Articles Tagged with values

This July 4th, the U.S. will celebrate its 241st Independence Day! On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later on July 4, its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and declared the 13 American colonies independent states and no longer a part of the British Empire. Check out the infographic for some fun facts to help mark the holiday!

How will you be celebrating this Fourth of July?

 

Independence-Day

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.
IMG_20110505_192323
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.
Continue reading

Estate Planning for Baby Boomers1133299_mum_2 sxchu

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

The Final Step in the Estate Planning Process – A Family MeetingIntheden


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.

This July 4th, the U.S. will celebrate its 239th Independence Day! On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence. Two days later on July 4, its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and declared the 13 American colonies independent states and no longer a part of the British Empire. Check out the infographic for some fun facts to help mark the holiday!

How will you be celebrating this Fourth of July?

Independence-Day

Minor Children as Beneficiariesmoney

No parent wants to think about leaving their minor children behind in the event of a tragedy; however, because terrible things do happen, it is better to be prepared. Estate planning ensures that your children will be taken care of in the event of your death. Estate planning also ensures that you are in control of the decisions regarding your child’s future. If you fail to plan, a stranger, who does not know anything about your children, will make the decision for you.

Naming a legal guardian is not sufficient to handle the financial aspect of an inheritance. Most parents believe that if they name a guardian for their children in their Will, this will be sufficient to provide for their children after their death. However, a guardian does not have access to your child’s inheritance.

Continue reading

Inherited IRA – How Do I Protect This Valuable Asset?piggy bank and coin

The composition of a probate estate has changed over the past few decades. Just 40 years ago, the family home was the most valuable asset most parents left to their children. Today is much different. It has become rare to see a young couple purchase a home, put down roots and stay in that home for 40, 50 or 60 years. We live in a transient society where our jobs and lives require us to move several times before our retirement. Therefore, the concept of the family home being the bulk of an inheritance is outdated.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and other forms of retirement accounts have become one of the largest assets parents are leaving to their children. As individuals plan for retirement much earlier than before, IRAs have been growing and increasing in value for decades before the person reaches retirement age. By the age of 70.5 when an individual is able to withdraw these funds without penalties, the IRA may very well be the most valuable asset the individual owns.
Continue reading

The Best Inheritance is Still Family Values and Family Historyfamily-trust-planning

According to a 2012 study sponsored by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, baby boomers and senior citizens considered family values and family history among the most important things that you can pass on to your children. Most of them viewed passing on family values, traditions and history as more important than the monetary inheritance you leave your children. The study entitled, “Allianz Life American Legacies Study” was published in 2012.

The study was a follow-up to an original study the company conducted in 2005. In both studies, there were very high percentages of individuals who believed that it is very important that parents pass on the family legacy including life lessons, values and stories. It appears that passing along values in addition to money is still a high priority; however, according to an article in The Dallas Morning News, parents are also very concerned about teaching their children the value of money rather than just giving them an inheritance.

This trend about teaching the importance of money as well as passing along family traditions, values and history is an extension of the results of the 2012 and 2005 Allianz studies. In both studies, only four percent of the boomer participants said that an inheritance is “owed” to them. Twenty-two percent of the senior citizens felt that they owed their children an inheritance in 2005; however, by 2012, that number had decreased to fourteen percent. This could be a result of the economy or the fact that some senior citizens are outliving their inheritance.

Planning for the Future High Priority for Both Groups

Both the boomers and the senior citizens made planning for the future a high priority. Over eighty percent of the individuals in both groups emphasized the importance of having a plan in place in the event they were to become seriously ill, terminal or permanently unconscious. Another desire is to avoid family conflict for both monetary and health decisions.

Continue reading