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!
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.
Although same-gender marriage is legally recognized in all 50 states, long-held prejudice at both political and family levels continues to create complications for married and unmarried same-gender couples. With this, especially if you're a member LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical for you and your beloved to ensure that they will be protected and provided for in the event of your death or incapacity.
The road to retirement is a long one, and as with any journey, it helps to have a few key milestones along the way to help gauge your progress. So, when preparing for your senior years, it’s not enough to simply hope for the best. You should treat retirement planning as if your life depended on it—because it does. Without an effective plan, you risk a future of poverty, penny-pinching, dependence, and even early death due to unhappiness. The stakes could hardly be higher.
The DIY approach might be a good idea if you're looking to build a new deck for your backyard, but when it comes to estate planning, it's actually one of the worst choices you can make. Are you really willing to put your family's well-being and wealth at risk just to save a few bucks? Don't wait that these mistakes won't be discovered until you're gone. Here, we wrap up the list with the remaining five mistakes your family can't afford to make.
Because estate planning involves actively thinking about and planning for frightening topics like death, old age, and crippling disability, many people put it off or ignore it together until it’s too late. Sadly, this unwillingness to face reality often creates serious hardship, expense, and trauma for those loved ones you leave behind, especially since estate planning is definitely not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.
When you think about your loved ones who've passed away, you probably don't think very much—or even at all—about the "things" they've left you. And when they do leave something behind, what you likely cherish most about the object are the memories and feelings the item evokes, not the thing itself. Your family's most precious wealth is not money, but the memories you make, the values you instill, and the lessons you hand down. Protect and preserve what matters to you most.
Whether it’s to qualify for Medicaid, avoid probate, or reduce your tax burden, transferring ownership of your home to your adult child during your lifetime may seem like a smart move. But in nearly all cases, it’s actually a huge mistake, which can lead to dire consequences for everyone involved. With this in mind, before you sign over the title to your family’s beloved homestead, consider the following potential risks.
If you are a mom or dad with children under the age of 18 at home, your number-one estate planning priority should be selecting and legally documenting both long and short-term guardians for your kids. Guardians are the people legally named to care for your children in the event something happens to you. And if you've named guardians for your children in your will - even with the help of another lawyer - your kids could still be at risk of being taken into the care of strangers!