Posts Categorized: Wills

How Business Executives Can Set and Meet Their Estate Planning Goals

As a business executive, your daily life revolves around strategizing, setting goals, and ensuring the success of your organization. However, have you ever considered applying these skills to protect your personal assets and provide for your loved ones in the future?

In this article, we will explore various strategies and goals that business executives should consider when looking ahead to safeguard their hard-earned wealth and ensure their family’s financial well-being. READ MORE

From ‘I Do’ to ‘What If’: Estate Planning Must-Do’s for Newlyweds – Part 2

Are you surprised to see a Trust on our list before a Will? Here’s why a Trust is next on your to-do list. If you are newly married, there’s a strong likelihood that you are relatively young in your life and your career, which means there will be many changes in your assets, family, and wishes as the years go by.

Or, you might be re-marrying or getting married later in life and already have a well-established home, financial portfolio, and family that you are now combining with your partner’s life.  READ MORE

Beware of Unequal Contributions When Purchasing a House

Co-buying a home with a partner, relative, or friend can reduce the costs of the down payment, mortgage payments, utilities, and other household expenses for each buyer, while allowing them to build home equity. Some co-buyers may not even want to live in the home. Their goal may be to rent it out or flip it for a profit. 

Home co-ownership can present problems as well. If one buyer has a bad credit score, it can negatively affect another buyer’s mortgage terms. And if one party cannot meet their financial obligations, the other party could be on the hook for the budget shortfall.  READ MORE

From ‘I Do’ to ‘What If’: Estate Planning Must-Do’s for Newlyweds – Part 1

Wedding season is winding down, and if you are a newlywed or are planning to tie the knot soon, it’s time to make your first legal move as a married couple – creating an estate plan. With all the joy and happiness a new marriage brings, planning for your potential incapacity and future death may feel out of place, but creating your estate plan as part of your post-nuptial to-do list is the greatest gift you can give your new spouse.

A lot changes once your marriage is official, but how you and your spouse want your finances to be managed or how you would want medical decisions to be made for each other are not automatically documented when you say “I do.”   READ MORE

Limited Impact of Estrangement on Estate Planning

Unfortunately, rifts sometimes arise between family members that are much more serious than just temporary squabbles. The result may be estrangement, defined as “the state of being alienated or separated in feeling or affection; a state of hostility or unfriendliness” or “the state of being separated or removed.” Estrangement does not mean that the relationship has come to an end legally, however.  

A husband may move out of the home he shared with his wife and have limited or no contact with her or their children. A child who has been abused may live with a relative and avoid contact with their parent. A parent may choose not to associate with a child who has committed crimes or abused their trust. These types of situations are unfortunate and occur more often than we would like. READ MORE

Got Intellectual Property? Include It In Your Estate Plan

You don’t have to be a famous producer or household name to own intellectual property. If you create music, own a business, write stories, or build gadgets in your garage, you almost certainly have intellectual property. However, because intellectual property is intangible, it’s often overlooked in estate planning.

And if you do have intellectual property, it may hold significant sentimental and even monetary value for you and the people who love you. Without properly planning for these works in your estate plan, your family could lose these valuable assets forever. READ MORE

Collecting Debts on Behalf of Your Deceased Loved One

People often engage in transactions that result in money being owed to them, such as loaning money to a friend or business partner or renting a house to a tenant. But what happens if someone passes away before they receive the money owed to them? Can someone else collect these debts? If your loved one has died and you think they were owed money at the time of their death, keep the following information in mind.

The fact that someone dies does not mean that the outstanding debt owed to them disappears or is no longer owed. The debt survives the death of the creditor and is then owed to the deceased creditor’s estate. In fact, a debt that is owed to the estate is considered an asset (i.e., money and property) of the estate. READ MORE

Help Your Parents Avoid These New Financial Scams – Part 2

Imagine opening your inbox to an urgent email from a seemingly legitimate source – perhaps your bank, a popular online retailer, or even a social media platform. The message claims there has been suspicious activity on your account and urges you to click a link or provide sensitive information to verify your identity. This is the classic phishing email – a crafty attempt to deceive you into revealing your personal data.

Phishing has been around since email became mainstream, but what has changed is the depth to which scammers feign legitimacy. Even if you or your parents are familiar with phishing email schemes, new approaches and advances in technology are making it harder than ever to detect a phishing email. READ MORE

You Can Benefit from Giving Gifts

A benefit of working hard is sharing the fruits of your labor with your loved ones. However, gift or estate tax consequences may impact high net worth clients when they share their wealth. By crafting a comprehensive estate plan, we can address these concerns and protect high net worth clients and their loved ones. The following three types of trusts may assist high net worth clients in sharing their wealth in a tax-advantageous way.

A grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) is an irrevocable trust you can use to make large financial gifts to your loved ones while also minimizing gift tax liability. These financial gifts remove future appreciation from your estate, reducing the amount that will be subject to estate tax at your death. However, there may be gift tax liability, which would be owed and paid at the trust’s creation. READ MORE

AARP and The Red Cross Celebrate Make-A-Will Month, But Here’s What They Didn’t Tell You

A Will is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of getting your affairs in order, so the advice presented by AARP, the Red Cross, and National Make-A-Will Month itself sounds really good. But in reality, the message of AARP and the Red Cross for Make-A-Will Month could leave your family with a stressful mess when you die or if you become incapacitated first.

To understand why, it’s important to know what a Will does and where its limits lie. READ MORE

Difference Between Transfer on Death and Payable on Death Designation

Adding a payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) designation to an account allows the assets (money and property) in that account to be passed to a named beneficiary when the original account holder dies. 

Like trusts, POD and TOD accounts bypass probate. They are also fast, easy, and usually free to set up. However, they do not provide the full range of benefits that a traditional trust does and can have some unintended consequences.  READ MORE

Help Your Parents Avoid These New Financial Scams – Part 1

Fraudsters and scam artists are nothing new, but changing tools and technology are making it easier than ever for scammers to target their victims, especially seniors. To protect your aging parents (or yourself) from these con artists, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the knowledge of how these scams work and what your loved ones need to know to keep their assets and emotions safe.

In this two-part series, we’ll explore four of the most recent and insidious financial scams that have surfaced, shedding light on their tactics and providing you with practical steps to shield your parents from potential harm. READ MORE

Three Important Concerns Self-Employed Individuals Should Address

Being self-employed is no easy task. You are the owner, and in some cases, the only employee. While you may have more freedom than the average worker, a lot of responsibilities lie on your shoulders. Working together, we can craft a comprehensive estate plan that will help you address three important concerns you may have.

You are your own boss, and you have your own business. That means it is your responsibility to obtain the important things we associate with employment, such as retirement accounts and insurance. To properly plan for your financial future and the future of your business and loved ones, it is important to have a comprehensive plan and an experienced advisor team. The right advisor team can educate you about the available retirement plan options and the best investment strategies based on your unique situation. READ MORE

Can You Rely on Legal Insurance for Your Estate Plan?

As the need for affordable legal services becomes even more important in today’s world, it’s common to opt for group legal insurance offered through your workplace benefits. These group insurance plans provide free legal assistance for a variety of needs from law firms that have contracted with the insurance company to provide the legal work.

While group legal insurance might seem like an easy option to save on your family’s legal needs, it’s often inadequate for creating the kind of estate plan you really need to protect your assets, your choices, and your loved ones. In fact – the type of estate plan, will, or trust created through legal insurance programs could leave your family with a big mess. READ MORE

Bills and Services to Cancel and Keep – When a Loved One Dies 

A loved one’s passing is challenging on many different levels. In addition to the emotional difficulty of processing someone’s death, there are also the many tasks that must be dealt with, such as going through their various accounts and taking the necessary steps to cancel them or transfer ownership. 

Most people subscribe to multiple digital subscription services in addition to utilities, insurance, memberships, medical prescriptions, and other recurring payment programs. Settling these accounts helps avoid unnecessary charges and protect against identity theft and fraud. If the duty to handle outstanding accounts falls to you, you will first want to identify which accounts your loved one held and then figure out what to do with them.  READ MORE