The young often think of themselves as invincible in the sense that in their protected world, nothing bad can happen to them, especially with their parents around. Studies show that over 90% of adults under 35 do not have a will, providing reasons like:
- It’s not necessary.
- It’s too complicated for me to deal with right now.
- It’s too expensive.
- My parents will take care of all that.
- I won’t need it for a long time anyway.
- It takes too much time
According to surveys done by USA Life Expectancy, adults aged 15 to 34 rarely die from medical causes but the figures are high for accidents, poisoning, suicide, homicide, and injuries. This suggests that for young adults, death often comes unexpectedly. Continue reading
Top 5 Universal Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid
As the saying goes, “Death and taxes are something you simply can’t ignore.” Both are inevitable and although most people understand this phenomenon and in turn, prepare by paying their taxes on a quarterly or yearly basis and others set up their estates to ensure that their affairs are in order and their families are protected when they make their transition. For many, however, death is simply too scary, painful and heart wrenching and many people choose to not even think about it. Most realize that they will eventually pass on and have a general mental vision of what they want to happen to their estate but, for one reason or another, they fail to write it down or even when they do, they don’t keep it regularly updated. In fact, studies as recent as the last quarter of 2015 show that only 34% of Americans have a drafted will, while 69% have considered it but delayed doing anything concrete. Continue reading
If you are a farmer or a rancher, you are hardworking and dedicated. Your farm or your ranch is more than just a way to make a living — it is your legacy. You have spent your life building something that you can be proud of and that you want to pass down to your children so that they can preserve what you have built and they can continue to provide for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, if you do not make an estate plan, your land and your assets may be liquidated cutting your legacy short and ending your family’s unique lifestyle choice.
Estate planning is important for everyone but especially for those who own their own business such as farmers and ranchers. If you avoid making or updating an estate plan, your assets will be subject to state intestate laws. Instead of you deciding how your estate will be settled upon your death, the courts will make that decision for you. Below are three common estate planning mistakes farmers and ranchers make and how to avoid them.
According to financial planners interviewed for an article in USA Today, Baby Boomers are neglecting or simply ignoring the importance of estate planning. They are more focused on their retirement and focused on whether they will have sufficient income to provide for their needs and to do what they want during retirement. Ignoring the need to have an estate plan is not just a problem for Baby Boomers — no one really wants to think about their own death. People tend to put off estate planning because they think, “I will do that later.” Unfortunately for some, “later” is too late.
Why Do Baby Boomers Need to Have an Estate Plan?
Estate planning is an important part of your retirement plan. Your estate plan is more than telling your loved ones what you want to do with your property and financial assets after your death. Your estate plan also allows you to take care of your minor children, or grandchildren, and it allows you to make decisions about your medical care in the event you are unable to do so in the future.
What Estate Planning Tools are Available? Continue reading
Your Funding Options
The first part of planning for long-term care is realizing that, a) most of us will need this kind of care for at least some time before we die and b) the cost of this care can be financially devastating for a family if it is not planned for in advance. This was covered in Long-Term Care Planning, Part 1.
The next part is determining how you will pay for long-term care that may be needed for you, your spouse or another family member.
The Key Takeaways
- Long-term care is not covered by health insurance, disability insurance or Medicare.
- You have limited options when considering how these expenses could be paid.
- The best way to plan for the possible expense of long-term care is to accept it as a central requirement in your overall financial planning and seek professional assistance.
Many people are surprised to learn that long-term care is not covered by health insurance, disability income insurance or Medicare. Health insurance plans cover nursing home expenses only for a short period of time while you are recovering from an illness or injury. Disability income insurance will replace part of your income if you are not able to work after a specified time, but does not pay for long-term care. Medicare, which covers most people over age 65, provides limited coverage for skilled care for up to 100 days immediately following hospitalization. After that, you’re on your own.
How Will You Pay for Long-Term Care if Needed? Continue reading
Possibly one of the most difficult steps in the estate planning process is the final step – to have a family meeting to discuss your wishes and instructions. Your attorney has advised you on what estate documents you need to accomplish your goals and you have executed those documents; however, your family needs to understand your wishes to avoid problems after your death or incapacitation. Having a revocable living trust, irrevocable trust, business succession plan, will, living will and/or a power of attorney are only the first steps in the estate planning process. Making sure your family knows what to do upon your death or incapacitation is the final step.
Organizing a family meeting that fosters an open, honest discussion is very important. Explaining your plans will help prevent confusion, hurt feelings and misunderstandings upon your death or incapacitation. This final step in the estate planning process is vital because it allows you to express your feelings and reasons for how you have established your estate. It also gives your family an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about your final wishes.
Most women do not consider estate planning until they are married; however, it is important for women to have an estate plan in place regardless of whether they are married or single. Many women have children without being married; therefore, it is extremely important that they consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that their children will be taken care of in the event of their death or incapacity. However, even for single women who have no children, estate planning is something they should consider to ensure their final wishes are carried out in the event of their death or incapacity. Below are several estate planning issues that women should discuss with an attorney.
Estate Planning Tips for Young Families
When we are young, we think that we have all the time in the world to do “adult” things such as planning for retirement, saving for a home, preparing for a family and planning for emergencies. Planning for our death is not even on our radar as we do not consider that a remote possibility because we are young, healthy and in the prime of our life. However, we go to sleep one day and wake up with three young children, a mortgage, two car payments and more responsibilities than we could ever imagine.
By the time we being to think about estate planning, we are too tired, too busy and do not have a penny to spare to pay an estate planning attorney. The fact is that we should never be too busy to plan for our eventual death. Estate planning does not have to be expensive for young families because they can begin with just the essential documents necessary to protect their children in the event of their death and continue to build upon their estate planning foundation as their finances, assets and circumstances continue to change and improve.
Are you planning a big trip this year? If so, you may have already began jotting down your travel to-do list to make sure that you do not miss anything for your big trip. Planning your wardrobe, checking travel arrangements and making reservations for meals and entertainment are probably high on your list. However, you should also take note of several estate planning “to do” items that should also be checked off your to-do list before you leave on your trip. Reviewing your estate plan before you leave will give you the peace of mind you want on your trip knowing that should something happen, your loved ones will be protected and provided for in your absence.
1. Stop procrastinating. If you have been putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, the day has arrived. Make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to discuss the estate planning tools that best suit your needs. Make sure that you do this well in advance of your trip so that everything is in order before you leave.