Articles Tagged with estate planning

pexels-photo-955389-300x200Do not buy into the myth that estate planning is only relevant for wealthy individuals who need tax planning. A comprehensive estate plan is an easy way to make sure your wishes are followed should you become incapacitated, and upon your death.

One of an estate planning attorney’s main responsibilities is ensuring that clients understand the importance of addressing these matters before they become an issue, reports the New Jersey Herald in the article “The importance of putting plans in writing.”

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dependent-dementia-woman-old-70578-300x225A Jamaica man was charged with tricking his 101-year-old neighbor into handing over the deed to his house last week. A trio of Maspeth thieves pleaded guilty to posing as grandchildren and even recruiting kids to rob senior citizens’ homes in July. In Flushing, a man allegedly begged an elderly victim to wire him $41,000 to post non-existent bail in the Dominican Republic. These are just three out of many elder abuse cases that have made their way to the Queens (New York) County Criminal Court in recent weeks, reports the Queens Daily Eagle in its article “Nuanced Directives, Power of Attorney Can Stem Elder Abuse.” These cases of elder abuse, fraud, and predation are reflective of a far larger problem. Continue reading

digital assetsEstate planning must now include intangible assets that didn’t exist just a few years ago, as well as those that have been around since people started owning private property. Today, says Forbes in the article “Estate Planning for Crypto And Other Digital Assets: What You Need to Know,” there are new kinds of property and new laws that govern them.

Some of the old rules still apply and you need a trust or a will. One of the things in that trust or will, needs to be naming a trustee or executor who will be in charge of ensuring that your assets are distributed, according to the wishes you state in your trust or will. When it comes to digital assets, things get a little tricky. Continue reading

coins-currency-investment-insurance-128867-300x200Are you saving enough for retirement, asks US News & World Report in the article “Are Your Retirement Savings Ahead of the Curve?” Maybe the better question to ask is more specific: How much income do you think you’ll need to replace your salary to pay for your chosen retirement lifestyle? Remember that even when you are not working, you’ll still need to cover healthcare costs, car replacements, home repairs and the everyday expenses that add up quickly.

Here are some important points to help you as you plan for retirement income: Continue reading

pexels-photo-1193603-300x200Ensuring that your property is appropriately managed and disbursed upon your incapacity or death, is no longer limited to physical or financial property. Your estate plan now needs to include digital assets, the online accounts that are in your name, says the Journal of Financial Planning in the article “Don’t Forget Digital Assets in Estate Planning.”

If your will or trust hasn’t been updated in the past few years, chances are good it has no provision for your digital assets. This could create a larger problem than you’d think. Bank accounts, investment accounts and small business records stored in the cloud may not be accessible to heirs. That doesn’t even include sentimental items: treasured photos and videos that never made it to paper or your computer’s hard drive. Continue reading

6d40ea6ed7ae7784abf574b8c6174543_300x300Many estate plans fall into the “I love you” estate plan. This isn’t always how it goes, but it’s the rule rather than the exception, according to nwi.com’s article “Estate Planning: Excluding a loved one from the plan.”

The exceptions are mainly because the family dynamic requires it. For instance, the person is not married or doesn’t have children. However, sometimes even a regular old-fashioned “Mom and Dad and Brother and Sister” family has a reason why one or more of the kids are left out of the will. Continue reading

pexels-photo-518543-300x200Assuming you are the type of person who still reads local print newspapers, you might wonder what those “Notice to Creditors” you sometimes see in the back pages mean. These notices are actually part of the probate administration process in Wisconsin. While it might seem antiquated to rely on print notices in the digital age, they do serve a critical legal function.

Informing Creditors of the Deadline to File Their Claims

When someone dies, their debts do not die with them. A creditor retains the right to seek payment of the debt from the decedent’s estate. But the creditor may not know the decedent has passed away, and conversely, the personal representative of the estate may not be aware of all of the decedent’s creditors. Continue reading

casket-over-plot--300x247For most folks, postponing thinking about their funeral is the status quo, until someone close to them dies or until they have a health scare. Worse, according to The North Platte Telegraph’s article, “Sunday Focus: Don’t wait to make a plan until it’s too late,” they don’t address their demise at all, putting friends and family members in the position to have to guess what they would have wanted.

If you pre-plan your funeral, your family and loved ones are spared the unpleasant guessing game. Did she want a fancy casket? What suit would he have selected to be buried in? Or did she wish to be cremated?

If you pre-plan your funeral, you can also lock in costs for the services that morticians and cemeteries provide. If you are married or have a partner, you should go together and try to get as many of the hard decisions made in advance. This will also help you get comfortable with having this discussion. Continue reading

pexels-photo-630835-300x206Estate planning is important for anyone over the age of 18. It does matter if you have a small or large bank account, if you are a parent or not, or if you are old or young. A typical estate plan includes a will, durable power of attorney and advance health care directive, says the Pensacola News Journal in the article “Let’s Talk About: Estate Planning.”

What makes up an estate? Your home, cars, investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts and any belongings you own. Your will, which is also known as a “Last Will and Testament”, is a way to create a legally binding document with instructions as to who should get these possessions when you have died. Your will should also include directions about who will care for your children, if they are still minors under the legal age of adulthood. Continue reading