For some, estate planning can be looked upon as an exercise in letting the chips fall as they may. You create a will or a trust and the beneficiaries will receive whatever happens to be left after you are gone. This is one perspective you can take, but there is an alternate approach. You can proactively endeavor to bolster your legacy through the use of life insurance. Whole Life Insurance There are a number of hybrid forms of insurance, but the two most commonly used forms are whole life … [Read more...] about Life Insurance Can Bolster Your Inheritance Plan
You will invariably see references to “probate avoidance” if you poke around on the internet looking for information about estate planning. Before you make any decisions, you should have an understanding of the matter, and we will provide an explanation here. Court Supervision When a will is used to transfer assets, the person that creates the document (the testator) names an executor. This is the person who will complete the hands-on estate administration tasks after the testator’s … [Read more...] about Why Do People Avoid Probate?
An estate plan should be comprehensive in nature, and many people do not take the time to learn about the components that should be included. With this in mind, we will look at the specific documents that should be part of the plan. Living Trust A lot of people assume that you should use a will to facilitate asset transfers. In reality, though, for many people a living trust should be at the core of their estate plans. When you have a revocable living trust, you are taking a holistic … [Read more...] about Are These Documents Included in Your Estate Plan?
You may assume that a trust is a trust. In fact, there are different types of trusts, and a major dividing line is the matter of revocability. Irrevocable Trusts Generally speaking, an irrevocable trust cannot be dissolved after it has been created, but there are some rare exceptions. When you establish an irrevocable trust, you often cannot act as the trustee. Why would you want to surrender control of your assets? This can be beneficial under a few different circumstances. The federal … [Read more...] about Can You Dissolve a Trust?
Probate is a legal process that will be necessary if you rely a simple will to state your final wishes. You would name an executor in the document to take care of the hands-on tasks, and the court would supervise while the estate is being administered. It serves a purpose because final debts are paid during probate, and the validity of the will is determined. If anyone wants to contest the terms, they can come forward while the estate is being probated by the court. There is nothing … [Read more...] about Should I Use a Transfer on Death Account to Avoid Probate?
If you were sitting next to an estate planning lawyer on an airplane and you had a chance to pick the lawyer's brain, what would you ask? It would definitely be an enlightening conversation, and we will present a hypothetical give-and-take here to pass along some valuable information. Why is estate planning important? You would die intestate if you pass away without any estate planning documents. The probate court would step in to sort things out, and the court would appoint a personal … [Read more...] about A Conversation With an Estate Planning Lawyer
There are some common misconceptions that people pass around about aspects of the estate planning process. In this post, we are going to look at a handful of them to give you some insight that may save your family a lot of time, money, and stress. Estate planning is not necessary unless you are very wealthy. The idea that estate planning is only for the rich is completely false. Yes, high net worth individuals have to take steps to preserve their resources, and the estate tax can be a source … [Read more...] about Don’t Buy Into These Estate Planning Myths
It is a good feeling to get away and spend time at your vacation home if you are fortune enough to have an additional piece of property out-of-state. You can make memories with your family and friends, and real estate can be a good investment. When you are planning your estate, you should be aware of the potential for ancillary probate if you are in this position, and we will examine the subject here. Estate Administration Probate is a process that serves a purpose when an estate is being … [Read more...] about Avoid Ancillary Probate With a Living Trust
There are some terms used in the estate planning realm that may be unfamiliar to many people. One of them is “fiduciary,” and we will demystify the term in this post. Legal Responsibility A fiduciary is someone who has a special legal responsibility to someone else, or multiple people. The fiduciary must put the interests of those individuals first, and they are legally bound to do so. Executor of an Estate One prime example of a fiduciary is the executor of an estate. If you use a will to … [Read more...] about What Is a Fiduciary in Estate Planning?
When are planning your estate, you should recognize that you are entering into a long-term process. The estate plan that you originally devise is going to be based on your life situation and the legacy goals that you have at that time. Over the years, there can be changes in your family, your inheritance distribution decisions can evolve, and you may find yourself in a better financial position. There can also be legislative changes that have estate planning implications. Estate plan … [Read more...] about What Happens If a Beneficiary Predeceases You?