A guardianship occurs when a judge determines, with the advice of your doctors, that you are unable to make your own medical decisions. The court will then name a guardian, who is usually a friend or family member, to oversee your health care treatment. No Assigned Agent If you become disabled either mentally or physically and you are no longer able to state your medical wishes, you must have someone available to speak for you. Many people use a Health Care Power of Attorney or Advance … [Read more...] about When is a Guardianship Necessary?
Are your assets protected from creditors, lawsuits and divorce settlements? If not, you should speak with your attorney about a plan to protect your financial assets and property. Protection is important to ensure you have funds for retirement and that your loved ones have a place to live after your death. So when is it too late to protect your assets? It is too late if you already have a chance of having your items taken. Creditor Judgment If you owe money and that creditor has gone to … [Read more...] about Is It Too Late to Protect Your Assets?
Are your children under the age of eighteen? Choosing a guardian is often one of the hardest parts of estate planning. Your primary concern is the interest of your children. Your chosen guardian should be willing and able to provide a loving and stable environment for your children. And, don’t forget, this decision is more about values and protecting your children, not about who should supervise any money you have set aside for them. You might decide your selection can perform both functions, … [Read more...] about How to Choose a Guardian
A Revocable Living Trust is an alternative to a Last Will and Testament. Like a Will, it helps you bequeath your estate holdings to your friends and family members. A Trust has three benefits that a Will does not. Provides Privacy A Revocable Living Trust provides privacy for your estate and your family after your death. It does so because a Trust does not go through probate like a Will. When a Will passes through probate, all court documents, including the Will itself, become public … [Read more...] about The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust
With half of all marriages ending in divorce, second marriages and blended families are very common. If you have a blended family, it is imperative to take special care with your estate plan. Name a Guardian If you have minor children in your household, you should always name a guardian in case you and your spouse pass away. In the case of blended families, which often have step-children and half-siblings, choosing a guardian may be more complicated. Depending upon your family dynamic … [Read more...] about Creating an Estate Plan for Your Blended Family
Did you know that can pre-pay for your funeral? When you do so, your family will be relieved of the financial burden that comes with a memorial service. There are four common ways to cover the costs of your funeral in advance. Funeral Insurance Whoever said there is insurance for everything wasn’t kidding. When you purchase a funeral insurance policy, you will have the chance to name a beneficiary. This person can collect your insurance funds upon your death and use those funds for your … [Read more...] about Four Ways to Pre-Pay for Your Funeral
As you may or may not know, I recently went on an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro… and… I live to tell the tale!... Funny things happened to virtually everyone on the climb. Our two strongest climbers – one, the youngest in the group - went down the third night/beginning of the fourth day with pulmonary edema. One had to have an IV administered before leaving. He was a mess. I had a couple of issues as well, cuts on two of my fingers the least of them. On the last day, going down the mountain … [Read more...] about Mt. Kilimanjaro Mission Accomplished; Summit Achieved!
Intestacy occurs when a person dies without creating a Last Will and Testament or if the existing Will is ruled invalid. In both cases, the decedent will have no say in how his or her final affairs are handled. Probate If there is no valid Will, probate is necessary and may be quite lengthy. The probate judge will choose a personal representative, or administrator, to handle the estate settlement process. The administrator handles the same duties that would have been performed by an … [Read more...] about What is Intestacy?
Many people who look for cost cutting methods in estate planning may decide to write their own Last Will and Testament. Is this a safe way to go with your estate plan? The answer is no. If you want a safe and secure Will, you should consult an attorney. May Not Cover Your Estate Some legal websites and how-to books offer standard fill-in the blank Wills. The problem is universal Wills are not designed to cover every estate. There is a good chance some or all of your property or … [Read more...] about Is Writing Your Own Will Safe?
Do you own your own business? If so, you should have a plan for your business after your death or in case you become disabled. There are three documents which can help you include your company in your estate plan. Financial Power of Attorney A financial power of attorney (POA) is an instrument that allows you to name someone to control your financial assets when you are unavailable. It’s important your POA qualify as a “durable” POA. Having the POA created as a durable POA is important … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Your Business