You board a plane for a cross-country trip, and you settle into your seat. A woman sits down next you, and you exchange pleasantries. After you have been in the air for a while, you start to have a conversation. It turns out that she is an estate planning lawyer, and she is willing to talk about her job. For the next few hours, you have the ability to ask her questions. In this post, we will share a hypothetical exchange of this nature to give you some insight into the estate planning … [Read more...] about On a Plane With an Estate Planning Lawyer
When you pay income taxes, you earn retirement credits that lead to future Medicare and Social Security eligibility. You can get as many as four credits each year, and in 2021, one credit is awarded for every $1470 that you earn. This figure is adjusted to account for inflation, but it has always been very modest, so the vast majority of workers get the four credits on an annual basis. After you have 40 credits, you will qualify for these programs when you cross the eligibility … [Read more...] about Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care?
A lot of people procrastinate before they put initial estate plans in place. Once they finally take action, they store the documents safely and assume that the responsibility has been taken care of once and for all. In reality, this is a shortsighted approach that can yield negative consequences. Estate planning should be viewed as an ongoing process because circumstances will invariably change over the years. Children and Changes in Marital Status If you have an estate plan in place and … [Read more...] about Is Your Estate Plan Up-to-Date?
A lot of people that do not have estate plans in place procrastinate because they view the process as overwhelming, and they don’t know where to start. When you have a simple framework to follow, you can get past the inertia, and we will provide three easy steps in this post. Assess the Value of Your Assets If you are going to be slicing and distributing a pie, you have to gain an understanding of its size, so this is the first order of business. You should inventory the assets that are likely … [Read more...] about Take These Steps to Jumpstart Your Estate Planning Efforts
Far too many people go through life without giving a second thought to the subject of estate planning. They assume that they will have time to address it when they are old and gray, and if they never get around to it, the matter will take care of itself. In reality, there are some compelling reasons why you should have an estate plan in place, and we will look at some of them in this post. Prevent a Messy Situation If you die without any estate planning documents at all, the condition of … [Read more...] about Yes, You Need an Estate Plan
The revocable living trust is very effective estate planning device, and a lot of people are aware of the two major benefits. If you have a living trust, the administration would not be subject to probate. This is a costly and time-consuming legal process that is a public proceeding. Anyone that wants to access the records can find out how the assets were distributed, so there is a loss of privacy. Another widely publicized benefit is the ability to protect a spendthrift beneficiary. The … [Read more...] about These Living Trust Benefits May Be Overlooked
If you put your estate plan in place as a stopgap measure without giving it a lot of thought, you may have overlooked some important details. With this in mind, we will look at some of the elements that are often omitted in this post. Letter of Final Instructions Let’s say you are going on vacation and you ask your sister to take care of some things around your home while you are gone. You would not leave her a to-do list without providing instructions so she can find the things that she will … [Read more...] about Are There Gaps in Your Estate Plan?
When you think about estate planning, monetary asset transfers will probably come to mind first. This is understandable, and it is important to make sure that your loved ones receive their inheritances in an effective manner. However, this is not the only consideration. A properly constructed estate plan will address some unpleasant eventualities that may present themselves toward the end of your life. Aging, Alzheimer’s, and Cognitive Impairment If you were born 1960 or a year after that, … [Read more...] about Prepare for Incapacity to Prevent a Guardianship
Most adults in the United States do not have estate plans in place, and when they do take some type of action, it is often hastily done and incomplete. Yes, you have to the state your final wishes in writing, but you should also consider the hands-on tasks that must be completed after you are gone. Attention to detail is key, and we provide some insight in this post. Administration of a Will If you use a will as your asset transfer vehicle, you would name an executor to act as the … [Read more...] about Facilitate a Smooth Estate Administration Process
There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan that is right for everyone, but the differences are related to the asset transfer methods that can be used. Aside from that, there is a basic framework that is universal, and it boils down to the execution of five core documents. Asset Transfers The flexible portion is the asset transfer component. Obviously, you can state your final wishes in a simple will, but there are drawbacks and limitations. One of them is the fact that a will is admitted to … [Read more...] about Five Must-Have Estate Planning Documents