No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
For most people, the most difficult decision when creating an estate plan is how to distribute assets. Sometimes, however, the more difficult decision is what to do about a problematic beneficiary. For example, if you have a beneficiary who has a drug or alcohol addiction, should you gift them part of your estate or is that essentially throwing the assets away? To offer some guidance, we'll explain how to protect the inheritance of a beneficiary with an addiction. The Cost of … [Read more...] about Protecting the Inheritance of a Beneficiary with an Addiction
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
As we advised in last month’s newsletter, the “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is the second in a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of … [Read more...] about Planning for the SECURE Act
If you’re like most people, you may be startled to learn that your will won’t do what you think it should do. A will is effective for naming guardians for minor children, naming an executor, and directing assets titled in your individual name or payable to your estate. A will may not control all property because of the way most property is owned. For example, consider Marv’s will. Marv’s will provides that all of his assets go to his children upon his death because he spouse, his second … [Read more...] about When a Will Helps and When it Doesn’t Help
The most significant action of Congress in 2019 relating to retirement and estate planning was the late December passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019”, commonly known as the “Secure Act”. It was signed into law shortly thereafter and is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. In this and future newsletters, we will look into the provisions of the Secure Act and also some strategies to maximize benefits and minimize problems created by this … [Read more...] about CONGRESS PASSES THE SECURE ACT: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
When considering creating or updating your estate plan in 2020, you will want to make sure that you consider all of your planning needs. This will ensure that you have a proper plan that will protect you during all of life’s unexpected events. The information below will explain more about your needs. In this second installment about estate planning considerations, we address additional issues often overlooked in many estate plans. If you have any questions about the information below, or if … [Read more...] about New Year Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan (part 2 of 2)
As the New Year looms, many folks include among their resolutions creating or updating their estate plans. What is often not appreciated are the number of issues that should be considered and addressed in one's estate plan. It’s important to take time to handle these issues so that you’re protected throughout your lifetime as well as after you die. Many people don’t take the time to fully think about their individual estate planning needs. Take a look at the information below to better … [Read more...] about New Year Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan (part 1 of 2)
Estate planning is important for everyone; however, it cam be even more important for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Because of the unique, and often varied, legal position that a partner has among the states, estate planning is of particular importance in order to ensure that your partner is provided for in the event of your death, and recognized in the event of your incapacity. While each situation is unique, consider incorporating the following tools into your estate plan: Last Will and … [Read more...] about Important Estate Planning Tools for the LGBTQ+ Community
Each and every day, children are unintentionally disinherited and receive nothing when their parent dies. If you’re like most people, this is not what you want. Here are two examples illustrating how children are disinherited. Example One Jim and Susan have a long happy marriage. They have been married for 32 years and have four children, all boys. Jim has a heart attack and dies. He and Susan owned everything jointly so at his death, Susan inherited all of the assets. Several … [Read more...] about Don’t Accidently Disinherit Your Children