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Teri’s Journal

23 hours ago

Teri Fields Page

Apparently Barbara Bush planned her funeral down to song selection. Another important component to estate planning.... ... See MoreSee Less

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1 day ago

Teri Fields Page

So I just got an alert on my phone about how tourists are now regularly roaming the grounds of Prince's estate and his cousin reports that this is something Prince would have NEVER wanted.
For a long time I have heard it debated: Prince v. Michael Jackson-- who's better?
When it comes to live performances, singing ability, dancing, song writing, production, appearance, style-- who knows. I personally have no opinion.
With regard to estate planning, Michael Jackson wins hands down.
Michael Jackson had an estate plan. He had a will and if you are interested in reading it, do a quick google search. You will see that it was thoughtfully exectued and provides for a trust.
Prince died intestate meaning that he had no will. (I still cannot believe that he had no will-- UNBELIEVABLE!) Even to this day, the reports are that the only people who have been paid out of his estate are the lawyers. He also had half-siblings and some other folks have come forward with dubious claims as to whether they qualify as a heir of Prince's estate. ALL of these headaches could have been easily dispatched with a simple will. With Prince's means, he could have had a comprehensive estate plan that would have contemplated all of his wishes, including keeping those tourists from roaming his estate.
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1 day ago

Teri Fields Page

A story for those in long term dating relationships: Ray and Barbara shared a wonderful life. For thirty-five (35) years, they monogamously dated, lived together and raised a family. Ray loved to ride his motorbike. On one sunny day, Ray went for a ride. He never returned. He had been involved in a car accident and suffered fatal injuries. To compound her grief, Barbara learned that she would not share in Ray’s estate—she would not even be allowed to control its distribution. Why? Ray was married. Moreover Ray had a will favoring his wife. You see, as a young man Ray married Susan. At that time he was in the Army and executed a will which named his wife as his personal representative as well as the beneficiary of his estate. Ray served, discharged from the Army and never again thought about that will or estate planning. At the time of his death, Susan had not spoken to Ray or even thought about Ray for decades. Nevertheless, when contacted and informed of the circumstances, Susan took over as estate administrator and exercised all of her rights accordingly. That is, Susan had authority to and made all decisions regarding Ray’s estate. Susan shared with Ray’s children Ray’s assets in accordance to what Georgia law dictated but never consulted with Barbara about decisions made regarding Ray’s estate. She didn’t want to and she didn’t have to. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 day ago

Teri Fields Page

If you do not have a will, Georgia has one for you. The Georgia will does not provide for distributions to friends. This includes those with whom we are in long term relationships. That means it does not matter that you have dated someone for 10, 20, 30 or 40 years, if you should pass away without a will, they are not entitled to take from your estate and the converse is also true. The Georgia will provides only for “husbands” and “wives.” ... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

Teri Fields Page

There is no minimum age for an adult to establish an estate plan. Once on reaches the age of eighteen (18) years, he should give consideration as to how he would want his assets distributed upon his death. I know this seems morbid, especially at the ages when one tends to think of himself as invincible—an interviewer did once call me “Dr. Death.” Far from being morbid, my practice helps me to remain grounded in the reality that death is very much a part of life. It is prudent and thoughtful to consider estate planning, no matter how young an adult. ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Teri Fields Page

The most important aspect of an estate plan is communication. I always advise my client to communicate his or her wishes to loved ones and especially the person he or she designates to administer the estate plan. I have seen estate plans tied up in litigation by family. One side maintains something like “Daddy would NEVER want that!” While the other side pushes to enforce the estate plan as written. An essential function of an estate plan is to avoid all the confusion. A lack of communication can negate even the best and most thoughtful planning. Optimal communication is FACE TO FACE never via text message. The phone is okay if absolutely necessary but the importance of estate planning mandates the highest and best form of communication available. One simply cannot beat face to face. ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Teri Fields Page

An important time to consider setting an estate plan in place is when you expect to receive a large lump sum of money-- the minimum threshold being $15,000. Now, I understand that such may be the time to go ahead and make the dream purchase such as that car or fur coat. But if one has loved ones who are dependent upon her, such extravagant purchases should be made with extreme care and consideration made for preserving assets for the future --- such as retirement, education of children and asset distribution at death. Here at Obiorah Fields, we regularly work with financial planners and professionals who may structure settlements. Our team has years of experience including war stories that have shaped our expertise. We can help prepare a financial plan that works in conjunction with an estate plan in order to help you realize financial goals. Oh, and maybe you can still get that fur coat but with our help you can get it in the most financially responsible way and not neglect planning! ... See MoreSee Less

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5 days ago

Teri Fields Page

An estate plan is just that—a plan. It should be thoughtfully put together with full intention of executing. At the same time, we live in a fluid and dynamic world. The plan is subject to change or to be completely thrown out. I suggest that if you face a major life change, you should reconsider your estate plan. Major life changes include marriage, divorce, birth and death. In addition, I would suggest reevaluating your estate plan every five (5) years. Bear in mind, that I have had clients who have had me review their estate plan which was much older than five (5) years. However, because there were no significant changes in beneficiaries or life circumstances, I could not and did not recommend changes to the estate plan. ... See MoreSee Less

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