A lot of people think that estate planning is all about the creation of a will or trust to facilitate asset transfers when the time comes. This is definitely a large part of the equation, but a well-constructed estate plan will also address end-of-life issues. People often do not pass away after being perfectly capable of communicating sound decisions up until the end. You should certainly account for this when you are developing your estate plan. Advance directives for health care will be … [Read more...] about The Importance of Advance Directives for Health Care
Caring.com conducts surveys periodically to keep a finger on the pulse of the estate planning preparedness of Americans. The results are never encouraging, but things are actually getting worse. Their latest survey that has been conducted this year has found that the number of people who have a will or another estate planning document in place has decreased by 25 percent over the last three years. At this time, just 32 percent of adults in the United States have made the appropriate … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Emotions Often Lead to Inaction
A lot of people think that legal advice is not necessary when it comes to estate planning because it is a very simple endeavor. You take a few minutes to draw up a will when you are old and gray, and that’s the long and short of it. People that adopt this perspective assume that trusts are only for the wealthy. In reality, this is a gross oversimplification. It is true that there are certain types of trusts that are used by affluent individuals who are exposed to estate taxes. However, there … [Read more...] about Choose the Right Inheritance Planning Tools
If your parents are starting to get up there in years, you may want to have a discussion about living assistance. We are not talking about obvious situations that are going to naturally spawn the need for action right away. The suggestion is to set the stage early on so that everyone is on the same page before the need for care actually arises. In many cases, an elder will not want to be an imposition so a parent who needs your help may be reluctant to ask when the time comes. As an adult … [Read more...] about Discuss Living Assistance With Aging Parents
When you are a single parent, you must take action to put an estate plan in place. There is absolutely no way that you can responsibly go through life without making provisions for the well-being of your children if you were to pass away. This is true regardless of your age. Of course, we all expect to watch our children become adults in their own right, but there are no guarantees. Individuals pass away in accidents and due to sudden catastrophic health conditions each and every day. As sad … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Is a Must for Single Parents
If you start to hear bits and pieces about the estate planning process, you will invariably run into the concept of probate. Most people have had no exposure to it so there are invariably going to be questions. We will try to answer some of them in this post. Legal Process of Estate Administration Probate can be succinctly defined as the legal process of estate administration. If you die while you are in possession of property that is going to be transferred through the terms of a will, the … [Read more...] about Will My Estate Be Subject to Probate?
The Social Security program is extremely important to a significant percentage of American senior citizens. However, you should certainly recognize the limitations because benefits are often quite modest. At the same time, the income will help. You may hear that you could start to collect a monthly Social Security benefit when you are 62 years of age. This is true, assuming you paid into the program sufficiently during your working career. The FICA or self-employment taxes that you pay go … [Read more...] about When Do You Qualify for Social Security?
The ideal estate plan will depend upon the circumstances, and this is one of the reasons why it is important to discuss your options with a licensed attorney. Some situations are more challenging than others, but there is an effective strategy to address just about any scenario. With this in mind, we will look at a couple of different ways that life insurance can provide solutions for small business people. Buy-Sell Agreements If you are planning your estate as a partner in a small … [Read more...] about Life Insurance Aids Succession Planning
When money is changing hands, the tax man will usually want a piece of the action. Given this reality, people have questions about how taxation can impact inheritances. We will provide some answers to some of the typical questions that we hear in this blog post. Do you have to report an inheritance on your income tax returns? The answer to this question is generally no, and this is surprising to many people. An inheritance is not considered to be taxable income because the person that left you … [Read more...] about Answers To Estate Taxation Questions
When you start to explore your options with regard to estate planning devices, you may come to the conclusion that a living trust is the ideal centerpiece. There are a number of different benefits if you go this direction, and one of them is the avoidance of probate. If you use a will to state your final wishes, the executor would admit the will to probate, and the court would determine its validity. Going forward, the executor would handle the estate administration tasks under the … [Read more...] about Who Will Administer Your Living Trust?