If you have yet to create an estate plan, you have surely had to listen to well-meaning friends and family members urge you to get started on a plan. They may not, however, have explained to you some of the reasons why having an estate plan in place is so vital to you and your loved ones. To remedy that let's look at three reasons why you don’t want to die intestate. What Does It Mean to Die “Intestate?” First and foremost, you need to understand some of the legal jargon related to … [Read more...] about Why You Don’t Want to Die Intestate
Being a grandparent means you get all the fun of being a parent without all the worry and responsibility of being a parent. As a grandparent, you may want to include your grandkids in your estate plan. To make the most out of those gifts, here are some tips for including your grandchildren in your estate plan. Do not make promises. As a grandparent, you may get carried away and want to make promises for future gifts. For example, you might find yourself promising to cover college … [Read more...] about How to Include Your Grandchildren in Your Estate Plan
Despite understanding the importance of having an estate plan in place, over half of all Americans do not have one. Moreover, many of those who do have a plan fail to update and/or expand their plan as needed. The reality is that estate planning can be intimidating and confusing. The best way to ensure that you have an estate plan in place that achieves all your goals and meets all your needs is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. To help you get started, here are some … [Read more...] about Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney
You are likely accustomed to making healthcare related decisions for yourself and you probably assume you will always be able to make those decisions. What happens, however, if you are in a position where you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions? Is there someone specific you would want to make decisions for you? You may also have strong opinions about end-of-life medical treatment that you want honored by healthcare personnel at the end of your own life. Once again though, what … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Advance Directive?
Although you may not realize it, some of the decisions that impact the success, or failure, of an estate plan are frequently made without giving them much thought. Those decisions are the ones that relate to choosing fiduciary roles throughout your estate plan. To help you make the best decisions, let's explore how to choose the right fiduciaries in your estate plan. What Is a Fiduciary? A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with another person or a … [Read more...] about How to Choose the Right Fiduciaries in Your Estate Plan
The prospect of creating an estate plan can be an intimidating and often frightening one for many people. Nevertheless, having at least a basic plan in place provides you with peace of mind and protects your loved ones. Despite the benefits of estate planning, it appears that less people are creating an estate plan, according to a recent study. Let's explore the findings of a recent Caring.com study on estate planning. The Caring.Com Study Caring.com partnered with YouGov to conduct a … [Read more...] about 2020 Study Shows Decline in Estate Planning
Senators Sanders and Whitehouse have introduced legislation in the Senate which could significantly alter the Estate Planning landscape. It would dramatically change the tools we use to plan for our clients. Attached is commentary on this subject by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Tax Proposals Could Alter Estate Planning Landscape
If you recently lost someone close to you, the grieving process is likely still a big part of your life. At some point, you will learn the contents of the Last Will and Testament executed by your loved one. What do you do if something about that Will does not sound right? What do you do if you believe the Will does not reflect your loved one’s wishes? More specifically, what if you think someone else influenced your loved one during the execution of that Will? Let's explore the concept of undue … [Read more...] about How Do I Prove Undue Influence in a Will Contest?
The terms of a decedent’s Last Will and Testament (if one was left behind) are used to determine how the decedent’s estate assets are distributed during the probate process. Sometimes, however, the validity of a Will is challenged in what is known as a Will contest. One of the grounds that may be alleged to challenge a Will is “lack of testamentary capacity.” What, exactly, does that mean though? Whether you are considering a challenge to a Will or you are an Executor with a duty to defend a … [Read more...] about What Is Testamentary Capacity?
The loss of a loved one is generally followed by an emotional time where you do not want to think about the practical ramifications of your loss. If you were named by the decedent as the Executor of the estate, however, you will need to reign in your emotions and focus on the legalities involved in the probate of the estate. If you have never served as an Executor, you are likely feeling overwhelmed at the job in front of you. It is always wise to retain the services of an experienced probate … [Read more...] about Executor Checklist