Estate planning attorneys these days are typically experts in every facet of elder law, including retirement planning, and one of the reasons for this is the simple fact that the need exists for this type of expertise. When you examine the current census statistics a stunning reality emerges that has a very significant impact on all of us. Though the implications are positive they add a layer of responsibility. The so-called "baby boomers" are entering their golden years, and as a result the … [Read more...] about Retirement Planning: Start Early To Maximize Potential
When you engage the services of an estate planning attorney you will invariably gain a great deal of peace of mind. Those who have not stated their intentions are leaving a lot to chance, and at worst, some of the consequences can be rather devastating. For example, if you don't create a living will or execute a medical power of attorney naming someone (who is aware of your wishes) as your proxy, your family can be left to make agonizing medical decisions on your behalf, perhaps only after court … [Read more...] about The Importance of Making Funeral Plans
When you are actively engaged in living your life, stopping to consider future incapacity scenarios may seem inappropriate, out of context, even a waste of time. This is clearly true when you are young and bursting with robust good health. It can also be true later in life when you are enjoying an active lifestyle free of any significant health-related impediments. The fact is that this is as it should be. Estate planning is not about morbidly obsessing about the inevitability of death and … [Read more...] about Gain Peace Of Mind With Incapacity Planning
Did you know that organ donation is not your only philanthropic option after death? You also have the option to donate your entire body to a medical school. Such a gift may help medical students learn how to save lives or assist medical researchers with advancements. Plan Ahead So, how can you be certain that your wishes to donate your body to medicine will be honored. The only way to be sure is to plan ahead. You can speak with medical schools in your state or other states - find out the … [Read more...] about How to Donate Your Body to Medicine
A Revocable Living Trust is a great estate planning option. It offers a plan for disability, a way to avoid probate and allows you to easily pass belongings to your loved ones. A Living Trust does not, however, offer creditor protection for your assets. If you have assets within a Revocable Living Trust they can be taken by a creditor, for a lawsuit or by a divorcing spouse. There are two aspects of a Living Trust that make it unsafe for asset protection: that it is Revocable and that you are … [Read more...] about Why a Living Trust Cannot Protect Assets
If you have been named as the successor Trustee for a loved one’s Revocable Living Trust, the level of communication you provide to all Trust beneficiaries is important. Beneficiaries who feel you are not keeping them up-to-date on the affairs of the Trust may make your trustee duties more difficult. In fact, based on my experience, change “may” to “will” in the previous sentence. Minimum Requirements As Trustee, you are required to keep beneficiaries sufficiently updated on the affairs of … [Read more...] about Trustee Duties: Communicating with Beneficiaries
If you are thinking about using financial and medical powers of attorney (POA) to plan for your possible disability, it is best to keep these documents separate. You may create a joint document, but it is not a good idea. When you create each of these documents you will have the opportunity to name an agent. The agent for a Medical Power of Attorney is called a medical or health care agent. The agent for a Financial Power of Attorney is called a financial agent. You can name the same agent to … [Read more...] about Powers of Attorney: Keeping Finances and Medical Apart
Did you know that you can put a No Contest Clause into your Will, Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust? This type of clause is intended as a deterrent to heirs who may contest your estate document. When it works properly, a No Contest Clause will disinherit any heir who challenges your estate document. When to Use It It is not always necessary to use a No Contest Clause, but it doesn’t hurt to include one. You should consider using this clause if you feel a family member may challenge your … [Read more...] about Does a No Contest Clause Work?
Are you considering an AB Trust as part of your estate plan? If so, you should understand all of the benefits and disadvantages before you and your spouse settle on this type of trust planning. We should first understand that AB Trust planning is primarily a method to minimize estate taxes and ensure both spouses have full utilization of their estate tax exemption. A second point is that AB Trust planning can be implemented in either a Last Will or a Living Trust. Finally, one key goal … [Read more...] about AB Trusts for Married Couples
If you do not have a disability plan in place and you become mentally incapacitated, you will have a court-appointed guardian to make decisions for you and handle your finances and medical care. So, what exactly does a guardian do? Manage Assets Your guardian will have access to your financial accounts, personal property and real estate. He or she may use your property to collect rents or even to sell and provide funds for your care. He or she may also use your financial assets as … [Read more...] about What Does a Guardian Do?