Five Unconventional Estate Planning Issues

For many people, estate planning begins and ends with their last will and testament, with perhaps some advance directives to avoid problems if they become incapacitated. However, there are some less well known estate planning issues that you should consider, especially if you own a variety of different types of assets. Here are five estate planning issues you may not have considered, but which may have an impact on you or your loved ones: Continue reading “Five Unconventional Estate Planning Issues”

When Might You Need a Guardianship or Conservatorship?

Most people know, at least in theory, that they should begin planning their estates sooner rather than later. They know the longer they put off writing their wills, establishing advance directives, and taking care of other aspects of estate planning, the more likely it is that they, and their loved ones, will suffer the consequences. Among those possible consequences is needing to go to court to establish a guardianship or conservatorship for an incapacitated family member. Continue reading “When Might You Need a Guardianship or Conservatorship?”

Planning Your Estate During the Coronavirus Pandemic

It's never been more important to have an estate plan in place.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought people’s priorities into sharp relief, making the possibility of mortality more acutely apparent than any other time in recent history. Because of that, consideration of estate planning is likely on the rise during a challenging time when courts are closed, and most legal proceedings are on hold. However, it is still possible to do estate planning even now, and it should not be put off if the sole reason for delay is the inability to travel to a law office and meet with an attorney. Continue reading “Planning Your Estate During the Coronavirus Pandemic”

New Law Set to Impact RMDs for Inherited Retirement Accounts

The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act” (a/k/a the “SECURE Act”) has passed through Congress and has been signed by President Trump, taking effect on January 1, 2020. This new law will have a significant impact on Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for inherited retirement accounts. Anyone who has a retirement account, or is set to receive an inherited retirement account, should be aware of these changes. Continue reading “New Law Set to Impact RMDs for Inherited Retirement Accounts”

What is a Power of Attorney?

As you grow older, it is natural for your physical and mental health to decline. While it may be manageable at first, over time it may become harder and harder to manage your own affairs, and eventually you may need to consider allowing someone else to handle things for you. It is for this reason that you should consider whether a power of attorney would be appropriate for you and your estate plan. Continue reading “What is a Power of Attorney?”

What Does It Mean to Have a Guardian?

Guardianships aren’t the most commonly talked about part of caring for elders, but unfortunately, they do become occasionally necessary. Not everyone has a power of attorney set up before they become incapacitated, either because they put it off until it is too late, or because the onset of their incapacitating condition is so sudden, they have no time to prepare. Either way, it is important to know what a guardian is, just in case a guardian becomes necessary for you or your loved ones. Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Have a Guardian?”

What is a Testamentary Trust?

If you are thinking about planning your estate, you may already know the benefits of having a will. However, it is important to know the tools you have available to you for estate planning beyond executing a simple last will and testament. One such tool is known as the testamentary trust, and depending on your needs, it can be an essential part of your estate plan. Continue reading “What is a Testamentary Trust?”

What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?

In the context of estate planning, you might sometimes hear about “living trusts,” also called revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are useful tools for anyone trying to plan for their future under certain circumstances, as they can allow you to fully marshal all assets of your estate prior to your death in lieu of having a last will and testament. Living trusts can create some security for you and your loved ones, since you direct how the trust will be managed and distributed according to your wishes even when you are not there to take care of your family anymore. Continue reading “What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?”

The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor

When a person dies with a last will and testament, it becomes the duty of someone (usually someone dictated within the will itself) to execute the will of the deceased. On the one hand, it is an honor to be trusted with carrying out someone else’s will. On the other hand, it comes with a lot of work and potential liabilities, and it can be helpful to know what you’re getting into, in case you or someone you know is making a decision about who they want to be the executor of their estate. Continue reading “The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor”

End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Difficult but Necessary

end-of-life planning lawyerFor many elderly people, discussing and planning for end-of-life situations may be very difficult. However, if you are a child of a parent that has not yet discussed his or her wishes for end-of-life care, you may be able to ease them into the process.  Here are some tips to remember: Continue reading “End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Difficult but Necessary”