Monthly Archives: August 2019

Estate Planning Tips From George Washington

One of the many topics followed by this blog concerns recent developments in the area of estate planning. There are some invaluable lessons, however, that a person can learn from Founding Father, George Washington. A review of Washington’s will provides a shining example of how to address issues of communication, clarity, and customization when estate planning. George Washington’s Estate Plans As part of his will and last testament, which became effective in 1799, George Washington articulated his vision for the future. First, Washington bequeathed the use of his estate to his wife and first lady, Martha Washington. Additionally, George Washington used his will to forgive the debts of many of his family members. Furthermore, Washington established a school for orphans and passed on stock.  While Washington passed away over 200 years ago, the goals achieved by his will and last testament are relevant today. Clocking in at over 5,500 words, the will is also remarkably precise. While your estate planning might not require the same degree of care that George Washington’s plans did, there are still some valuable lessons that can be learned from his estate plan documents. The terms of Washington’s last will and testament will hopefully be a     Read More

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What are Bypass Trusts?

Establishing an effective estate plan is one of the best ways to make sure that your assets are properly handled following your death. Based on the exact details of your situation, it is worth considering whether a bypass trust would be able to help achieve your goals.  The following will take a brief look at what bypass trusts are as well as some of the benefits that can be taken advantage of through the use of this estate planning tool.  How Bypass Trusts Operate Bypass trusts are legal agreements that offer married couples the opportunity to avoid estate taxes after a spouse passes away. When one spouse passes away, an estate’s assets are divided into two separate trusts. One trust is categorized as marital, while the second is a bypass trust. Marital trusts are revocable and belong to the surviving spouse. The terms of revocable trusts are capable of being changed by the individual who created the trust. Bypass trusts, however, are irrevocable and their terms cannot be changed.  Surviving spouses often act as the trustees of bypass trusts. It is the duty of a trustee to make sure that assets from a couple’s estate are appropriately divided into each     Read More

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Estate Planning Advice for Parents With Older Children

As summer draws to an end and fall approaches, parents with children who are about to attend college face a number of big decisions. While it might be difficult right now to directly acknowledge it, once a child reaches the age of 18, he or she is viewed in the eyes of the law as an adult and the parent loses a great amount of control over the child. For this reason, it is vital that parents of older children ensure that those children have a sufficient estate plan in place.  There is a long-standing myth that younger people do not need estate plans, but in reality, serious accidents involving younger individuals occur all the time. The following will review some of the important types of estate planning documents that your older children might need. Healthcare Powers of Attorney Children who reach the age of 18 should make sure to designate a health care power of attorney, who will appoint an individual to access the child’s medical records in case the child ends up incapacitated. In some situations, these documents also appoint individuals to make healthcare decisions on the incapacitated child’s behalf.  If something happens to a child and he     Read More

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Estate Planning Following a Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis will greatly impact every aspect of your life, including finances, insurance coverage, and estate planning. While you may have put your estate plan together prior to receiving a cancer diagnosis, not everyone has done so. If that is the case, the following are some considerations for putting together a plan or altering your existing plan after a cancer diagnosis.  Learn as Much as Possible About What the Future Could Hold Following a cancer diagnosis, many people feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive. Despite this, it is important during this difficult time to ask a number of important questions to get a better understanding of your financial future. Once treatment for the cancer begins, many people discover that they have neither the time nor energy to address these issues. Some of the questions that you should ask include how much of your treatment will be covered by insurance and whether a loved one will act as a care manager or whether you will be the one tasked with handling these issues. Provide Your Estate Planning Lawyer With Adequate Details Many of the details involved with a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to share with others.     Read More

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Reasons to Estate Plan Before the End of Your Life

It can be challenging to prepare for the numerous complications that can arise during a person’s life. It is just as important to perform adequate planning for the end of a person’s life. Adequate estate planning is invaluable because it can remove the uncertainty about how a person’s estate will be handled following his or her death.  While many people falsely believe otherwise, estate planning is important for more than just the richest individuals. Instead, estate planning can play a valuable role in the lives of all people, rich or poor. Even if you have a small estate, adequate planning is also still particularly helpful.  To make sure that you fully address the numerous issues concerning estate planning, the following will address some of the important issues you should make sure to consider. Who Will Care for Minor Children Because minor children are unable to make decisions on their own, it is important to appoint a conservator who will make decisions about who will watch over these children in case something happens to you.  The conservator will often be tasked with managing all of the assets that you intend to pass to your children to make sure that these resources     Read More

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