A lot of people put estate planning on the back burner because it seems like an overwhelming task, and they don’t know where to begin. This is understandable to some extent, and in this post, we will look at five must-have documents to provide you with a starting point. Asset Transfers The first order of business will be to state your wishes with regard to the way you want your assets to be distributed after your passing. A will is a possibility, but this document is really not the right … [Read more...] about You Need These Five Estate Planning Documents
There are many different tools in the estate planning toolkit, so you should be aware of all of your options so that you can make the right choices. A lot of people assume that there are certain risks that must be taken, but for the most part, this is not the case at all. This dynamic can enter the picture when it comes to leaving an inheritance to a loved one that is not very good at managing money. If you leave a lump sum inheritance, the individual could burn through it very quickly, and … [Read more...] about A Living Trust Can Protect a Spendthrift
In this video, Attorney Maggie LaBranch-Gonzales defines what funding is, what assets you should fund into your living trust, and why you, more than anyone else, determine the effectiveness of your trust. Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law are members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. If you would like to learn more about the importance of estate planning, we invite you to attend one of our free estate planning seminars. … [Read more...] about The Importance of Funding (Video)
by Justin M. Kennedy, Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law A Living Trust only has the authority to manage the assets titled in the name of the Trust; assets not titled in the name of the Living Trust cannot be managed by the Trust. Retitling assets into the name of the Living Trust is known as Funding. Funding your assets into the Living Trust is very important to ensure that the Trust has control over those assets. Assets properly titled in the name of the Living … [Read more...] about What Assets Should Not be Funded into a Living Trust?
by Justin M. Kennedy, Attorney at Law Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law Recently I met with a client, Tammy, who wanted to immediately gift her home to her son, Eugene. Even though Tammy already had a comprehensive estate plan with our office that included a Living Trust, Tammy had talked with her friends who suggested gifting the home now was in her best interests. When I asked more questions, Tammy shared that one of her friends, Mike, had died without a Living Trust … [Read more...] about Gift Now or Let Them Inherit?
Living Trusts are an excellent vehicle of asset transfer. They assist you in avoiding probate and legal quagmires, and protect your privacy. It’s important to receive solid estate planning guidance before making final decisions regarding what estate planning documents are appropriate for you, and to carefully weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks. To assist you in learning more about revocable living trusts, we invite you to attend one of our free living trust seminars. Click here to view … [Read more...] about Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust
You have choices when planning your estate. You are not required to utilize a last will to direct the distribution of your assets after your death. Instruments such as revocable living trusts are viable options and they are not exclusively for the wealthy. Your estate must be probated when you use a last will as your primary asset transfer vehicle. Probate comes with considerable costs. Depending on the overall value of your estate and its relative complexity, the costs associated with … [Read more...] about Estate Planning – You Have Choices
By: Matthew M. Shafae, Attorney Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law The living trust is the bedrock foundation upon which our estate plans are built. It’s right there in the word: trust. It sounds safe and secure; it’s warm peace of mind. If you’ve been to one of our seminars or workshops, you’ve probably heard us tout the benefits of an asset-protection trust, and how our clients typically take advantage of this estate planning enhancement to leave property to loved ones … [Read more...] about Are All Trusts Asset-Protecting Trusts?
There are a number of legal devices that are used in the field of estate planning. Depending on your unique circumstances, various different courses of action may be appropriate. Many people assume that they should use a last will to direct future asset transfers, but in fact a revocable living trust may be a better alternative. You may have heard about the numerous benefits of living trusts. In this blog post, we will address three of those benefits. Avoiding Probate One of the … [Read more...] about Three Benefits of a Living Trust
When an individual dies owning property solely in his or her name without a beneficiary designation, a formal procedure ("probate") is usually needed to determine to whom the property should pass. If there is a valid Will, the probate court will oversee that property passes according to the terms of the Will. If there is no Will, the property will pass to the individual's heirs at law through the probate system. However, it is possible to legally pass property to another person without going … [Read more...] about Avoiding Probate (An Elder Law Today Blog)