Estate planning is about more than lawyers and property. It’s about planning for incapacity and end-of-life matters and securing the future for your spouse and dependents. When you think about your will, the idea of probate can be an intimidating matter. While the majority of estate issues are handled through probate one way or another, this does not mean they land in lengthy probate court proceedings. Still, if you leave anything unaccounted for, your estate could wind up under the probate … [Read more...] about Avoiding Probate Pitfalls: Non-Probate Assets and Small Estates
A durable financial power of attorney is a simple document helping you to plan ahead for someone to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated or unable to make your own sound decisions. This document is a good idea if you want to help your loved ones avoid the delay, hassle, and expense associated with court proceedings to determine their right to manage your interests. The financial power of attorney typically takes effect as soon as you sign it. You can also create a ‘springing … [Read more...] about Financial Power of Attorney Explained
Prepaid funeral and burial plans seem enticing. After all, you can make the plans yourself, ensuring your final wishes are carried out, and can save your family the time and trouble of making the arrangements and shouldering the expenses, even with life insurance and other funds, after you’re gone. It’s not that a prepaid plan is a bad idea. In fact, it could be a great asset to your estate planning. However, you need to be careful and ensure that a few extra steps are followed; otherwise, your … [Read more...] about Prepaid Burial Planning: Is it really a good idea?
If you have a child with personal problems or financial problems, or even one with whom your relationship is not so good, it can be tempting to rewrite your will to reduce your original bequest or to disinherit them altogether. This can be a tough and emotional decision for a testator, especially when wanting to leave their child in good financial health, but also wishing to teach them a tough lesson. While there are, without a doubt, good reasons to reduce the inheritance or to even disinherit … [Read more...] about To Disinherit, Reduce a Bequest, or Choose Another Strategy?
Receiving an inheritance can be a good thing; however, for some heirs, a sudden windfall can also be their downfall, especially if they are unprepared to handle a large sum of money. If when planning your estate, you intend to leave money to your children, it is important to consider their ability to handle that money and to make provisions in your will that are in their best interest. You cannot, however, just stop at making the bequest and setting for the provisions. You should talk to our … [Read more...] about Discussing Bequests with Your Heirs
The State of Vermont has a set of rules for advance health care directives. It recognizes that adults have a fundamental right to make choices about the extent to which they will receive health care, including care provided while incapacitated and at the end of life stage. A directive allows you to communicate your health care choices, appoint an agent to make decisions if necessary, and give specific instructions for the disposition of your bodily remains. Health care providers are … [Read more...] about Health Care at End of Life is Your Decision