‘Til Death Do Us Part – Estate Planning Tips for Commitment Without Marriage

Posted on February 6, 2017

Content provided by WealthCounsel; reviewed and edited by Beth Ann R. Lawson, Esq.

Advice columnist Ann Landers once observed that “love is friendship that has caught fire.” For many Americans, such feelings are not being formalized by marriage. This growing group of committed partners includes all ages with many seniors now expanding the numbers.


  • Per the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 112 million people in the U.S. are unmarried;
  • 45 percent of our country’s households are “unmarried households.”
  • In 2013, the CDC found that “cohabitation [without marriage] is now a regular part of family life in the U.S.”

The law has not kept up with these societal trends. If you and your significant other love each other but do not want to tie the knot, you need an estate plan that provides for each partner’s specific needs which protect both the partner along and any other loved ones you wish to protect. When the cost of long term care enters a family’s life, then marriage is a true legal tie that binds the two incomes and assets to the cost of the long term care for one or both.  For many seniors, paying long term care for a second spouse at the risk of leaving nothing to their own family is too big a price to pay. Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning

Caution: Creditors May Have Easy Access to Inherited IRAs

Posted on January 9, 2017

Content provided by WealthCounsel; reviewed and edited by Kenneth A. Dodl, Esq.

Do you have IRAs or other retirement accounts that you plan to leave to your loved ones?  If so, proceed with caution.  Most people don’t know the law has changed: inherited retirement accounts no longer have asset protection, meaning they can be seized by claims against your beneficiaries.


How Can Inherited IRAs Be Protected?  Enter the Retirement Plan Trust

Fortunately, you can still protect your retirement account for your beneficiaries but only if you take action.  Many people are now using Retirement Plan Trusts as part of their estate planning to protect retirement assets.  The Retirement Plan Trust is a special type of trust  Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning, Retirement Planning Trusts Tagged |

3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons

Posted on January 5, 2017

Content provided by WealthCounsel; reviewed and edited by Beth Ann R. Lawson, Esq.

Most of us would assume that individuals of extreme wealth would take steps to protect their estates and the people they love. Yet some of the world’s richest and most famous people pass away with no estate plan in place. Others made estate planning mistakes which tied up their fortunes and heirs for years in court. Three high-profile celebrity probate disasters offer lessons from which we can all learn regardless of the size of our individual estates.

Tom Carvel, The Ice Cream Man

Photo Courtesy of Carvel Ice Cream

As the man who invented soft-serve ice cream and established the first franchise business in America, Tom Carvel had a net worth of up to $200 million when he died in 1990.



Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning, Trust & Estate Administration

Carrell Blanton Ferris Participates in Alzheimer’s Walk

Posted on November 4, 2016

Carrell Blanton Ferris is participating in The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday, November 5th, 2016 at Innsbrook (Markel Plaza) in Richmond, VA.  In the United States someone develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds.  We are excited to join together with others who strive to end a disease that affects millions each year.  For more information about The Alzheimer’s Association or how to donate, please visit http://www.alz.org/.


Posted in Estate Planning

Jeremy L. Pryor To Discuss Elder Law On Regional Radio Show

Posted on July 6, 2016


Jeremy L. Pryor, Esq. was selected to speak on the subject of Elder Law on the regional radio show, Legalbrief Today, broadcast on 820AM The Answer. Tune in at 10:30am Saturday, July 9, 2016 to hear him answer to some popular questions about elder law planning, guardianship/conservatorship, Medicaid and much more.

Posted in Attorneys in the News, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships