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”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
While college education has been seen as not only a rite of passage but also necessary in order to enter into many areas of workforce, the costs associated with it can be overwhelming. In recent years, the costs associated with higher education have come with a hefty price tag and are projected to continue to rise over the next few decades. According to The College Board, in 2017, the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for a four-year private college is a whopping $118,000. If the college-cost inflation rate is 3 percent, today’s 8-year-old can expect to pay $265,000 for four years of higher education at a private college in 2028. With the costs of college looming for current and future generations, more grandparents are looking to support their grandchild’s higher education expenses in their estate plans. Continue reading “Including a Grandchild’s College Tuition in Your Estate Plan”
Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease and, by 2050, that number will increase to nearly fourteen million. The association claims that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Continue reading “Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place”
- Expenses for the decedent’s funeral;
- Administration expenses, which includes legal fees, probate fees, and appraisals among others;
- Money owed to the government such as estate and income taxes; and
- Real property taxes that were accrued prior to the decedent’s death.
A Last Will and Testament is a document that memorializes the wishes of the testator. When a person dies without a Will, his or her assets are distributed in accordance with the state laws of intestacy. When this occurs, assets are distributed in a specific order to the decedent’s next of kin, which may not be in accordance with their wishes. Also, a Will may set forth a decedent’s wishes for his or her funeral. Without a Will, a decedent’s wishes for their burial or cremation may not be carried out properly. For these reasons, it is important to execute a valid Will. Continue reading “A Last Will and Testament is Important”
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy designates an agent to make medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated.
Continue reading “Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place”