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The Truth Behind Legacy Plans

If you have created a Last Will and Testament, Revocable “Living” Trust, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will, you might the mistake of thinking that you have created all of the estate planning documents necessary. The truth is, however, that there are still some potential complications that can occur involving the distribution of your estate following death. This is where legacy planning comes in. Legacy planning refers to a financial strategy that lets a person pass assets to a loved one or family member after death. Because legacy plans are frequently complicated in nature, they often require the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. There are also many myths circulating about how legacy plans operate, which this article will seek to explain. What is Legacy Planning? Most estate plans focus solely on what assets a person will leave behind after death. Legacy planning, however, involves a more comprehensive approach and focuses on the creation of a plan for managing a person’s total wealth while alive, distributing an estate after death, and passing on a person’s legacy. These plans often include non-financial assets as well as financial assets. Through legacy plans, you can not only pass assets to loved ones     Read More

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Learning from the Estate Planning Mistakes of Aretha Franklin

While Aretha Franklin is remembered as an extraordinarily talented musician, she made some significant estate planning mistakes from which we can all learn. When Franklin died in August of 2018, she did not leave a will or any type of estate plan despite having four children, including one with special needs. If you fail to leave an estate plan, it means that your inheritance will not be distributed in the way that you intended. If you need any type of estate planning assistance, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. A Large Number of Americans Die Without Estate Plans Caring.com released a study in 2017 that found a large number of Americans die without a living trust or will. The most common reason why individuals claim they do not create these estate planning documents is that they simply have not gotten around to it yet. There are many reasons why people delay creating estate plans including the emotional unpleasantness of having to make end-of-life decisions. Other individuals think that because they do not have a large inheritance, creating an estate plan is not important. In reality, everyone should be concerned about proper estate planning because     Read More

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Ways to Improve Your Bankruptcy Recovery Time

Statistics reveal that in 2017 more than 700,000 people filed for bankruptcy. While it is true that a bankruptcy can remain on a person’s credit report for up to 10 years, there is no reason for a person to wait to begin taking steps to reduce the negative effects of bankruptcy. Instead, if you have a plan and follow it responsibly, it is possible to recover from bankruptcy much more quickly than 10 years. With the assistance of a skilled bankruptcy attorney, you can even create a strategy to quickly build up your credit. Use a Secured Credit Card to Raise Your Credit Rating After bankruptcy is discharged, many people benefit from opening secured credit cards that do not charge annual fees. As these people rebuild credit, it is a wise idea to place at least one charge a month on the card. Once the credit card statement is received, you should then make sure to pay off your balance each month on time. Using a credit card in such a way is one of the easiest and quickest ways that you can improve your credit rating. Join a Free Monitoring System To make it easier to understand the pace     Read More

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Bankruptcy Options for Senior Citizens

Many senior citizens, especially those who do not have an adequate amount saved for retirement, frequently face financial difficulties. Statistics also suggest that senior citizens are filing for bankruptcy at a greater frequency than they did 13 years ago. In reality, filing for bankruptcy in some situations is the best way to obtain financial relief. This article will discuss why more senior citizens should consider bankruptcy. The Types of Bankruptcy It is critical that anyone who files for bankruptcy understands that the process is irreversible and cannot be undone once a person has entered it. Senior citizens have two types of bankruptcy from which to choose, which include the following:   Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In this process, you begin by providing the court with information about all existing debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to senior citizens whose income is below the state’s median level. During this process, most of a person’s debts are relieved and any non exempt assets are sold to pay off creditors. If a person has enough disposable income to finance a Chapter 7 repayment plan, they will not be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The primary advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that a person     Read More

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Four Commonly Overlooked Items in Estate Plans

There are certain elements that must be satisfied if a person is interested in estate planning, which include some things that are frequently overlooked. Failure to create an estate plan can lead to a variety of negative consequences. Fortunately, an experienced attorney like Jim A Lyon knows how to best anticipate overlooked elements of estate plans. Incapacity While many estate plans take death into consideration, they often fail to consider how incapacity can influence a person. Unfortunately, a large number of individuals are likely to experience issues related to incapacity during their lifetimes. One of the most common ways that estate plans take incapacity into consideration is with trusts that are created for the management of a person’s assets during incapacity. Management of Assets Some individuals create estate plans for beneficiaries who reach a certain age or goal but fail to create proper management of these assets until these events occur. Details regarding the management of benefits at every step of the process must be included in a reliable estate plan. Divorce Protection Many estate plans are written without consideration for how divorce will influence who should be named as a beneficiary. Even if a person is happily married, there     Read More

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Deciding Between Bankruptcy and Debt Consolidation

It can be challenging to decide whether bankruptcy or debt consolidation is the best decision. While it might seem strange, some people decide to take out a loan at a lower interest rate to repay another amount of money. Other people decide to declare bankruptcy, which has its own attractions and challenges. These options frequently involve a person either discharging debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or creating a payment plan through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In deciding which option is best, it is a wise idea to speak with an experienced attorney. Debt Consolidation as an Option Debt consolidation allows a person some significant advantages. One of the advantages of debt consolidation is that a person makes one payment to one lender rather than juggles the demands of various lenders. Some people are even able to obtain debt consolidation with low interest rates below 10%, which makes it much easier to manage debt. Another debt consolidation perk is that a person is often able to establish an end date at which he or she will be finished repaying a debt. Despite these advantages, there are some recognized setbacks to the option of debt consolidation. For one, a person needs a good     Read More

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Estate Planning Scams to Watch Out For

When we look toward the future, nearly everyone has some type of wish for what will happen after their death. Fortunately, an estate planning document helps to make a person’s wishes clear by stating in writing his or her plans for the future. Estate planning is complicated, and the numerous scams that are present on the market can make the process even more challenging. One of the best ways for individuals to navigate the estate planning process is to understand some of the current popular estate planning scams. It is also helpful to obtain the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney to navigate this process. Groups Most at Risk of Estate Planning Scams The group that is most in danger of estate planning scams is elderly individuals who do not have any relatives. The elderly are often in a hurry to have estate plans created and are often not even aware that they are being scammed. Because estate planning involves complicated areas of law including taxation, trusts, wills, and many others, elderly individuals often do not know whether a service being offered is actually helpful. Be Cautious About Estate Planning There are many types of individuals who claim to     Read More

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Common Mistakes in Picking Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Appointing a person to handle money from a life insurance policy often only involves one decision, but this selection is one of the most difficult choices that many people must make. It is common for individuals to make errors, however, when making estate plans, which can result in life-changing mistakes. The following will review some of the most common mistakes that people make when deciding on whom to name as a life insurance beneficiary. Mistake # 1: Failure to Update Your Policy It is critical that people with insurance policies realize that these documents should not be abandoned or forgotten about after being written. Instead, a person should make sure to update a life insurance policy after every major life events including deaths and marriage. Not only is it possible that a person’s perspective on an individual might change, these events can also change how individuals can inherit amounts. Instead, the best advice is for a person is to always make sure that beneficiary choices are kept updated. Mistake # 2: Forgetting Primary Beneficiaries Some people decide on a suitable life insurance beneficiary, but fail to appoint an alternate person to act as a beneficiary. As a result, if something     Read More

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Declaring Bankruptcy and Cosigning Loans

Cosigned loans serve an essential role in letting people who would otherwise be unable to obtain a loan to do so. If a person defaults on a cosigned loan, however, the cosigner can end up becoming liable for the entire amount of the loan. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and have a cosigned loan, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you determine your best course of action. The Effect of Defaulting on a Cosigned Loan Parents frequently cosign for children who have not yet established a line of credit. In some situations, however, adults sign for the loans of other adults, which can result in many complications. Often, if a person cannot make the required payments, the financial institution will pursue the cosigner for payments. To stop collection efforts from credit agencies, individuals in these situations often decide to file for bankruptcy, which results in an automatic stay that prevents a court from collecting on a debt. Even though filing for bankruptcy prevents creditors from pursuing the person who has taken out the loan, these protections do not apply to a cosigner.  As a result, credit collectors in these situations frequently pursue the loan’s cosigner. Chapter     Read More

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Three Estate Planning Tips to Consider Before Traveling

Heading on a vacation of any length often requires significant planning. Frequently, individuals arrange things like who will water the plants, who will retrieve the mail, and who will feed the pets. While many people might not think about it, it is a wise idea for individuals who embark on a trip to also conduct estate planning before leaving home. In the case that an unexpected tragedy happens, these plans help to make sure that a person’s affairs are in order. This article will review some of the important estate planning tips that individuals must remember to follow before taking a vacation. Review Existing Plans If you have an existing estate plan, you should make sure to revise it before taking a vacation. Some of the events that require an estate plan to be updated include death, divorce, and marriage. These events can result in a person’s estate plan nominating an individual who will no longer be able to take on the responsibility, which is why it is a wise idea to make sure that an estate plan applies effectively to a person’s current situation. While many of these updates include removing beneficiaries who have died or become incapacitated, there     Read More

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