Category Archives: Estate Planning

Seven Ways to Make a Strong Estate Plan

Did you know that when your estate goes into probate it automatically loses value? Depending on the estate, that loss can be an estimated five percent. Your estate can also wind up tied up probate courts for years depending on your family circumstances and the strength of your planning. So, how do you make a strong estate plan that can keep these events from happening? Seven Steps to a Strong Estate Plan Make a List of Your Assets – When they pass, some people don’t let their families know what accounts and assets they hold. Considering this digital age where…

Can I Include My Pet in My Estate Plans?

They may not be people, but we do consider them family. Dogs, cats, birds and other pets that we feed and nurture can become a big part of our lives. But what happens when these loyal companions outlive us? Is there any way for us to secure care for them in our estate plans? What Happens to Our Pets After We Pass? Have you thought about what will happen to Fido—or your other pets—after you have passed? Many people don’t, and so these cherished family members are often left out of estate planning. When this happens, and a pet owner…

How Does the Trust Administration Process Work?

One benefit of having a trust is the fact that each trust can be unique and flexible to a person’s needs at that time. Some trusts can hold a limited amount of property and must be terminated a short time after the grantor’s death. Other trusts can hold millions of dollars worth of property and can provide assets to beneficiaries for many years. The amount of administering a trust requires can vary according to different factors, such as the type of trust, the number of beneficiaries, the amount of property in the trust, and much more. What Does the Trust…

Difference Between an Advanced Health Care Directive and a Power of Attorney

Estate planning is extremely important, but it can get quite complicated since there are so many different terms and concepts to understand. Many people get confused about the difference between a power of attorney and an advance care directive. This is because, at first glance, these two estate planning tools seem like they offer the same exact benefits, but this is not necessarily the case. If you are in the process of creating and organizing your estate plans and you have come across these two estate plan documents, you should know the difference between the two, so you can make…

What Are Advance Healthcare Directives and How Can They Help the Estate Planning Process?

An advance healthcare directive is a legal document that details what kind of medical care you desire should you become incapacitated or unable to care for yourself. While no one can predict the future, it is best that you prepare for events such as you: Falling into a coma Becoming seriously injured Being terminally ill Developing severe dementia The kind of treatment you would want will be listed in your advance healthcare directive. The advance directive could give orders regarding treatment for terminal illness or comas including orders to end life support. The advance directive could also give orders to…

What Are Some Benefits of Estate Planning?

Most people avoid thinking about how their family will survive without them when they eventually pass away. It will be very difficult to set up your estate plan in your last days, so make sure that you meet with an estate planning lawyer and get your arrangements planned out in advance. In addition, by preparing your estate for that fateful day, you’ll save your surviving family time and money dealing with any estate complications. Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, whether you file a will or trust. When you meet with an estate planning lawyer and begin to build…

How a Mediation Lawyer Could Help You

Mediation is one of the many types of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is done in confidentiality and carried out voluntarily by the disputing parties. The rules of mediation are easy to understand, and disputing parties can complete the process without additional assistance. Rather than have a resolution imposed by the court, mediation allows disputing parties to talk openly about their issues and reach an agreement together. However, if you are not confident that the opposing party will act appropriately during the mediation process, hire a mediation lawyer. A mediation lawyer can be hired and asked to be present at any…

Who Can Contest a Will?

After a loved one dies, the essential grieving process can be soured by the late relative’s estate and how it will be divided among family. Cousin Albert can’t contest your late father’s will as easily as you might think, however. Depending on how the will was drafted and who was named in the will, only certain people will be allowed to contest wills. If you’re not sure whether you can contest a will, check out the list below and see which descriptions best fit your personal circumstances. Beneficiaries Beneficiaries are those who are named in the will and can include:…

Should I Include End-of-Life Care in My Estate Plan?

End-of-life care is a much bigger deal than many of us realize, and should always be included in your estate plan. The recent passing of music legend Tom Petty serves as an example of how important it is to include end-of-life care in your estate plan. Why You Should Include End-of-Life Care in Your Estate Plan Per CNBC, after Tom Petty was found in cardiac arrest, he was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Eventually, his family had to decide whether to keep him on life support or not. They had him taken off life support, because Petty had included…

How Can I Create an Estate Plan That Protects My Assets From Creditors?

When you are crafting your estate plan, you are making a decision about what you want to leave behind for those you hold most dear. However, if your creditors have anything to say about it, your loved ones may never receive the assets you leave for them. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now to ensure that your estate plan is creditor-proof. Tips for Making a Creditor-Proof Estate Plan The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) published an article on their website explaining what steps people can take to make their estate plan creditor-proof. Per the AARP report, here…