While thinking about your own funeral may not be pleasant, making arrangements in advance yourself may be one of the most thoughtful acts you can do for your loved ones. When you include funeral planning as part of your estate plan, you can spare your grieving loved ones from having Continue reading
What is HEMS and Why is it Included in So Many Trusts?
The acronym HEMS is commonly used in estate planning. HEMS, which stands for “health, education, maintenance, or support”, is frequently included in trust agreements to guide a trustee on the types of distributions they may make to a trust beneficiary. When a trustee is limited to Continue reading
Myths We Tell Ourselves About Estate Planning
Many people have mistaken ideas about estate planning. The uncomfortable thoughts of incapacity or death accompanied by inaccurate information that is shared have caused many to accept common myths.
Myth #1: Only the Rich Need an Estate Plan
We often hear in the news about a celebrity Continue reading
Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Beneficiaries’ Interests
Life insurance is an important financial and estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there is no guarantee that your beneficiary will receive, or keep, the benefit from your insurance. Some people assume that they only need to designate their spouse, child, Continue reading
Community Property or Separate Property? Why Does It Matter?
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
Estate Planning Concerns for the Unmarried
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
Trust and Estate Administration – Who Should Attend the Meetings?
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
Things You Need to Know About Basis
“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
Avoiding Financial Grief: How to Protect Your Significant Other from Frozen Accounts
The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Nothing can truly prepare a person for such a loss. Having to deal with financial stress at such at a time can heighten the difficulty. Without proper planning, your significant other could face frozen Continue reading
HELP! This Probate Is Taking Forever!!!
After a loved one dies, their money and assets must be distributed to the right people, either according to their will or state law (found in the default distribution scheme in its “intestacy” statute). While most people want the settlement process to be done as soon as possible, Continue reading