Articles Posted in Estate Planning

pocket-watch-3156771_640-300x200“The client wanted her surviving spouse to have access to her work email, but her employer shut down the email account following her death.”

This is one of those situations that does not have a happy ending. A woman died unexpectedly, and her employer shut down her email immediately after her death. Her surviving spouse knew that the woman had wanted him to have access to her emails, but it was too late. Continue reading

architecture-buildings-business-331990-300x200“What will happen, if you die without leaving a will? It is probably the last thing you want: Instead of you deciding who gets your small business, the government decides.”

Every state has its own rules about how assets are distributed after someone dies, and what happens when the person has not created as will. This is also known as dying “intestate.” If you need a reason to finally get your will done, or to take care of an outstanding legal matter, the article “Head off a small-business skirmish: Draw up your will or estate plan today” from KREM.com should get you started. Continue reading

pexels-photo-164474-300x200“If you are looking to pull cash from your 401(k) plan or traditional IRA without getting hit with a penalty, the IRS will allow you to do it.”

This is a move of last resort. You’ll need to do all the research to be sure this will not do more damage to your retirement savings than absolutely necessary. You are allowed to take a series of equal payments from your IRA or a 401(k) account, without being subject to a 10% penalty—but only under certain circumstances, advises CNBC in the article “How to tap your retirement savings without getting hit with a stiff penalty—but only if you absolutely have to.”

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investment-3247252_640-300x200“Everyone wants to retire with ample savings in their bank account. Plan your retirement, by avoiding these eight common IRA mistakes.”

IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts, are great tools for retirement savings. The best tactic says Born2Invest in the article “Retirement planning: 8 common IRA mistakes” is to make the most of your IRA, as early in your career as possible. That will give you a larger nest egg later in life.

Avoid these classic errors and keep that IRA growing! Continue reading

guardianship-1200x600-300x150“Many of us have experienced the unexpected “telephone call” from a hospital or loved one that a sudden negative medical crisis has occurred, involving a member of your family.”

It’s never a good thing when you get a call and the person on the other end asks if you are sitting down.

A sudden death or medical crisis can turn your world upside down, especially if the person was not prepared with the right documents says The Union in the article “Estate planning in a time of crisis.” Your heart sinks and questions start flooding your mind. Will they survive? How far is the hospital and how fast can you get there? Will they end up in nursing care? Who will be able to help you care for them? Continue reading

time“Though retirement can be a fulfilling time in people’s lives, it can also be a stressful one. This especially holds true, if you fall victim to the following mistakes, so be sure to avoid them at all costs.”

Most people spend their entire working lives dreaming of retirement. However, when they get there, it’s a new and strange world without fixed schedules or routines. If you make any of these mistakes, reports The Motley Fool in the article “4 Retirement Planning Mistakes You Probably Don’t Even Realize You’re Making,” you might be surprised to find yourself working again! Continue reading

bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094-300x200“Although we typically associate the term “estate” with the ultra-wealthy, estate planning is not just for the rich. Everyone, regardless of family dynamics or financial status, can benefit from having an estate plan—a collection of documents that specify how you want your assets distributed.”

Estate planning has a purpose while you are alive, with medical directives and power of attorney, as well as when you have passed. That is something most people don’t understand. As described in a recent article in Forbes, “6 Reasons Why You Need an Estate Plan,” most people continue to neglect to put a plan in place. A recent survey from caring.com found that less than half of American adults have estate planning documents, such as a will or a trust. Here are a few reasons why that’s a big mistake: Continue reading

pexels-photo-267350-300x218“As our lives become more and more connected online, we increasingly need to also consider what to do with the digital estate, the online accounts of our dearly departed, many of which hold photos and personal memories, as well as sensitive financial information.”

Settling the estate of a loved family member or dear friend is a challenging and emotionally wearing process, reports The-Parallax in the article “How to settle your loved one’s digital estate.” If an estate plan is in place, some things are easier. However, even then, there are possessions to sort through, assets to distribute and many tasks that need to be done. Now, add digital assets to that list. Continue reading

old-people-couple-together-connected-300x198“If you’re part of a married couple, it’s highly likely that one of you will become a widow or widower at some point. Married couples can ‘show each other the love’ by planning for this inevitability.”

If it’s any comfort, there are now some 20 million widows and widowers in America, according to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave that focuses on widowhood, as reported by CBS News’ Moneywatch in “A retirement planning must-do for married couples.” The study, “Widowhood: The Loss Couples Rarely Plan for—and Should” takes a detailed look at what happens, when the first spouse dies. Continue reading

th-2-300x225“Intestate” is the term used to describe the estate of someone who dies without a will or a trust. Each state has laws called “intestacy laws” that govern how probate assets are distributed, if someone dies without having a will, at minimum. These laws establish the inheritance hierarchy based on a person’s family structure. As explained in The Daily News’ article “’Are You My Heir?’-Who Inherits When You Die Without a Will,” all of your assets will pass to your next of kin, also known as your “heirs-at-law” or heirs in accordance to the state’s laws of intestacy. Continue reading