If you're a member of the Denver Broncos, congratulations. You just won the Super Bowl, and the jewel-encrusted Super Bring worth thousands of dollars that goes along with it. That Super Bowl ring will be a cherished part of your family heirlooms for a long time to come, but you have...

During your lifetime, your retirement accounts enjoy asset protection, meaning that they are not available to creditors to collect on. But as soon as you pass that account to a loved one as part of your estate, that protection evaporates. This means one lawsuit and POOF! Your life long, hard earned...

With every new year there are renewed resolutions to do things we have been continually putting off, such as getting more exercise, losing weight, spending less, and maybe getting an estate plan in place. If you're reading this, it's not too late to retain an estate planning lawyer to begin or revise your current plans that may include a will or a trust. Even if you have a plan, it's important to review it regularly. Laws change every year, and your concerns and needs probably do too. 2016 is no exception.

If you are married and have children from a previous marriage, or if your spouse brought children from a previous relationship to your marriage, you have special estate planning concerns. Most people want to provide for their spouse first, if they pass away, and then their kids. This is easy if all your kids are your spouse's kids too, and vice versa. Most people in that scenario simply leave all money to the surviving spouse, with the expectation will be taken care of in a manner, regardless of who passes away first. It gets confusing quickly, however, if you have kids from different relationships. In that scenario, leaving all your money to your spouse with the expectation that he or she will keep your kids in their estate plan can backfire spectacularly. There's nothing to prevent your spouse from changing everything, and cutting your kids out entirely, after you pas away.

Although estate planning may seem like a lower priority when your personal net worth is stagnating or diminishing, a down economy provides some exciting estate planning for opportunities for people who approach it with a long term perspective. With interest rates low and assets losing value, revisiting how you own your assets and how you will transfer ownership to your heirs can uncover options that won't always be available to you.