In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, designating the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Current surveys still reveal that the vast majority Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan is necessary to protect your loved ones when you pass away. Another key component of your plan is making sure that the right amount of money is available to carry out your goals for their futures. Life insurance helps many people provide for their loved Continue reading
For many people, their retirement accounts, such as an IRA, are the largest assets in their estate. Although spouses receive special treatment when inheriting a retirement account, including the ability to roll over the account into a personal retirement account and to stretch the Continue reading
Property obtained during a marriage is called marital property. This property can include anything from real property like homes and rental properties, to stock options, investment accounts, heirlooms, and employment income.
Some spouses want to share their property with each other. Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan includes several documents that accomplish three key things. First, they lay out your wishes for the handling of your money and property during life and at death. Second, they explain your medical wishes if you are no longer able to make them yourself or Continue reading
As an unmarried individual, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about who will step in and make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself and who will receive your money and property when you die. A married person often assumes a spouse would have authority to Continue reading
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out the decedent’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. Instead, in most cases, only one person—the executor, personal representative, or successor trustee—plays that key role. This Continue reading
“Basis” is a term used frequently in tax law. Black’s Law Dictionary defines basis as “the value assigned to a taxpayer’s investment in property and used primarily for computing gain or loss from a transfer of the property. When the assigned value represents the cost of acquiring Continue reading
A comprehensive estate plan not only directs what happens to your financial wealth when you pass away, it also addresses the possibility that you could become unable to handle your financial matters while you are still alive, due to accident, illness, or as the result of aging.
A durable Continue reading
Divorce and remarriage are more common now than in the past. If you or someone named in your estate planning documents has remarried, there are several major issues that you should be aware of and some steps you should take to ensure your estate planning continues to be appropriate Continue reading
According to a recent study conducted by Caring.com, the percentage of people aged fifty-five and older who have created a will has fallen from 60 percent to 44 percent since 2019. Although creating or updating your estate planning may seem challenging, a proper estate plan can help Continue reading
If you have a loved one who is disabled or has special needs, great care and consideration must be taken when deciding how to provide for them in your estate plan. An inheritance received outright could cause that special needs beneficiary to lose eligibility for government aid or Continue reading
Some folks have the mistaken notion that a prenuptial agreement is only for the super wealthy or those who have little faith in the strength of their marriage. So, the thought is that a wealthy person needs a prenuptial to prevent a gold-digger from entering a marriage just so that Continue reading
Congress has various taxing systems in place to tax the transfer of wealth, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. There are certain transfers you can make, however, without incurring any tax.
Annual Exclusion Gifts
Each year, you can give up to an amount set by law, called Continue reading
Clients often naturally name their children to be beneficiaries of their revocable living trusts. Many clients also wish to name one or more of their children as the trustee of that trust but are not sure if that is allowed by the law. While a beneficiary is allowed to be a trustee Continue reading
For many people, a trust is one of the foundational tools used when putting together their estate plan.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement, established by a settlor or trustmaker, giving a third party, the trustee, the authority to manage assets on behalf of one or more persons known Continue reading
There are many types of life insurance available that could be considered as part of one’s estate plan. Let’s look at a few.
What Is Life Insurance?
In general terms, life insurance is a contract between two parties, usually an individual and an insurance company, in which the insurance Continue reading
An important element of creating an estate plan is choosing who will act for you to handle your legal, medical, and financial affairs if you become unable to manage them yourself due to accident, illness, or aging, and when you pass away. The individual or entity you choose must be Continue reading
There are many different types of trusts that can be used in estate planning. Here we discuss a few types that may be appropriate for your situation that you might consider for your own estate planning.
A living trust is the most common type of trust used in estate planning. Continue reading
If you have completed your estate planning recently, or recently updated an older estate plan, you may have been surprised at the length of many of the documents that make up your plan. You may have entered the planning thinking that your situation was relatively simple and straight Continue reading
The Department of Justice reports that approximately 600,000 people go missing in the United States each year. The loved ones who are left behind must carry not only heavy emotional burdens but significant practical burdens too. People who go missing often leave behind real estate Continue reading
After the death of a loved one, such as a parent, there are a variety of tasks that must be handled to wrap up your loved one’s final affairs. Selling your deceased loved one’s real estate is one of the more daunting ones. But before you call a real estate agent, you should take some Continue reading
In today’s society, children born to unmarried parents are commonplace. Historically, children in this category were treated poorly by both society and the law. In many cases, they had no right to inherit from either parent. Laws eventually changed and provided means for these children Continue reading
The chances of a married couple dying in a common accident or within a very short time of one another are probably quite slim. However, it does happen. And it happens frequently enough that most states have laws to address the issue and the problems that can arise from simultaneous Continue reading
Estate planning is essential for everyone, but it is especially important if you and your partner are in a long-term committed relationship and are not married. Unless you plan properly, your partner will not receive any of your money or property when you pass away and will be unable Continue reading