Estate planning is important for all responsible adults, and everyone should have a last will in place at a minimum. If you do not execute any estate planning documents you will die intestate, and the outcome of this is not consistent with most people's wishes. When you die without a last will or a trust in California directing the transfer of your assets, the condition of intestacy results. Under circumstances where you pass away without having a will or trust and no living relatives, the … [Read more...] about What Happens to My Property If I Die Without a Will or Trust in California?
A winning Powerball lottery ticket was recently purchased in the state of Florida, and the story provides some insight into the impact of the estate tax. Many of us have dreamed about winning a huge sum of money in a lottery of some kind. It can be quite a bit of fun to sit back and imagine everything you would do with the money. You may envision traveling around the world. One destination that you may not think about is a trip to an estate planning attorney's office. With the Powerball … [Read more...] about Big Lottery Winners Face Estate Tax Exposure
When you make an appointment to speak with an estate planning attorney, you should be prepared to have a very open and honest conversation. You are going to have to discuss some of the most sensitive areas of your life, and this can be a bit disconcerting to some people. At the same time, you have to be forthcoming if you want your wishes to be carried out after you pass away without any surprises taking place because your attorney didn't know everything that was relevant. You may have heard … [Read more...] about Help Your Attorney Help You
There are a lot of things that can be accomplished online, but you probably want to think twice before planning your estate using a download or worksheet that you get off the Internet from one of the web-based marketers. These sites offer tools that you can use to create a revocable living trust. We can get into the details regarding why you may want to steer clear of DIY legal documents, but we would like to make a different point here. All trusts are not created equal. Different trusts are … [Read more...] about Is DIY Trust Creation Wise?
When you're looking at the sum total of the assets that you are going to be leaving behind to your loved ones, you are in a sense slicing up a pie. The first logical thought that you may have would be that the fair way to do this would be to give each of your children equal inheritances. Many people go this route, and it certainly makes sense on the surface. However, there are those who evaluate the needs of each respective individual and allow these evaluations to play a role in their … [Read more...] about When “Slicing Pie” Consider Post-Mortem Dynamic
A 2013 article published on the Wall Street Journal website sheds some light on the subject of lost inheritances. You may think that most people who can pass along enormous sums of money to the next generation are setting up their estates to provide for many generations to come. In fact, the statistics tell a decidedly different tale. Seven dollars out of every ten that is inherited is lost by the end of the second generation. Statistical averages indicate that only 10% of an inheritance is … [Read more...] about How Long Will Your Financial Legacy Last?
Aside from the last will, or last will and testament as it was traditionally called, there are some other types of wills used in the field of estate planning. One of these is the living will. This is an important advance health care directive, and unfortunately the majority of people in the United States are going through life without a living will. This type of will is not a financial instrument. Living wills are used to state your preferences regarding medical procedures. Your choices as … [Read more...] about Various Different Wills Used in Estate Planning
The death of a spouse is obviously one of the most profound events that you can experience. Once the initial wave of emotions has subsided and you are capable of taking care of practical matters, you must ask yourself what comes next from a financial perspective. If you have insurance policies or payable on death accounts, you are going to have to consider new beneficiaries. In a general sense, your existing estate plan that was put in place while your spouse was still alive is invariably going … [Read more...] about Surviving Spouse Must Revise Plan
We would like to suggest that our readers steer clear of these three common estate planning errors. Error # 1: The assumption that you will never be exposed to the federal estate tax As 2013 approached, the future of the estate tax was hazy. Unless some type of legislation was passed in the 11th hour, the estate tax exclusion was going to be reduced to $1 million in 2013, and the rate was scheduled to rise to 55%. At the last minute, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed … [Read more...] about Steer Clear of These Common Estate Planning Errors
If you run into some type of unexpected difficulty that is out of your control, there may not be much you can do about it on one level. However, if you take steps to prepare for unpleasant contingencies, the impact can be much less severe. The above enters into the realm of retirement and estate planning. Many people are still feeling the impact of the financial upheaval that the country experienced in 2007 and 2008. Of course, some were more prepared to absorb the blow than others. If you … [Read more...] about The Incredible Shrinking Inheritance