The majority of people do not have estate plans in place, but a survey that was conducted by Caring.com found that most of the same folks know that estate planning is important. Why do they fail to take action? There are various reasons including the simple fact that many of them don't know where to begin. With this in mind, let's look at the basic framework. Legacy Preservation The first aspect of the process may come as somewhat of a surprise. Before you start to think about how the … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Where Do You Begin?
Studies are conducted on an annual basis to gauge the estate planning preparedness of American adults. Though passing away is one of the two certainties of life as the saying goes, the vast majority of people in our country are going through life without any type of estate planning documents at all. There are different reasons why they fail to take action, but one of them is the simple fact that they do not know how to begin. The process seems a bit overwhelming, so they resolve to do it … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Simplified
Estate planning should not be viewed as a one and done affair. When you put an original estate plan in place, it will be based on a snapshot of your life at that time. The only constant is change, so it is very likely that your plan will need to be revised over the years. Let’s look at some of the events that can make estate plan adjustments necessary. Marriage When you are young and single, you should have a basic estate plan in place even if you have limited resources. The plan would … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Revisions May Be Necessary
A lot of people think that estate planning boils down to one simple act. At some point, you draw up a will and that’s the end of the story. You can buy a fill-in-the-blank legal documents online, so you can get it done in a matter of a few minutes. DIY projects have their place, but there are some tasks that are too important to take on yourself. Let’s look at some of the reasons why it is wise to engage an estate planning lawyer when you are planning your estate. Asset Transfer Methods The … [Read more...] about Why Do You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?
The basketball community and others around the world were thrown into a state of shock when Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others died in a helicopter crash. Death is inevitable for all of us, but when people pass away before their time, the sense of loss is quite profound. From an estate planning perspective, we are not going to get into the specific preparations that any of the victims may or may not have made. The point of this post is to underscore the importance of planning for … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Bryant Tragedy Serves as a Stark Reminder
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on all of our lives, and it has given us a lot to think about. One of the lessons learned is the fact that unexpected circumstances can arise at any time, even some things that are absolutely unprecedented. Even though death is one of the inevitable facts of life, statistics show that the majority of American adults do not have estate plans in place. The most recent study that has been conducted indicates that less than half of people that are 55 years of … [Read more...] about Coronavirus Underscores the Importance of Planning
Unfortunately, we sometimes speak with clients that come to us after a loved one has passed away. They are in difficult situations because of the mistakes that were made by their deceased family members. We do what we can to provide damage control, but our options are usually quite limited. This is disturbing, because in many cases, the negative outcomes could have been prevented if the appropriate steps had been taken in advance. In this post, we will share a few of the scenarios that we run … [Read more...] about Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes
You should discuss your objectives with an estate planning attorney because there are multiple different approaches that can be taken. The ideal way to proceed will depend upon the circumstances, and this is why personalized attention is so very important. This being stated, there is a basic framework that applies to everyone in a general way. In this post, we will explain the basic anatomy of a well-rounded estate plan. Asset Transfer Vehicle A legal device that is utilized to state your … [Read more...] about A Basic Estate Plan Blueprint
Far too many people harbor misconceptions about various aspects of the estate planning process. Unfortunately, in many cases, they wind up making uninformed decisions that yield negative consequences. In an effort to spread awareness, we will debunk some of these myths here. You can plan your own estate using tools that you get off the Internet. There are websites that sell boilerplate legal documents. They provide some instructions, and you fill in the blanks on a template. The contention is … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Myths Vanquished
Planning is important when providing for your children or grandchildren. But planning for their education has special importance and may have special advantages. This article looks at how 529 plans may have tax advantages when providing for education. Further, the article looks at how such a plan may provide asset protection in bankruptcy, as well. 529 Plans: Planning for Education with a Tax and Asset Protection Bonus … [Read more...] about 529 Plans: Planning for Education with a Tax and Asset Protection Bonus