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.
You've most likely heard people mention a couple of different types of wills when it comes to estate planning, and the most common is a "last will and testament," or known as a "will." But you may have also heard people talk about what's called a "living will." Both terms describe important legal documents, but their purpose and how they work are very different. We'll discuss some of the most critical things you should know about living wills and why it's essential in every adult's 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.
A comprehensive estate plan can protect what matters most to you. This means everything you own and everyone you love - your children. Take a few minutes to consider right now: if both you and your child's other parent were to become incapacitated or die right now, who would step forward to care for your child? Many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their children in their plan. If you're ready to take that step, start by sitting down with us.
If you are a single parent, life for you right now probably couldn't get any busier. You are likely being pulled between work, school activities, and home - and the inevitable emergencies that fill the lives of single parents everywhere. It's a huge responsibility, even if you do share time with a parenting partner, and especially so if you don't. Regardless, as a single parent, your children's lives are now largely in your hands, and the best way to protect them is through estate planning.
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 DMX was successful in music and movies, the rap icon experienced serious legal and financial problems. His story proves that regardless of your financial status, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is something you should take care of, especially if you have children. The saddest part of this whole situation is that all the conflict, expense, and trauma that DMX’s loved ones are likely to endure could have been prevented with comprehensive estate planning.
Legendary hip hop artist Earl Simmons, known as DMX, passed away at age 50 after suffering a heart attack. Despite selling more than 74 million albums and enjoying a wildly successful career in music and movies, DMX, who died without a will, left behind an estate that some estimates report being millions of dollars in debt. With so much wealth and so many children, his failure to create an estate plan will likely mean his loved ones will be stuck battling each other in court for years to come.
Planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing you have in mind, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse. Indeed, once your marriage is official, your relationship becomes entirely different from both legal and financial perspectives, so here's we cover the final three of the six essential items you need to address in your plan.
As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add "estate planning" to your do list. And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind right now, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse.