How a Healthcare Proxy Can Fit Into Your Estate Plan

No matter how healthy you are, there is always the risk that you will become incapacitated and unable to make healthcare decisions on your own. However, this is especially a concern for the elderly, and those with long-term health problems that may worsen at any time. That is why, if you are putting an estate plan together, you should seriously consider creating a healthcare proxy so that your wishes are honored if these situations arise.

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Five Things Everyone Should Know About Advance Directives

When you hear the phrase “estate planning” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a Last Will and Testament.  But estate planning is broader than that and includes other important documents such as a power of attorney and an advance directive, also known as a health care proxy.  These are essential tools in any estate plan, because while a Will dictates what happens to your assets after you pass, a properly written power of attorney and advance directive ensures you are taken care of during life when you cannot care or make decisions for yourself. Without them, you could be facing substantial difficulties later in life that you might otherwise be able to avoid. Here are five things that everyone should know about powers of attorney and advance directives when making their estate plans:

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Five Common Estate Planning Misconceptions

Estate planning is an essential part of helping people to deal with troubles that are likely to arise later in their lives, as well as issues that may come up after they pass away. However, not everyone understands estate planning, and some people have a serious lack of understanding about what the process of planning your estate entails. Here are five of the most common misconceptions people have about estate planning:

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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?”