behind what really matters. Give us a call today if you’d love to ensure you leave a legacy of love to the ones you care about most.

This article is a service of [name], Personal Family Lawyer®. One of the objectives of our law practice is to keep families out of court and out of conflict. Our lawyers can help you protect those you love using a Family Wealth Planning Session. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and identify the best strategies for you and your family.

Nalini S Mahadevan JD, MBA   314-932-7111 ( office)  314-374-8784 (mobile)

DISCLAIMER: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Information contained in this email are not legal advice and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

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Do Physicians Really Need Asset Planning?

A couple consulted me about writing a will and trust for their family. The husband is a doctor and the wife is a lawyer, both in private practice. They had two young children under the age of 18 and no prior marriages. Both carried malpractice insurance for their professions and an umbrella policy. They had good cars and a residence in a nice neighborhood. They also had retirement plans and mutual funds and children in private school. They were saving for college through 529 Plans.

They wanted to protect their families and assets from lawsuits and creditors. Missouri is a great asset planning state, but the planning to protect assets should start at least four years in advance—creditors can sue to set aside the transfer. Assets can be attached if the transfer (to another person or entity or trust) occurs and the lawsuit is filed within four years of the transfer.

The best way to protect assets is to transfer the asset to a trust, other entity, or person with no recourse to the owner. However, a house jointly owned by husband and wife is not protected in the event of a divorce the property, and can be divided between the parties. The creditors of the deceased spouse can also sue to recover from the sale of the residence. Hence holding assets in joint name may not always be the answer.

The 529 plans are not subject to federal income tax and can be paid in advance up to five years depending on the plan—and are excluded from the estate of the deceased—to offer asset protection. Professional and umbrella polices may be insufficient to satisfy creditors in a lawsuit, which means that protecting other assets becomes imperative.

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney St. Louis, Missouri


The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.

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