While estate planning is a complex process for anyone, it can become even more complicated if you have a large number of assets to manage within your estate plan. Unfortunately, many high net worth individuals fail to anticipate the complications that such large estates can cause, resulting in legal and financial problems for themselves and their heirs. Here are five common mistakes high net worth individuals make when planning their estates: Continue reading “Common Mistakes in Estate Planning for High Net Worth Individuals”
If you are getting older or have a chronic illness, you may have spent time thinking about what would happen to your loved ones if you were to pass away, or if you could no longer take care of yourself. Despite these concerns, you may have put off estate planning. By planning your estate properly, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from serious legal difficulties.
Here are five ways estate planning can benefit you and your family: Continue reading “Five Ways to Avoid Legal Problems With Estate Planning”
If you are getting older, chances are that you have considered how you will pay for your long-term care needs should you need care in your home or in a facility. Long-term care is very expensive and it becomes more difficult to pay for if you will be relying on your savings or other assets. Medicaid may be a viable solution, but first, you may need to consider placing assets into a Medicaid trust to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid. Continue reading “What is a Medicaid Trust, and How Can it Help Me?”
Although not the most widely known or understood estate planning tool, a trust may be extremely helpful for your personal needs. While a will might be fine for some, the advantages of a trust can be preferable for some estates. Here are five major reasons you should consider a trust for your estate planning needs: Continue reading “Five Reasons You Should Consider a Trust for Estate Planning”
The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act (SECURE Act) was signed into law this past December, and it has potential ramifications for anyone who has a retirement account. In particular, it will have significant ramifications for anyone engaged in estate planning whose retirement accounts may disburse payments after they have passed away. As such, anyone trying to plan their estate with a retirement account should be aware of the impact the law might have on you and your loved ones. Continue reading “SECURE Act Could Have Major Impact on Your Retirement Account”
Estate planning is an important task for anyone advancing in years, especially for anyone with a large amount of property that will need to be allocated after your demise. But what do you need to consider when you’re planning your estate? What can you do to avoid catastrophe when the worst comes to pass? Well, here’s five questions to ask yourself when you’re planning your estate. Continue reading “Five Things to Consider When Planning Your Estate”
When Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018, she left behind a litany of musical memories for her fans. But one thing she forgot to leave behind was a Will.
Variety reported that the “Queen of Soul” — who died at the age of 76 of pancreatic cancer — had no Will designating who will benefit from her estate. In her home state of Michigan, if an unmarried person with children dies intestate, each surviving child receives an equal amount of the decedent’s assets. In this case, Ms. Franklin’s four sons filed documents in court listing themselves as interested parties and acknowledged the absence of a Will, while their cousin requested to be the personal representative of Ms. Franklin’s estate.
Continue reading ““Queen of Soul” Leaves Behind a Legacy, But No Will”
A revocable living trust establishes a relationship between:
- The creator of the trust
- The trustee who manages the property within the trust and distributes proceeds to beneficiaries
- The beneficiaries who receive the property in the trust when the term of the trust expires
A revocable living trust allows assets within the trust as well as income generated by those assets to be managed and distributed by the trustee. The trust income and property are then distributed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the trust. This type of trust is referred to as a living trust because it is established during the lifetime of the creator. With a revocable trust, the grantor may revoke the trust at any point by moving the assets into his or her name without the consent of any other party. Continue reading “Revoking a Trust”
A Last Will and Testament is an important estate planning document that contains provisions for assets and the distribution of property upon death. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to account for assets that do not pass directly under a Will. These assets may include life insurance policies, pensions, IRAs, and 401(k) or 403 plans. After the policyholder of these assets dies, the policies may distribute the benefits to their heirs at law if there is no beneficiary designation and no Last Will and Testament.
A power of attorney is an important estate planning document and can be an essential tool in ensuring that an individual’s wishes are carried out should he or she become mentally or physically incapacitated. A power of attorney is a standardized legal document that allows an individual, known as the principal, to designate a representative, known as the agent, to make financial decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated or unable to act on their own behalf. A power of attorney specifies how much power an agent will have and can be created with limited powers, broad powers and can become effective upon the occurring of an event. Many individuals assume that regardless of whether it is limited or broad that the document will contain the same language and provisions. However, more often than not, this presumption is incorrect and may lead to issues in the future.