Unfortunately, the vast majority of American adults are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. You would expect younger people to be remiss, but they are not alone. Just under 50 percent of older folks that are 55 years of age and older have wills or trusts. If you pass away without a will or a trust, you would die intestate, and we will take a look at the way that an intestate estate is handled in this post. Probate-Free Asset Transfers When a will has been executed, the document … [Read more...] about What Happens If You Pass Without a Will?
We are conditioned to think that we can do just about anything on our own with some type of tool that we obtain online. This mentality extends into the estate planning realm, because there are websites that sell generic legal documents of all kinds, including simple wills and trusts. Why would people rely on these sketchy “solutions” that sound too good to be true? The popular website Caring.com conducts research on an ongoing basis to gauge the estate planning preparedness of American … [Read more...] about Can I Get My Estate Plan Online?
If you were to have an informal conversation with an estate planning lawyer, you would learn a lot in a short period of time. With this in mind, we are going to share a hypothetical conversation between a curious layperson and an estate planning attorney. When should you start to think about developing an estate plan? A lot of people think you can wait until you are a senior citizen for a couple of different reasons. One of them is the simple fact that they don’t like to think about their … [Read more...] about A Conversation With an Estate Planning Lawyer
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