Estate planning can get rather complicated due to tax laws and the various different forms that your assets may be in when you are making your plans. This is why it is a good idea to retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney from the outset. There is no reason why the layperson would be aware of all of the options that are available. So when you "go it alone" with the help of some type of DIY software that you found on the Internet your frugality could in fact wind up … [Read more...] about Two Basic But Effective Estate Planning Tools
For some people, making funeral arrangements is part of the estate planning process. It is never too early to plan ahead and your estate planning attorney can guide you through the funeral arrangement process. 1. Pre-planned funerals To ensure that your personal wishes are met, pre-plan your funeral with the funeral home of your choice. You can choose everything: cremation or not, burial site, grave marker, memorial or funeral service, music, flowers, speakers, and reception. This can all … [Read more...] about Making Funeral Arrangements: 5 Hints
The world of entertainment received some very sad news recently when the death of British singer Amy Winehouse was reported. Winehouse, a five-time Grammy award winner, was just 27 years of age when she was found dead in her London home. She joins the "27 Club" along with music legends Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, blues icon Robert Johnson, and Kurt Cobain, all of whom passed away when they were just 27 years old. At one point Winehouse was … [Read more...] about Some Surprised That Winehouse Had Current Estate Plan
One of the most extreme sources of asset erosion that must be taken into consideration when you're planning your estate is the federal estate tax. You may hear it said that the estate tax is not something that ordinary people have to worry about because it is only levied on "the rich." The reality is that you don't have to be someone who was born with a silver spoon in your mouth to be exposed to the estate tax, especially given the fact that the parameters are scheduled to change in the … [Read more...] about Estate Tax: Are You Exposed?
When you use a will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer your estate must pass through the process of probate. This is an interim during which the probate or surrogate court determines the validity of the will and supervises the administration of the estate. There are many tasks that must be tended to during the probate process to make your wishes as stated in writing an actual reality, and these duties fall into the hands of the executor that you name when you are drawing up your … [Read more...] about Choosing An Executor With Probate In Mind
Once you get serious about the process of estate planning there are going to be a lot of things on your mind. Preparing all of the assets that you have been able to accumulate throughout your life for distribution to your loved ones after your passing is certainly a profound task on a number of different levels. On the financial side you must make sure that your assets are optimally positioned for a smooth and efficient transfer so that nothing is lost as the assets change hands. On an … [Read more...] about Pet Planning Is Not To Be Overlooked
Wow, that’s a scary statement, “Most wills don’t work!” What does this statement mean? Most wills don’t do what their creators think that they’ll do, so they don’t work. This is for two main reasons: availability of estate planning documents and how most assets are owned. Is your will useless in distributing your assets? First, if your estate planning documents aren’t available to your trusted helpers, it is as if they don’t exist. The solution is to make sure that you trusted helpers … [Read more...] about Most Wills Don’t Work!
A lot of people are under the impression that the process of estate planning revolves around drawing up a last will. While it is true that the last will is the most well known and commonly used vehicle of asset transfer in the field of estate planning it is not your only option and in many cases it is not the best one. The primary reason why people often decide to go another route is because your estate must pass through the process of probate when you transfer your assets to your heirs with a … [Read more...] about Avoid Probate With A Revocable Living Trust
The process of estate planning is of course centered around the preparation of your assets for eventual transfer to your loved ones after you pass away. But, when you start to consider the details in-depth you will usually come to the realization that most people don't pass away one day after being in good health for the days, weeks, months and years preceding their deaths. It is not uncommon for people to go through a period of incapacity during the latter stages of their lives and it is … [Read more...] about Incapacity Planning Is Essential
The top priority of most people when they are engaged in the process of estate planning is going to be to make sure that their family members are provided for after they pass away. This is as it should be, but it is not uncommon for some individuals take stock of their broader legacy as well. You may feel some philanthropic urges and decide that you would like to include a charitable giving component to your estate plan. There are a number of different options available, and the nice thing is … [Read more...] about Estate Planning & Charitable Giving