Aside from enabling the distribution of assets efficiently and effectively, one of the goals of estate planning is to do what is possible to ease the stress on your loved ones upon your passing. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your death, those who care about you will be in pain at this sensitive time, and the last thing you want to do is make it worse. Things like contested wills and disagreements between loved ones concerning their perception of your final wishes are a horrible … [Read more...] about Estate Planning & Funeral Wishes
There are times when you consider hiring someone to do a job and then say to yourself, you know what, I can do this myself and save some money, and I think I'd actually enjoy it. This mentality is what keeps the parking lots of the home improvement stores buzzing on the weekends, and there is nothing wrong with rolling up your sleeves and tackling a do-it-yourself project. However, you have to pick your spots in this regard. You wouldn't want to take out your child's tonsils with instructions … [Read more...] about DIY Wills
The reason why it is a good idea to consult with an estate planning attorney before you make any final decisions about the anatomy of your estate is the fact that they can lay all of your options on the table. There are a number of possible components that can be included in a well conceived, comprehensive estate plan, and there is really no reason why the layman would be aware of them and why they may be advantageous. One of these is the revocable living trust, and when you hear about the way … [Read more...] about A Living Trust Can Be A Viable Option
The estate tax was repealed for the 2010 calendar year, and any form of tax relief is more than welcome for most Americans. However, in 2011 the estate tax will be back in effect, and it is carrying a very significant bite upon its return. The maximum rate will revert back to the level that it was at in 2001, which is a whopping 55%. The exclusion will return to the 2002 level of $1 million. To give you an idea of how this stacks up against more recent times, in 2009 the exemption was $3.5 … [Read more...] about Estate Tax Looms In 2011
As life goes on and the day to day twists and turns occupy your attention you may not give your estate plan much thought. Years can pass since you first created the plan, and those years can turn into decades. But over that time it is very likely that your life changed in many different ways. Your extended family may have got larger, your health care needs may have changed, and your financial situation is very likely to be different as well. Plus, things that are entirely out of your control are … [Read more...] about Review Your Estate Plan
One of the chief goals of the estate planning process is to minimize time-consuming and resource-draining burdens that will fall to your loved ones and family members after you have passed away. The best way to ensure that your survivors won’t be tied up with costly, time-consuming, and emotionally demanding administrative details in the aftermath of a painful loss is to devise an estate planning strategy that is likely to keep your assets out of probate. There are many different methods that … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Basics: How to Avoid Probate on Real Estate or Other Types of Property
When you pass away, there are essentially three ways your estate can be handled: The first is according to the laws of intestacy. These are state laws that dictate how assets should be distributed when the deceased dies without an estate plan. The second way is through a Will. In this instance, you get to decide who gets what and the court supervises the ordeal in a process known as probate. Probate can be very costly and time-consuming for your loved ones. It also makes the details of your … [Read more...] about What is a Living Trust?
Do you need a Will? That all depends upon where you’re at in your life. Someone in their early twenties for example, may not yet have a family to support nor own any major property. In this instance, a life insurance policy might be all you really need at this point. But once you start accumulating assets and building a family, a Will becomes a crucial part of your estate plan. Your Will can tell the courts how to distribute your assets, so that your brother gets your grandfather’s baseball card … [Read more...] about Do You Need A Will?
Estate planning is the process of getting your affairs in order before the unthinkable happens. Most people assume the “unthinkable” is death, but this includes incapacity as well. Think about it: if you became mentally disabled, would you and your assets be protected? Most estate plans consist of about four to five documents; the documents that you will need depend on your financial and personal situation. Will or Trust? Those that do not require a Living Trust can often use a Will as the … [Read more...] about What Makes A Good Estate Plan?