Many Americans may find it easer to discuss retirement needs rather than estate planning. The former may include fun goals, like retirement vacations, perhaps a move to a warmer climate, or simply more time to take up a hobby or check items off one’s bucket list. Thinking about one’s passing, in contrast, often feels more like a duty or an obligation owed to one’s surviving family members.
A common theme in estate planning is providing for the educational costs of beneficiaries. Today’s post takes a look at an increasingly popular option, tax-advantaged 529 savings plans. This type of plan may help cover school expenses when a child reaches college age.
With the wealth of information available on the Internet, individuals may wonder whether they could set up a trust on their own. According to the Michigan State Bar, it is highly risky, although not illegal, for an individual to draft his or her own trust. Let’s take a look why.
A comprehensive estate plan can include an advanced health care directive, also known as a living will. This document describes an individual’s treatment preferences, such as hospice preferences and/or life-sustaining measures in the event of incapacity. A health directive may also designate a healthcare power of attorney, granting an individual with decision-making authority.
Many people who have heard about the estate tax, also known as the death tax, are worried about how to protect their assets. As estate taxes could wind up compromising up to 50 percent of the value of people's estates if left unchecked, it is critically important to seek estate planning guidance from an experienced attorney if your estate is significant enough to be affected by this tax after you have passed away.
For readers of this blog, recommending a will may be akin to preaching to the choir. Yet a surprising number of Americans fail to heed this advice, including the late singer Prince.
The safe deposit box is a common place to put expensive items and important documents. These locked boxes are kept in vaults in a bank, which makes them look like very secure locations for things you don't want to lose. However, the way you set up the box and how you include it in your estate plan can make all the difference to your beneficiaries.
You may have gone through the work of creating a revocable trust. However, unless you have retitled assets in the name of that trust, all you have is essentially a piece of paper describing a trust that you intended to create, but failed to set up because it was left unfunded.
Many people start to think about planning for the future of their estate when they find out about the estate tax. For those that don't know, the estate tax is a tax that kicks in when the owner of the estate passes. This tax can wind up costing people a significant amount of money that otherwise could be passed down to their children or grandchildren.
Even unmarried couples may benefit from the counsel of a family law attorney. Specifically, an increasing number of Americans in intimate relationships are choosing to live together, rather getting married. According to data from the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, over 15 million Americans are involved in live-in relationships. That translates to about 6.5 percent of Americans over the age of 18.