When it comes to estate planning, a last will often serves as the cornerstone. But what happens if you want to make changes to your will? Enter the codicil. A codicil is a legal document that allows you to amend specific provisions in your last will. Let's dig into what a codicil is, how it works, and when you might need one. Understanding a Codicil A codicil lets you make minor changes to your will without having to rewrite the entire document. Think of it as a legal "P.S." that attaches … [Read more...] about What Is a Codicil and How Does It Work?
Estate planning is more than just a legal requirement to prevent intestacy; it's a way to ensure that your loved ones have the support they need. With this in mind, if you have a family member with a disability, one of the most effective tools at your disposal is a supplemental needs trust. In this blog post, we'll explore why this type of trust is so advantageous, particularly concerning Medicaid estate recovery. Understanding a Supplemental Needs Trust A supplemental needs trust aims to … [Read more...] about Secure a Loved One’s Future With a Supplemental Needs Trust
As 2024 approaches, a crucial update from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) brings changes to the federal estate and gift tax exclusions. This blog post will delve into these changes and explore various strategies to minimize the negative impact. Understanding the 2024 Exclusion Increases In a significant move, the IRS has raised the unified exclusion amount for estate and gift taxes from $12.92 million in 2023 to $13.61 million in 2024. This increase means individuals can leave more to their … [Read more...] about IRS Announces Gift and Estate Tax Increases for 2024
The phrase "Silver Tsunami" captures the significant increase of Baby Boomers entering their retirement years. While it underscores the urgency to address various societal issues, it also highlights a personal need: comprehensive legacy planning. Now more than ever, this planning extends beyond physical assets to include digital ones, ensuring a well-rounded legacy. The Evolving Scope of Estate Planning Though traditional forms of estate planning like wills and trusts still hold, they are … [Read more...] about Legacy Planning In the Age of the Silver Tsunami
When we think of estate planning, our minds often jump to physical assets, property, and finances. However, some of the most treasured parts of our legacies are intangible. These invaluable elements, such as personal memoirs, family history, heirlooms, and ethical wills, capture the essence of our life's journey. Let's explore the unmatched value these unique assets bring to your legacy plan. Personal Memoirs: Your Life's Chronicle Your life is a story filled with triumphs, challenges, joyous … [Read more...] about What Money Can’t Buy: Intangible Wealth That Bolsters Your Legacy Plan
As the year winds down, many of us are caught up in holiday planning and New Year's resolutions. While you're reviewing your goals and plans for the upcoming year, don't overlook an important task: scheduling an estate plan review. Just like you wouldn't neglect an annual health check-up or a regular car service, reviewing your estate plan is a crucial practice for maintaining your financial health and peace of mind. Why an Annual Review Matters Think of your estate plan as a living, … [Read more...] about Schedule an Estate Plan Review with the New Year Approaching
Many people shy away from estate planning, either because it’s uncomfortable to ponder one's mortality or because it seems like a complex task. Whatever the reason, not having an estate plan can create complications that ripple across the generations. Let’s dissect the outcomes you expose yourself to when you procrastinate or completely ignore estate planning. Rolling the Dice: Intestacy Laws Take Over If you don’t leave a will or a trust, your estate automatically falls under state intestacy … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Neglect: Unraveling the Risks
When it comes to estate planning, many people focus solely on their assets – houses, cars, bank accounts. However, a truly comprehensive estate plan also addresses your health care wishes. With this in mind, including health care directives like a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care is not just smart but essential. Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Before diving in, let's clarify the two main types of health care directives. A living will … [Read more...] about Why Health Care Directives Are a Must in Estate Planning
When you're confronted with the loss of a loved one, the emotional toll can be overwhelming. Add to that the numerous responsibilities that come your way, and the situation can seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, there's a series of vital steps you must follow to ensure you are handling your loved one's affairs respectfully and legally. Whether the death occurs at home or elsewhere, during the day or at night, these first steps provide a framework for navigating this challenging time. 1.) … [Read more...] about Estate Administration: Navigating the Critical First Steps
You may think that estate planning is a do-it-yourself project, thanks to the array of online tools and forms available today. However, estate planning is far more complex than just filling in the blanks on a will template. Let's dive into why consulting an estate planning lawyer is not just recommended but essential. They Know the Law Inside and Out Laws governing estate planning are intricate and vary by state. An estate planning lawyer understands these laws and how they apply to your … [Read more...] about Is an Estate Planning Lawyer Really Necessary?