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?
Parents of Minor Children
We are happy to report that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still able to deliver quality legal services and to serve our community with their legal needs. We also are doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing facial coverings, disinfecting our office, providing hand sanitizer to all visitors, practicing social distancing, and offering telephonic and video conferencing options. While we navigate our way through this unprecedented era, we will be operating with the above … [Read more...] about Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
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
Dying without a will or trust is called dying “intestate;” and, the intestacy laws of your state of residence, at your death, will determine who inherits from you and in what percentages. If you die with a well constructed and comprehensive will or trust plan, you get to decide who benefits from your estate. Typically, state intestacy laws don’t match decedents’ wishes. Furthermore, if you die with assets in more than one state, especially real estate, your assets would be subject to two … [Read more...] about What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will or Trust?
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
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)
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
Most couples enter into marriage with the hope that the union will last forever. As such, couples typically blend assets, name each other as beneficiaries in estate planning documents, and assume the other one will take care of the children in the event of death. Sadly, more than 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. If you are in the middle of a divorce, or who has recently concluded the divorce process, you may not have considered the impact the divorce has on your estate plan. While … [Read more...] about Estate Planning in the Divorce Context
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