Articles Tagged with estate planning

laptop-3196481_640-300x200“You have reviewed multiple drafts of your Will, Trust, Living Will and Financial Power of Attorney, attended multiple meetings with your attorney, discussed the final distribution of your assets, selected your Executor and Trustee and finally executed your estate planning documents. So, you must be done, right?”

Putting your estate plan in place is a big first step in the process. However, it is only the first step for many people, according to this article “So You Think You’re Done with Your Estate Plan…” from the National Law Review. Here’s an excellent checklist of items that are commonly overlooked and that can undo all your good efforts. Continue reading

image-1-300x146“In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65, leading to a unique situation in demographics: 20% of U.S. residents will be at retirement age.”

Part of the increase in the number of people who live long enough to be of retirement age, is because life expectancies have increased. The average U.S. life expectancy has increased from 68 years in 1950 to 79 years in 2013, according to the Population Reference Bureau cited in an article from U.S. News & World Report titled “How Should I Finance Assisted Living?”

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person-731423_640-300x200“Over 30 years ago, researchers and geriatricians identified an “elder orphan” (sometimes called a “solo ager”), as a person aging alone with little support.”

Little is known about “elder orphans,” people who don’t have parents, a spouse or family members. Decades ago, when families stayed closer to each other, a single or widowed person would remain connected to the extended family throughout their lives. However, today, as reported in Next Avenue’s insightful article titled “Identifying the Unique Challenges of Solo Agers,” many without families lack support and their needs are different than others aging at home. Continue reading

matrix-2883622_640-300x200“Even the most carefully constructed estate plan often overlooks a client’s digital assets. A plan is essential, as both state and federal laws can create roadblocks to accessing digital assets.”

The value of a thoughtfully designed estate plan that provides for the eventual distribution of a person’s assets is generally understood by most people, even those who put off putting one into place. However, according to this important article from Think Advisor, titled “The Big Hole in Estate Plans: Digital Assets,” many plans overlook digital assets. Continue reading

old-83952_640-300x225“High-profile charges of financial elder abuse raise troubling questions. Here’s how to protect yourself and your family.”

Stories of two high-profile elderly Americans have shone a harsh light on the issue of financial elder abuse. However, the rich and famous are not the only ones who are vulnerable. All families need to know what they can do to protect their loved ones, says AARP in the article “7 Ways to Prevent Financial Elder Abuse.” Continue reading

beach-wedding-1934732_640-300x216“With the trend toward increased remarriages later in life, one spouse may prefer living in their own home of many years with the new spouse.”

One of the goals in estate planning when one spouse moves into the home of another spouse, is to ensure that if the owner spouse dies first, the new spouse will be permitted to remain in the home, while preserving the value of the home for the owner spouse’s children. It’s not always an easy situation to resolve, according to an article in the Times Herald-Record, titled “How to preserve your home’s value when remarrying,” but with good planning and an estate plan, it can be done. 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

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

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

guns-rifle-weapon-target-50571-300x199“Most gun owners are cognizant of the strict regulations concerning ownership of a firearm. However, their family members and heirs are often unaware of the laws governing the disposition of a firearm, when the gun owner dies.”

The NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, enacted in response to the Sandy Hook shootings, amended many of New York’s laws to provide strict regulations, including guidelines and a timeframe for safeguarding firearms after a gun owner dies.  However, do the new laws leave family members and heirs at risk of criminal liability? Continue reading