Estate Planning

Tips for Discussing Estate Planning with Your Family

Having conversations about your estate plan can be difficult. For one thing, nobody likes to talk about what life will be like after their death. These conversations can also be challenging if your children are emotionally uncomfortable thinking about what life will be like after your death. It can be helpful to understand what tools you can use to make sure that family conversations about life after your death proceed as smoothly as possible. Start the Conversation Properly It can be difficult to begin conversations about estate planning. While there are many ways in which to initiate this sensitive subject matter, there are some important considerations. First, you should introduce the conversation during a calm time. These conversations should never be held during a period of crisis or uneasiness among your family. Be sincere about your intentions from the beginning of the conversation. This helps your family understand the point of the meeting. Emphasize the various benefits that can come from having a conversation about your end of life and estate planning goals. Create a Comfortable Space to Have a Conversation One of the best ways to have a successful discussion about estate planning is to make sure that your     Read More

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Strategies to Protect Family Wealth

One of most important goals of any estate plan is preserving a person’s wealth. To properly pass on your assets to your loved ones, you must make sure that your assets are adequately safeguarded. Fortunately, a well-crafted estate plan can offer substantial protection for your assets even if legal challenges arise. While it is no substitution for obtaining the assistance of a seasoned estate planning attorney, this article will outline some of the best estate planning methods you can utilize to preserve your family’s wealth. Creating a Will There are a large number of individuals who simply do not have a will at all. Without this estate planning document, it will be left to Georgia probate court to divide your assets, which could result in numerous tax complications as well as your assets being passed to the wrong people. The best way to make certain that your estate is properly administered is to create a will. Make Certain to Select the Proper Beneficiaries There are some assets that pass to loved ones through estate planning documents other than wills. When designating beneficiaries in life insurance policies and other types of accounts, it is critical to make sure that the proper     Read More

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Life Insurance Benefits

The reason why many decide to purchase life insurance is that it often helps them reach their financial goals. In some cases, life insurance can even provide individuals with benefits while they are still alive. Selecting the proper type of life insurance, however, can be challenging. Fortunately, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you obtain the best possible life insurance for your situation. This article will discuss some of the advantages (as well as disadvantages) involved with life insurance in an estate planning context. The Benefits of Life Insurance Life insurance offers some unique benefits, which include the following: After a person’s death, compensation from life insurance policies helps provide survivors with financial security. In comparison to other types of accounts like Roth IRAs, life insurance policies are not as restricted by tax requirements. This means that compensation administered after a person’s death is often tax-free. Another tax advantage provided by life insurance policies is that the value of the benefits grows at a tax-deferred rate while the insured is alive. Life insurance policies also offer the tax advantage that cash withdrawals up to the total of the life insurance policy can be made free of income tax. If     Read More

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Crucial Considerations When Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan is a gift to the loved ones you leave behind after your death. By creating a strong estate plan, you are able to provide assistance to guide your loved ones through the difficult and emotional time following your death. In many cases, failure to perform proper estate planning results in substantial disagreements between your loved ones. This article will review several of the steps that you can take to greatly reduce the risk of disagreements among loved ones following your death. Appoint an Appropriate Executor After a loved one’s death, some family members grow to feel that the family member who was appointed as executor is stealing from the estate. Other executors disappear from all contact with the family and refuse to deal with the appropriate paperwork to divide the estate. While many people decide to appoint the oldest surviving child as executor, consider the person’s skills at performing the job before giving that person such an important position. Failing to Address Personal Property The smallest piece of property has a tendency to lead to the largest family fights. Anything to which a family has strong emotional or sentimental connection has the potential to cause arguments.     Read More

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Estate Planning for Surviving Spouses

When spouses die, no matter if it is suddenly or anticipated, a great deal of the subsequent estate planning is spent on administering the deceased person’s estate rather than focusing on the needs of the surviving spouse. It is critical for surviving spouses to understand what steps should be taken to make sure that their interests are protected after the death of a loved one. This article reviews some of the important estate planning steps that surviving spouses should remember to follow. Durable Power of Attorney A durable power of attorney designates one person to act on your behalf for financial matters during the course of your lifetime. In many cases, spouses will name one another as the appointed agent so that one spouse can make decisions on behalf of the other in case of emergencies. These documents are particularly important because events that result in disability and incapacity are frequently unexpected. In the case of a surviving spouse, it is often important to take steps to make sure that someone other than the deceased spouse is designated as the appointed agent. Health Care Proxies Health care proxies (which are sometimes called medical powers of attorney) are used whenever a     Read More

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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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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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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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