It’s All in the Family: Understanding Common Legal Terms
The wrong word can lead the courts to incorrectly interpret your documents and therefore cause an unintended result. Here are a few commonly confused words, their proper meanings, and some usage scenarios.
Do I Have to Leave Anything to My Children?
One common storyline in Hollywood movies is the rich father disinheriting the family outcast. The story usually traces the child’s attempts to win the father over and be considered a part of the family again. But can fiction imitate reality? Can you actually disinherit a child?
Planning Considerations for Unmarried Partners
While do-it-yourself options may be cheaper, they can sometimes create more problems than they solve, and the problems can be expensive to remedy.
How to Plan a “Pet Trust” to Protect Your Pet After Your Death
In my previous article, I talked about what to take into consideration when you’re planning for your pet’s care, in the event of your incapacity or your death. This week, I’m going to give you the steps to take in creating a pet trust to provide for your companion animal, or animals, if you cannot be there.
What Happens to Your Pets When You Die?
If you have pets, my guess is that you love them as much as you do your children, but I’m also guessing that you have not provided any written or, better yet, legally documented instructions about what should happen to them, if you become incapacitated or when you die. If you have, read this article with an eye to ensuring you’ve checked all the right boxes for the beings you love. If you haven’t, read on because it’s time to take action, and we can make it easy for you to do the right thing by the pets you love.
Five Mistakes Successor Trustees Make (and How to Prevent Them)
When establishing a trust, you must give serious thought to who you choose as your successor trustee. The successor trustee is the person who will manage, invest, and hand out the trust’s accounts and property once you are no longer able to do so.
What If No One Wants My Property?
A critical question to ask yourself when creating an estate plan is who will get your stuff when you pass on? While most people think about who they would like to receive the major items, such as homes, retirement accounts, savings; however, personal property, such as jewelry, clothing, sports equipment, vehicles, and other possessions are often overlooked.
Four Common Myths about Estate Planning
Almost everyone will benefit from estate planning, which addresses non-wealth aspects of your legacy along with the financial aspects. Estate planning can ensure someone you trust will care for your children and pets after your death, and make sure treasured family heirlooms end up where you want them to go. Estate planning also can help you pass along your values.
Reviewing Your Estate Plan after the Death of a Loved One
Although your estate plan primarily focuses on what will happen if you become incapacitated (unable to make or communicate your wishes) or die, the death of a loved one can have a major impact on your planning. If you have an estate plan, one of the first items you need to do when a loved one dies is to review the documents with the following questions in mind:
Moving To A New State? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan
Although you likely won’t need to have an entirely new estate plan prepared for you, upon relocating to another state, you should definitely have your existing plan reviewed by an estate planning lawyer who is familiar with your new home state’s laws. Each state has its own laws governing estate planning, and those laws can differ significantly from one location to another.
5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Estate Planning Lawyer – Part 1
Since you’ll be discussing topics like death, incapacity, and other frightening life events, hiring an estate planning lawyer may feel intimidating or morbid. But it definitely doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, it can be the most empowering decision you ever make for yourself and your loved ones. The key to transforming the experience of hiring a lawyer from one that you dread into one that empowers you is to educate yourself first. This is the person who is going to be there for your family when you can’t be, so you want to really understand who the lawyer is as a human, not just an attorney. Of course, you’ll also want to find out the kind of services your potential lawyer offers and how they run their business.
Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trusts
If you want to provide for a loved one who is disabled or has special needs when you are no longer here, care must be taken to ensure that the inheritance you leave will help rather than harm your loved one. An inheritance received outright could negatively impact your loved one if he or she is currently receiving government aid or benefits or will need to apply for aid in the future.
Who Should I Choose to Be Successor Trustee?
When you create a living trust, you must name a successor trustee to take over for you if you are unable to act due to incapacity or death. It is crucial that this decision be given careful consideration and that the right person be selected for the job.
How to Choose a Trustee
When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee does what you do right now with your financial affairs – collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell property, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records, and generally keep things organized and in good order.
The Recipe for a Satisfying Estate Plan
Misconceptions about who needs an estate plan abound. Most people believe that estate planning is only for extremely wealthy business moguls or celebrities. But that could not be further from the truth. Estate planning is the process of making decisions about what happens to you, your money, and your property when you pass away or can no longer make decisions for yourself. Thus, estate planning should be standard practice for every adult age eighteen or older.
To learn more about Cheever Law, APC and estate planning, please register for our FREE educational Life & Legacy Planning Webinar. We look forward to serving you!