Estate Planning FAQs For LGBTQ+ Couples
As we wrap up another Pride Month, the LGBTQ+ community faces an increasingly uncertain legal landscape. In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, ending the recognition of a constitutional right to abortion, many are worried that other rights, especially those enjoyed by same-gender couples, might also be threatened.
In fact, with Roe overturned, legal experts warn that the Supreme Court’s new Republican majority may come for landmark LGBTQ-rights decisions next, including marriage equality established by Obergefell v. Hodges. In light of this potential challenge, same-gender couples must ensure their estate plans are carefully reviewed and updated by an estate planning lawyer who understands the special needs of LGBTQ+ planning to address any such developments.
Can a Trust Own My Business after I Die?
If your business is taxed as an S corporation (and you do not have to be a corporation to be taxed as an S corporation), there are special rules about who can own an S corporation. It is essential to seek the advice of a qualified legal or tax professional before transferring ownership of your S corporation business interest to a trust and after the death of the grantor/trustmaker.
Although your trust can own your business after you die, you must consider many factors when transferring your business ownership interest to your trust. Therefore, it is essential to consult a qualified professional to ensure that you have considered all the elements and help you correctly complete the transfer.
3 Reasons Why Single Folks With No Children Need An Estate Plan
While most adults don’t take estate planning as seriously as they should, if you are single with no children, you might think there’s no need to worry about creating an estate plan. But this is a huge mistake. Having an estate plan can be even more essential if you are single and childless.
If you are single without kids, you face several potential estate planning complications that aren’t an issue for those married with children. And this is true whether you’re wealthy or have minimal assets. Indeed, without proper estate planning, you’re jeopardizing your wealth and assets and putting your life at risk, too. And that’s not even mentioning the potential conflict, mess, and expense you’re leaving for your surviving family and friends to deal with when something unexpected happens to you.
Do You Update Your Estate Plan as Often as Your Resume?
A resume is a snapshot of your experience, skill set, and education that provides prospective employers insight into who you are and how you will perform. Imagine not updating your resume for five, ten, or even fifteen years. Would it accurately reflect your professional abilities? Would it do what you want it to do? Probably not. Estate plans are similar in that they need to be regularly updated to reflect changes in your life and the law so they can do what you want them to do. Outdated estate plans, like outdated resumes, do not work.
Think for a moment about all of the changes in your life so far. What has changed since you signed your will, trust agreement, and other estate planning documents? If something has changed that affects you, your trusted helpers, or your beneficiaries, your estate plan probably needs to reflect that change.
If You’ve Been Asked To Serve As Trustee, Here’s What You Should Know
If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as trustee for their trust either during their life or upon their death, it’s a big honor – this means they consider you among the most honest, reliable, and responsible people they know.
That said, serving as a trustee is not only a great honor; it’s also a significant responsibility, and the role is not for everyone. Serving as a trustee entails a broad array of duties. You are ethically and legally required to execute those duties properly, or you could be liable for not doing so.
Updating Your Estate Plan: How Many Tweaks Are Too Many?
Imagine a recipe card you have used for years. The card may still be readable if you have crossed out and replaced one or two ingredients. However, the recipe is probably confusing if you have altered the ingredients many times. If your loved ones cannot read your instructions to determine whether to add a cup of flour or a cup of sugar, your recipe will not work. You have a fifty-fifty chance for a great dish—or a complete disaster.
The same can be said about a will or revocable living trust. Making one or two changes to a document is generally acceptable, but your instructions may become confusing when revisions are numerous or comprehensive. The primary reason for the confusion is that the old document and any new documents must be read together to understand the full instructions. For this reason, starting over with a new will or a complete restatement may serve you better.
How To Pass On Family Heirlooms & Keepsakes Without Causing A Family Feud
Smaller items, like family heirlooms and keepsakes, which may not have a high dollar value, frequently have the most sentimental value for our family members. But for a number of reasons, these personal possessions are often not specifically accounted for in wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.
However, it’s critical that you don’t overlook this type of property in your estate plan, as the distribution of such items can become a source of intense conflict and strife for those you leave behind. In fact, if you don’t properly address family heirlooms and keepsakes in your estate plan, it can lead to long-lasting disagreements that can tear your family apart.
An Estate Plan Should Not Be a Set-It-and-Forget-It Endeavor
As we all know, life happens. There is really nothing we can do about it. However, some of the most common life events can have a dramatic effect on your estate plan. If you think your estate plan is like a slow cooker and you can set it and forget it, you and your loved ones may be in for a stomach-turning surprise when it is time to put your plan into action. Let us take a look at some common life changes and the impact they may have on your already established estate plan.
It is common for parents to have their estate plan prepared after the birth of their first child. However, depending on what provisions are in the first iteration, a second child might have difficulty getting their share without court involvement if the clients do not revise their plan after the birth of a subsequent child.