There are different ways to facilitate the asset transfers that will take place after you are gone. It is wise to explore your options so you can make fully informed decisions, and with this in mind, we will explain life estates in this post. Real Property Transfers You can use a life estate to arrange for the transfer of real property to someone after you pass away. If you take this action, you would be known as the “life tenant,” and the individual that will be inheriting the property is … [Read more...] about What Is a Life Estate?
A lot of people think that estate planning is not really important because it is a simple matter of drawing up a will to express your inheritance decisions. You can look at it this way, but in fact, there are some good reasons why you should put some thought into your estate plan. Prevent a Web of Confusion If you were to pass away without an estate plan, your loved ones would be forced to deal with the emotional loss. To compound the situation, they would face logistic challenges with regard … [Read more...] about Five Reasons to Put an Estate Plan in Place
Surveys have shown that the majority of people that don’t have estate plans think that it is important, but they procrastinate. One reason they give is the simple fact that they don’t know how to go about it, and this is understandable on the surface. The first step is to pin down your objectives, and this can be done by asking yourself a series of questions. With this in mind, we will provide a list in this post to help you find a starting point. Are you exposed to the estate tax? There is … [Read more...] about Consider These Questions When You Plan Your Estate
As elder law attorneys, we keep a finger on the pulse of legislative proposals that would impact government benefits for senior citizens. Now that we have a new administration and a different Senate majority, the potential for change exists. With this in mind, we will look at some possible changes to the Social Security program. Benefit Increases Your Social Security benefit is based on the 35 years during which you paid taxes on the most amount of money. Under the Biden proposal, the … [Read more...] about Biden Plan Would Increase Social Security Benefits
The revocable living trust is a very effective estate planning tool that will facilitate efficient asset transfers after your passing. Some people think that trusts are complicated to administer, but in reality, this is really not the case. The First Phase If you establish a living trust, you would be called the grantor or settlor. The administrator is the trustee, and even though you would be the grantor, you can also act as the trustee. As a result, you have complete control of the assets … [Read more...] about An Overview of Living Trust Administration
They say that death and taxes are the two certainties of life, and people definitely prepare for the latter one of these two eventualities. However, when it comes to the other one, a surprising percentage of people are remiss. 2021 Survey Results Caring.com has been conducting studies on an annual basis to get a feel for the estate planning preparedness of American adults. They gather their numbers shortly after we enter a new year, and they have recently released their figures for … [Read more...] about 2021 Estate Planning Survey Reveals Interesting Trend
People often harbor misconceptions about trusts, and one of them is the idea that you cannot challenge the terms of a trust in court. This stems from a misunderstanding of a basic truth about revocable living trusts. Living Trusts, Probate, and Will Challenges One of the major benefits that a living trust will provide over a simple will is the avoidance of probate. A will would be admitted to probate, which is a court supervised legal process. It is time consuming and expensive, so probate … [Read more...] about Can Someone Challenge a Living Trust?
A living trust is the ideal estate planning tool for many people, and when you understand the benefits, you can see why they are so popular. We will provide a rundown here, and we will address the matter of assets that may have been left out of your living trust. Efficient Estate Administration If you use a simple will to serve as your asset transfer vehicle, you would name an executor in the document, and it would be admitted to probate after your death. This is a time-consuming legal process … [Read more...] about What Happens to Assets Left Out of My Living Trust?
When you plan your estate, you should cover all your bases, and this will require the execution of multiple documents. The optimal combination will depend on the circumstances, but there are four core components that should be part of every estate plan. Asset Transfer Vehicle Monetary asset transfers will come to mind first when you think about the estate planning process. Your estate plan will include a simple will or some type of trust to facilitate distributions to your heirs. A lot of … [Read more...] about You Need These Four Estate Planning Documents
Some people do not even consider the possibility of using a trust as an estate planning tool because they harbor a misconception. They think that you permanently surrender control of assets that you convey into a trust. On the one hand, this is false, and on the other hand, it’s true. We will provide some clarity in this post. Irrevocable Trusts There is a legal concept called “incidents of ownership.” In layman’s terms, when you relinquish incidents of ownership, the assets are no longer … [Read more...] about Can You Dissolve a Trust If Circumstances Change?