A lot of people think that a last will is the right choice as an asset transfer vehicle unless you are a multimillionaire with estate tax concerns. In fact, this is nothing more or less than a commonly held misconception. Yes, it is true that high-net-worth individuals use trusts to gain estate tax efficiency, but these would be irrevocable trusts. People who have been successful without entering the true financial stratosphere could benefit from another type of trust called a revocable … [Read more...] about Revocable Living Trust Ensures Privacy
While death and taxes are often thought of as life's only certainties, one often gets pushed aside until it's deemed "necessary" - estate planning. This perception, however, couldn't be further from the truth. Estate planning isn't just for the elderly or those facing serious illnesses; it's a crucial step for individuals of all ages, regardless of their financial situation or family status. The Starting Point: A Simple Framework Whether you're a young professional starting out or a seasoned … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: A Lifelong Journey, Not a Late-Life Destination
Navigating the world of estate planning can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Taking proactive steps to organize your affairs and plan for the future can bring tremendous peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Here are our top 10 estate planning tips to get you started in 2024. 1.) Understand Your Assets and Liabilities Before you can begin planning for the future, it's crucial to get a clear picture of your current financial landscape. Create a comprehensive list of all your … [Read more...] about Top 10 Estate Planning Tips for 2024
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?
The probate process is a legal procedure that many people encounter after a loved one's death. It can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive. One way to circumvent this process is through the use of a revocable living trust. Let's take a look at what the probate process involves and how a revocable living trust can offer a more streamlined solution. 1. What is Probate? Probate is the legal process that oversees the distribution of a deceased person's assets, ensuring that debts are paid, … [Read more...] about Understanding the Probate Process and How to Avoid It
If you've chosen to express your final wishes through a last will, you'll need to become familiar with the term “probate.” This process, overseen by the court, involves authenticating your will, settling any debts, and ultimately, allowing the executor to distribute your estate's assets to your designated beneficiaries. At first glance, this may appear quite straightforward. However, the probate process comes with certain disadvantages that might not be immediately apparent. Let's take a … [Read more...] about Why Do People Avoid Probate?
Some people drag their feet when it comes to estate planning because they don’t have enough basic information. With this in mind, we will provide a few tips in this post to give you some foundational knowledge to draw from going forward. Don’t fret about taxation unless you are a multimillionaire. You may assume that estate planning involves complicated steps that must be taken to minimize tax exposure. In reality, the tax situation for the vast majority of people is very favorable. There … [Read more...] about These Tips Can Jumpstart Your Estate Plan
There is an inherent challenge from an estate planning perspective with regard to projections for the future. How can you know how much money you will need for the rest of your life? A lot of people do not consider the possibility of using a trust because they assume that you lose control of the assets yourself. Since the future is uncertain, they do not feel comfortable letting go of the resources. This is totally understandable, but there is a step that you can take to give yourself the … [Read more...] about Do You Maintain Control of Assets in a Trust?
In some cases, a person will have reservations about leaving a loved one a direct, lump sum inheritance. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can approach this type of situation. Complete Disinheritance First, it is important to clear up a detail that some people have questions about. There are those that assume that an adult child is entitled to an inheritance by law. Generally speaking, this is true if you do not have a will or trust that states your final wishes in no uncertain … [Read more...] about Can I Leave an Inheritance With Strings Attached?
People sometimes make assumptions about estate planning that are based on misunderstandings. There are many reasons for this, and terminology is one of them. Some of the terms that are often used sound similar, but in actuality, they are not synonymous. We will look at some of them in this post. Living Trust and Living Will Everyone knows that a simple will is a document that is used to express your choices with regard to the way your estate will be distributed after your passing. You make … [Read more...] about Overlapping Estate Planning Terms Can Be Confusing