Given the growing number of seniors, the prevalence of diminished capacity associated with aging, and the concentration of wealth among elderly Baby Boomers, we're likely to see a serious surge in the number of cases involving undue influence in the coming years. This kind of elder abuse can disastrously affect your aging parents' and other senior relatives' estate planning. Be aware, educated, and empowered in knowing what risks are for your elderly loved ones—and for your future inheritance.
While a will is a necessary part of most estate plans, your will is typically a very small part of a comprehensive estate plan. A will alone cannot guarantee that your family will not go to court if you become incapacitated or when you die. If you want to learn why? Here are the things you should not expect your will to accomplish!
In part one of this series, we discussed 529 plans and education savings accounts, which are both popular options for saving for a college education. Do you know the main reasons for their popularity? It's their tax-saving advantage! The money you contribute to a 529 account grows on a tax-deferred basis, and withdrawals are tax-free, provided they're used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, and other education-related fees.
If you have started to save for your child or grandchild’s college education, it’s worth considering whether to use a 529 plan, an education savings account, or an Irrevocable Trust. Here’s what we think you should consider as you decide!
Regardless of what industry you're in, the reality of being a business owner is that you open yourself up to a number of unique risks that most people don't have to worry about—and the more successful your business is, the more risks you face. And because most business owners aren't fully aware of all the potential risks that can affect their company or the options available to protect their personal assets from the risks of doing business. This is where asset protection planning comes in.
One of the most difficult things to do is think about the possibility we may die unexpectedly or too early, leaving our children without one of the most important people in their lives. That's why protecting your children in any way possible, including legally, would be at the top of your priority. Create a legal plan to protect your children if something happens to you. This is one of the best Father's Day gifts you can give yourself and the people you love.
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. However, you should know that being a trustee takes a major responsibility, and the role is definitely not applicable to everyone. Here's why!
No matter how well you think you know your loved ones, it's impossible to predict exactly how they'll behave when you die or become incapacitated. No one wants to believe that their family members would ever end up fighting one another in court over inheritance issues, but the fact is, we see it all the time. The best way to deal with estate planning disputes is to do everything possible to prevent family conflicts from making sure they never occur in the first place.
Most people immediately think of taking legal steps to ensure the right people inherit their stuff when they die. Although that thought is not wrong, it also highlights the importance of planning for life. Planning that’s focused solely on who gets what when you die is ignoring that death isn’t the only thing you must prepare for. Consider that at some point before your eventual death, you could be incapacitated, which can drag out over many years, leaving you and your family in agonizing limbo.
When you hear the words "trust fund," do you conjure images of stately mansions and party yachts? A trust fund - or trust - is a great estate planning tool for many people with a wide range of incomes who want to accomplish a specific purpose with their money. There are many reasons to create a trust, and being rich isn't necessarily one of them. You just need to consult an estate planning attorney to help you identify the best unique strategies for you and your family.