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.
While both wills and trusts are the most commonly used estate planning vehicles to pass on wealth and other assets to your loved ones, putting your home in a trust has several distinct benefits compared to using a will. However, each family's circumstances are different. This is why your Personal Family Lawyer® will not create any documents until we know what you need and what will be the most affordable solution for you and your family—now and in the future—based on your family's conditions.
As you already know, but may not have given much thought about, the most important inheritance you provide is so much more than the money you'll leave behind, but also includes your wishes, insights, stories, and experience. That's why, this year, we invite you to ask your loved ones the 32 important questions that can reveal a wealth of valuable life lessons - family treasures to discuss and share with generations to come.
With the booming aging population, more and more seniors will require long-term healthcare services, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. However, such long-term care can be expensive, especially when needed for extended periods, and that's why long-term care insurance was created to address this gap in healthcare coverage. We'll answer some of the most FAQs about these policies to help you determine whether you could include this as part of your estate plan.
The pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in different ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate planning. While many people said that the pandemic inspired them to see a greater need for creating an estate plan, others still don't think that estate planning is important. But as we've outlined here, not having an estate plan can be traumatic and costly for both you and your loved ones, who will be forced to deal with the mess you've left behind.
Estate planning is not a one-and-done type of deal. Even if you put a totally solid estate plan in place, it can turn out to be worthless for the people you love if it's not regularly updated. No matter who you are, your life will inevitably change, and your plan should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances and other changing conditions. In the absence of any major life events, we recommend reviewing your estate plan annually to ensure its terms are up to date.
Giving donations to a charitable cause is a noble act of kindness. And you are also likely well aware that as with donating to charity during your lifetime, dedicating a portion of your estate to a charitable cause can reduce the taxable value of your estate. But it doesn’t end here. You may be surprised to learn about the numerous benefits available when you incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan. Learn more here!
Wills and trusts are two of the most commonly used estate planning documents. Both documents are legal vehicles designed to distribute your assets to your loved ones upon your death, but the way in which they work is quite different. To know the best way to determine whether or not your estate plan should include a will, living trust, or some combination of the two, meet a Personal Family Lawyer for a Family Wealth Planning Session.
Although married same-gender couples are now enjoying nearly all of the same rights as opposite-gender couples, there is still one key right that’s still up in the air—the automatic right to be legal parents. While parental rights are automatically bestowed upon the biological parent, the non-biological spouse/parent still faces a number of challenges when it comes to obtaining full parental rights. Luckily, same-gender couples do have an alternative to adoption—estate planning.