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?
Your estate plan has the potential to protect you while you are alive and after you are gone. That same plan can also protect loved ones both now and after you are gone. To do that, however, you may need to spend some time contemplating a subject matter that won’t be particularly comfortable –your own funeral and burial. Although it isn’t something people want to dwell on, the reality is that funeral and burial planning are among the top elder law issues. The Dollars and Cents of Death It may … [Read more...] about Should You Include Funeral Planning in Your Estate Plan?
You can relieve a great burden from your loved ones’ shoulders by making your own funeral arrangements or by jotting down your wishes and chatting with your family. Make sure to notify your loved ones of your written instructions and keep them in a place where they will be able to be located shortly after your passing. We provide our clients with a large three ring binder that contains copies of all their estate planning documents, last wishes and other important information. Taking these few … [Read more...] about Making Your Own Funeral Arrangements
If you’re beginning to plan for the future with an estate plan, you may also want to consider funeral arrangement planning. Funeral arrangement planning best ensures that your wishes will be respected, and can help to keep your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions in a time of grieving. Take a look at the following information, to better understand this planning tool. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss your own funeral arrangement plans, contact an estate … [Read more...] about 4 Reasons You May Want to Consider Funeral Arrangement Planning
We all hope never to be in this situation, yet it will likely happen to you at some point in your lifetime. You receive a telephone call telling you that a close family member has died. What do you do? There is no way to avoid the emotional reaction that follows the death of a close family member; however, there are also a number of practical and legal things that must take place after a death as well. While each situation is unique, there are some common steps that should follow in most … [Read more...] about What To Do Immediately After the Death of A Family Member
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the larger questions surrounding estate planning that we can miss many of the important details that will provide practical assistance to our families after we die. One of the best ways to provide certain types of information is not through a will, trust, or power of attorney, but rather through a letter of instruction. These letters allow you to provide your family and estate executor with relevant, pertinent, and useful information immediately after your … [Read more...] about Writing Your Letter of Instruction – 3 Tips
As your parents continue to age, their estate plan needs to be updated. If you’re unsure whether your parents have done their estate planning, including long term care planning, it’s okay to chat with them. While this can be difficult to do, these are important conversations to have. Take a look at the following information, for advice on what topics to discuss. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to assist your parents with their estate planning, contact an experienced and … [Read more...] about Helping Your Parents with Their Estate Planning
More and more Americans age 65 and older are having to file for bankruptcy because of numerous financial pressures they are facing. According to recent studies, the average age of bankruptcy has risen dramatically since 1991 from 36.5 to 43 in 2007. In 2010, people age 65 and older made up 7% of all bankruptcy filings. Much of the reason why seniors are increasingly filing for bankruptcy protection is because their debt loads have increased dramatically over recent years. For example, the … [Read more...] about Senior Bankruptcy Rising
Are you looking for a way to ensure that your wishes will be honored with regard to your funeral, making sure your family is not burdened with paying for your funeral, and sheltering money for Medi-Cal planning purposes? Consider creating a funeral trust which can accomplish all three goals, if drafted properly. A funeral trust is a specialized trust that is aimed at paying your final expenses. As with any trust, you must name a beneficiary. In this case, the funeral home that handles your … [Read more...] about Funeral Trusts Can Be a Useful and Flexible Planning Tool
Contrary to popular belief, you should not include your burial instructions or other final arrangements in your Will. Instead, leave your burial instructions or other instructions regarding your final arrangements in a separate instrument. The reason for this is timing. Most likely, your heirs or executor may not find your will immediately, and by the time someone locates it, it may be too late. You need to make sure you give your funeral instructions to someone who can locate it … [Read more...] about Where You Should Leave Your Burial Instructions or Final Arrangements