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Challenges With Naming Minors as Beneficiaries

It is a natural impulse to want to name children, grandchildren, or other descendants to inherit a portion of assets in your estate plan. The naming of a minor beneficiary directly on an account, however, can create unforeseen challenges with your estate plan. The following reviews some helpful reminders about naming minors as beneficiaries as well as why you might want to consider other options. Unintended Consequences Might Ruin Your Plans Clients often assume that their estate plan is complete after they have signed their will and trust. These clients will often then proceed to name the same beneficiary on all of their estate planning documents. If you name a minor as a beneficiary, some substantial and undesirable situations might occur. For example, assets might require the appointment of a conservator, which can lead to a time-consuming and costly process.  The person appointed by the court to act in such a role also might not be the same individual that you would want controlling your assets. Additionally, many jurisdictions require an inventory as well as annual accountancy to be filed with the court even if the conservator is a parent of the minor. Assets held in a conservatorship then pass [...]

2021-06-18T00:54:50+00:00Tags: |

Avoid These Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Sometimes, estate planning is simple. More often than not, however, estate planning is a complex process with significant complications. Regardless of the complexity behind your estate plan, it is a good idea to review your goals and make sure that you have adequate documents in place. There are some common (and potentially costly) errors that everyone should avoid during the estate planning process because they can jeopardizing your goals. Appointing a Loved One as an Executor An executor is the person responsible for administering your estate after you have passed away. While it can be tempting to name a friend or family member as an executor, you must appoint someone who can perform this role satisfactorily and reliably. Many times, people close to us are too overcome with grief to appropriately focus on the task at hand. Conflicts can also arise among friends and family members when one of them is asked to function as executor. Listening to Family and Friends You should make sure that the person with whom you discuss your estate planning goals is an expert in the area. Many people, however, are influenced by the advice they receive from family or friends on how to structure [...]

2021-06-14T15:18:46+00:00Tags: |

Appreciating the Nature of Fiduciary Litigation

It can be challenging to decide when to retain the assistance of a lawyer when navigating estate planning issues. The following are some important details about the fiduciary litigation process. If you have questions about fiduciaries or estate planning, reach out to an experienced attorney today.  The Role of Fiduciaries A fiduciary refers to an individual or entity in whom another person places trust to act in their best interest. A fiduciary is a person tasked with caring for the financial assets of another person. Some of the primary types of fiduciary relationships include relationships created by statutes like estate administration, relationships that are formed as the result of contracts, and relationships arising from underlying circumstances between parties, and the nature of the transaction at issue.  Some of the most common types of fiduciaries include trustees, personal representatives, and court-appointed guardians. Fiduciaries can owe different duties based on the nature of the fiduciary relationship including a duty of good faith, a duty of impartiality, a duty of loyalty, and a duty to maintain adequate records. Common Fiduciary Roles in Estate Planning Some of the most common types of fiduciary roles in estate planning include: Agents. An agent under a durable [...]

2021-05-28T18:00:42+00:00Tags: , , |