Estate Planning

Advice on Disinheriting Someone From Your Estate Plan

Some family units end up broken. This can involve children who are left behind after a divorce or family members who stop talking to others as a result of addiction or other complication. In the case of some fractured relationships, you might decide that you want to disinherit someone. In many cases, to successfully disinherit someone, it is best to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Recognize the Difference Between Living Trusts and Wills In many situations, if you decide that you want to disinherit someone, it is better to use a living trust than a will. This is because if you use a will to disinherit someone, it is easy for that individual to later challenge this decision. Another advantage of disinheriting someone through a living trust is that a will is a public document, which makes it much easier for anyone to find out about the disinheritance. Living trusts, however, are private documents, which means that there is a much greater amount of privacy. Consider the Value of a “No Contest” Clause If you do not plan on entirely disinheriting your children, you still might decide to leave them less than other children or heirs.     Read More

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Important End-of-Year Estate Planning Advice

As 2018 comes to an end, it is a good idea to review your estate plan to make sure that it is up to date. This is also a good time to check some of the important details about your estate planning documents. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you ensure that all your future plans are in order. Determine if You Have a Disability Plan It is critical to have documents in your estate plan to determine what happens in case you lose your mental or physical abilities. A Health Care Power of Attorney document is just one tool which helps to appoint a person to make medical decisions in case you are no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself. Examine Your Beneficiary Designations While they are important, beneficiary designations are often overlooked. These designations determine who will receive your assets after your death. Despite the numerous changes that can occur including divorce and marriage, these designations will remain the same despite the numerous changes that can occur. To avoid running into difficulties, it is best to review your beneficiary designations to make sure that these elections properly reflect your current goals. Inventory Your Assets If     Read More

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Why Young People Should Create Estate Plans

It is important to remember that each estate plan must be written to take a unique set of circumstances into consideration. As a result, there are often differences between estate plans, and people who create an estate plan for the first time often have questions about what process entails. If you are contemplating putting together an estate plan, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. Even Young People Should Have Estate Plans There are several reasons why young people should consider writing estate plans: Incapacitation can strike a person at any age. Fortunately, creating an estate plan allows a person to deal with these events in case they arise. Powers of attorney allow a person to designate the individual who will make his or her financial or healthcare decisions in case incapacitation occurs. Without appointing a power of attorney, families are left without a clear-cut answer about what to do when a young person becomes incapacitated. Young people do not like to think about dying young, but the truth is that some people die before their time. No matter your age, if you die without an estate plan, your assets will pass through the intestacy process. For many     Read More

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The Advantage of Revocable Living Trusts

There are a number of misconceptions that people have about trusts. Some people believe that trusts only exist for the wealthy or that a simple will is capable of meeting their estate planning needs. In reality, trusts offer more advantages than many people realize. Creating a revocable living trust can be complicated. As a result, many people find that it is helpful to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who can make certain that a trust is properly written.   Reasons People Seek Living Revocable Trusts People who create a revocable living trust realize several advantages, which include:   Avoiding probate. When a person dies without a trust, a judge oversees a probate proceeding to determine how the person’s assets and debts should be divided. The probate process is often lengthy and can create a number of complications. Fortunately, a properly funded trust is capable of avoiding probate and the emotional and financial hardships that the process often involves. Successor can be appointed. If the person who manages a trust becomes incapacitated, that person or the trust’s creator can select a successor to manage the trust. This person will have the ability to manage the affairs of     Read More

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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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