Holidays trigger many different emotions, and Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude. You have received gifts of various kinds throughout your life, and in a real sense, you pay your gratitude forward when you plan your estate. This is something to think about if you don’t have a plan. If you are unprepared, you are not alone. Caring.com conducts annual surveys that focus on the estate planning preparedness of American adults, and the results are not encouraging. In 2017, 42 percent of … [Read more...] about Pour Thanksgiving Gratitude Into Your Legacy Plan
Generational wealth is wealth earned by one generation and passed on to the next. Generational wealth is key to allowing the next generation to be free from the burden of having to live hand-to-mouth and allows them to pursue an education and build a career or business to build a better life for themselves. by Steve Hartnett Even a little bit of a headstart can be extremely helpful in life. Those who start with little economic wealth, including many minorities and recent immigrants, face … [Read more...] about Generational Wealth is Key to Leveling the Playing Field
When you’re deciding how your assets should be divided at death, sometimes dividing them equally is the appropriate choice. But, sometimes it’s not. Fair isn’t always equal or vice versa. Read on to learn more, including how to avoid a challenge if you choose an unequal division among your children. by Steve Hartnett When deciding how to split your assets among your children at death, there are many different factors to consider. Equality is certainly one of those factors. But it’s … [Read more...] about Fair Isn’t Always Equal and Vice Versa
If you have always assumed that you will be expressing your final wishes in a simple will, you should explore the benefits that living trusts provide before you make any final decisions. In this post, we are going to share four compelling reasons why a living trust can be a better option. Efficient Estate Administration A will must be admitted to probate after the passing of the testator. The executor that is named in the document acts as the estate administrator, and the probate court … [Read more...] about Five Reasons to Use a Living Trust
by Steve Hartnett Chadwick Boseman played many heroic American roles and the superhero role of the Black Panther. His death at age 43 demonstrated how it’s important to have at least a basic estate plan in place even if you’re young. The star of multiple films, including the blockbuster superhero film “Black Panther,” died on August 28 of colon cancer. “Black Panther” by Marvel was nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film grossed over $1.3 billion … [Read more...] about Chadwick Boseman Demonstrates the Importance of Planning
Every person has their unique estate planning DNA. There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all estate plan. Every situation is different. Where people are starting in the process, where they want to go and issues that stand in the way are all different for each of us. There is no 'one size fits all' solutions. This is why you should discuss the possibilities with an experienced estate planning lawyer. At the same time, there is a certain framework that applies to everyone, and we will … [Read more...] about Estate Planning 101
Many people have heard stories of someone contesting a last will. An interested party can in fact challenge the validity of a will during probate. There is a built-in process in place, because a court provides supervision during probate whether there is a challenge or not. Since the administration of a living trust is not subject to probate, you may assume that the terms of a trust cannot be contested. In fact, this is not the case. An interested party can file a lawsuit to challenge a … [Read more...] about Can a Living Trust Be Contested?
The President’s bout with COVID-19 demonstrates the importance of keeping planning current. A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints someone to make decisions for you if you’re not able to do so for yourself. An Advance Directive expresses your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. by Steve Hartnett President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they tested positive for COVID-19. Around the same time, numerous others at the White House also tested positive. In the United … [Read more...] about Staying Current is Especially Important in the Pandemic
Currently, each person can give $11.58 million during life or at death. However, that amount will be cut in half by January 1, 2026. It may go down even sooner. Read on to learn why and how you should use it before you lose it. by Steve Hartnett In 2020, each person can give away $11.58 million during life. Whatever portion they haven’t used during life, they can use it at death. However, that generous exclusion will be cut in half at the end of 2025. Beginning in 2026, the … [Read more...] about Use the Exclusion or Lose It
The one estate planning document that everyone has heard of is the simple will that you can use to state your wishes with regard to the distribution of your assets. You may also designate a guardian for your dependent children if you execute a will. Many people are surprised to hear that this is just one of a number of different types of wills that are used in the field of estate planning. In this post, we will look at these different documents so you can go forward with a better … [Read more...] about Are There Different Types of Wills?