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?
Proper Asset Ownership
When someone dies, they typically leave behind various estate assets. This may include cash, investments, personal property or real property. All of the decedents property must be legally transferred upon his or her death. How the property is handled depends on a number of factors. Property held in joint tenancy with another person will pass by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant when the one of the joint tenant dies. In many cases, property held by husband and wife as community … [Read more...] about What Happens To One’s Property After They Die?
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
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
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 own a small business, make sure you include your interest in the business in your estate plan. Even if you plan to leave all your interest in the business to a family member, failing to structure the transfer of your interest in the business in the right way could subject the value of the interest to estate or gift taxes. With proper planning, you may be able to minimize or eliminate estate or gift taxes by using one of the numerous business succession options. Sale of Your Business: … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Essential for Small Business Owners
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
Many folks in California create living trusts to, among other reasons, avoid the hgh costs of a probate proceeding. Regretabably, some may think they’re saving money even more with do-it-yourself kits, Internet trusts, or by working with a paralegal or a general practitioner. If you go those routes, you increas your chances that your living trust may not avoid probate. Why? Why Won’t my Living Trust Avoid Probate? Good question. We get this question all of the time and are happy to … [Read more...] about Caution: Not All Living Trusts Will Avoid Probate