If you are one of the millions of Americans who has failed to create an estate plan, you are officially signed up for the government estate plan. When you fail to execute as much as a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust prior to your death, your estate will be handled according to the government’s rules and laws since you are considered to have died intestate. So how does the government estate plan work? For starters, except for the most modest estates, it is likely that everything you … [Read more...] about The Government Estate Plan for Intestacy
Revocable Living Trust
If you are working on an incapacity plan, you may wish to consider the use of a revocable living trust. Like its counterpart, the irrevocable living trust, a revocable living trust takes effect during your lifetime. Although a revocable living trust does not offer the same asset protection or estate tax benefits as certain irrevocable trusts, it does allow you the benefit of being able to make changes to the trust. A revocable living trust can also be an extremely attractive incapacity planning … [Read more...] about Living Trusts and Incapacity Planning
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
Occasionally, a client will ask, “Do I really need all of these estate planning documents?” Usually, it’s rhetorical questions and a joke about trees, but we answer the question anyway. After all, estate planning attorneys like trees. The estate planning documents that your attorney will recommend will be based upon your concerns, finances, goals, and the law. The consequences of not having these documents are often harsh. While you may need advanced estate planning, the typical basic … [Read more...] about Are All of these Estate Planning Documents Necessary?
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?
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)
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
A trust requires a few essential components, one of which is a trustee. The trustee performs a wide variety of functions within the trust, making the choice of trustee one of the most important decisions you make when you create your trust. Ultimately, only you can decide who to appoint as trustee; however, there are some factors that are worth considering when making the decision. Location of Trust Assets: This is a factor that is easy to overlook. Because your trustee must manage all … [Read more...] about How to Choose A Trustee