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!
August is “National Make-A-Will Month,” and if you have already prepared your will, congratulations—too few Americans have taken this key first step in the estate planning process. Yet, while having a will is important—and all adults over age 18 should have this document in place—for all but a few people, creating a will is just one small part of an effective estate plan that works to keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict.
If you dream of leaving your company to your family one day, but you haven’t properly included your business in your estate plan, that dream could become a nightmare for your heirs—and your partners, team members, and clients, too. Without a proper estate plan, the business you worked so hard to build could be in serious jeopardy when something happens to you.
Despite the fact that it happens to every single one of us and is every bit as natural as birth, very few among us are properly prepared for death—whether our own death or the death of a loved one. Yet the pandemic might be changing this. As anyone who has personally dealt with loss knows, when a loved one dies, those who are left behind face major challenges, not only emotional and logistical but financially as well.
If you're looking to collect life insurance proceeds as the policy's beneficiary, the process is fairly simple. However, during the emotional period immediately following a loved one's death, it could feel as if your entire world is falling apart, so it's helpful to understand what steps you need to take to access the insurance funds as quickly and easily as possible.
These days, more and more young people are delaying—if not totally foregoing—a life that involves marriage and parenting. The lack of jobs, crushing student debt, multiple recessions, and the pandemic have pushed many young people into a life path that leaves little room for getting married—and even less room for having children. If you're single with no children, you might think there's no need to worry about creating an estate plan. But this is a huge mistake.
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.
Smaller items, like family heirlooms and keepsakes, which may not have a high dollar value, frequently have the most sentimental value for our family members. But for some reason, these personal possessions are often not specifically accounted for in wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. To ensure your heirlooms and keepsakes don’t create unnecessary conflicts among your heirs, ensure that your estate plan includes all of your assets, especially your family heirlooms and keepsakes.
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.