You have to be very careful about buying into homespun notions that people who are in-the-know would never even remotely consider. With this in mind let's take a look at the unintended consequences that can come about if you decide to add someone to your bank account or accounts thinking that this is a way to transfer assets. First of all, the minute that you add someone to a joint account this person has just as much access and ownership as you do. So you better be extremely certain that this … [Read more...] about Joint Accounts Can Bring Unintended Consequences
When you are looking for good solid information about products and services one of the tried-and-true resources that you probably tap into is Consumer Reports magazine. This publication has always been a great tool to utilize before making purchases or engaging service providers. Now that we live in the digital age you can of course visit their website for information as well. If you have ever looked into the subject previously you undoubtedly have come across estate planning attorneys who … [Read more...] about Consumer Reports Magazine Examines DIY Wills
Inheritance planning attorneys generally find that people can come to terms with their own mortality, but as parents and grandparents we develop a firmly embedded sense of responsibility to our families. The thought of no longer being around to provide help in whatever way it may be needed can be the most difficult thing to get past when you are contemplating the inevitable. This can be especially troubling if you have someone that you love that would seem to be capable of burning through his … [Read more...] about Keeping That Safety Net in Place
Couples sometimes live together in long-term committed relationships without getting legally married. One very common reason for doing this would be to retain eligibility for a Social Security benefit or a pension. Estate planning is very important for live-in partners, and if you fail to act negative consequences could come about as a result. The author of the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson never married his longtime live-in girlfriend for a rather unusual reason. He was a … [Read more...] about Intestacy Can Spell Disaster for Live-In Partners
One of the objectives at the core of proper estate planning is to prevent successful challenges to the wishes of the deceased individual in question. Your attorney can take the appropriate steps to provide you with an ironclad estate plan, but you do have to be willing to tell the entirety of your story. When people fail to share relevant details difficult situations can present themselves later on. For example, gifts that you give throughout your life are taxable. So if you were to have given … [Read more...] about Tell Your Attorney the Entire Story
The artist Thomas Kinkade passed away a little while back, and he left behind an estate that was estimated to be valued at $66 million. At the time of his passing he was still legally married, but estranged; his wife Nanette had filed for divorce about two years before her husband's untimely death. In many cases involving high profile individuals the estate planning news revolves around a lack of a proper estate plan. With Kinkade there was in fact a professionally prepared estate plan in place … [Read more...] about Kinkade Estate Tangled
Paying your fair share of taxes is one thing, but what exactly is fair? Is a tax that is levied due to the event of your death really necessary and fair? The above questions are asked by critics of the federal estate tax, which is often referred to as the "death tax." It is true that the trigger that generates the tax bill is the death of an individual with resources exceeding the exemption amount, so in a very real sense it is a death tax. One of the arguments that is presented by those who … [Read more...] about 2013 Estate Tax Rate: Is That a Misprint?
We live in a country that provides people with legal recourse, and because of this legally binding documents must be completely sound. This certainly enters into the field of estate planning, and it is one of the reasons why you would do well to look elsewhere when you see websites offering generic template do-it-yourself estate planning documents. You have to ask yourself how your wishes will be received when you are planning your estate. If you are like most people you certainly want your … [Read more...] about How Will Your Wishes Be Received?
They say that one thing leads to another, and this is certainly true when you are engaged in the process of estate planning. Indeed, the word "process" is something to absorb because being optimally prepared at all times is an ongoing endeavor. With this in mind, let's take a look at the top three reasons to update your estate plan. Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage An update to your estate plan is going to be a natural accompaniment to any change in marital status. In fact, you may want to … [Read more...] about Top Three Reasons To Update Your Estate Plan
A lot of people put estate planning on the back burner and of course procrastination is the order of the day for many. But the fact is that every day that you go without making plans for the future is a day that you are leaving your loved ones in a vulnerable situation. There are a number of reasons why people fail to take action, but putting a plan in place is really just as simple as sitting down to discuss your situation with an experienced and licensed South Carolina estate planning … [Read more...] about Choose The Right Lawyer