There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding estate planning that sometimes pop up. For example, some people believe that the state of California will inherit your property if you don't make a will or create some kind of estate plan. While this is possible, it is very rare. The process through which the state inherits someone's property is called escheat. Let's take a look at it and why it rarely happens. You can choose who inherits your property. In order to pass on your … [Read more...] about Will The Government Inherit Your Estate?
While you may know that your estate plan should contain, at a minimum, a will and advance medical directives, you may also need to consider a prenuptial agreement as well. Prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements or “prenups,” are contracts that prospective spouses enter into before they get married. These agreements can be a very important part of your estate plan, especially if you already have children from a previous relationship or are entering into a second … [Read more...] about Second Marriages, Estate Planning, and Prenuptial Agreements
A well constructed estate plang will not only addresses the distribution of your assets, but can also nominate a guardian for minor children. While there are legalities to consider, it’s important to remember that you are also determining the quality of your children’s lives if you die before they reach the age of 18. Many parents understandably have a difficult time imagining their children without them. But they need to consider many factors for guardianship, including: Type of … [Read more...] about Who Should Be Your Child’s Guardian?
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?
With over half of all marriages in America ending in divorce, it is no surprise that the number of blended families has also steadily increased over the past few decades. If you are one of those people whose is planning to remarry in the near future, you are likely concerned about how to create a successful blended family. Often, the partners in a blended family bring with them children from previous relationships as well as assets and debts. Discussing your financial strategy with your future … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Blended Families: A Necessity
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
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
Your estate plan must be in writing to be legally valid; conversations with your spouse or other family members are not enough. Without written directions and authorization, family discord and upset may result and your wishes may not be followed. Don’t Want to be Hooked to Life Support Machines, Put it in Writing in an Advance Health Care Directive For example, Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman kept on life support for 15 years, had reportedly told her husband that she didn’t want to be … [Read more...] about Your Estate Plan: Get It Into a Writing or Else
If you are in a second or third marriage and have children from previous relationships, very careful estate planning is necessary to keep the peace while you’re alive and avoid litigation after your death. Tips for Using Estate Planning to Keep the Peace in a Second Marriage Communicate. Let your loved ones know that they are protected by and provided for in your estate plan. Update. Update your estate planning when your family changes. Honor Prenuptial Agreements and … [Read more...] about Special Estate Planning Considerations for Second Marriages
When asked if they are going to disinherit their children, most folks reply, “Of course not.” However, many of them do, unintentionally. The Perils of a Blended Family Unfortunately, the unintentional disinheritance of children happens every day. It usually happens in blended families, which are comprised of second, third, or even forth marriages and children from previous relationships. No matter what promises are made or understandings are had, a spouse that is not the parent of all … [Read more...] about How Not to Unintentionally Disinherit Your Children