Category Archives: Estate Planning

Dude, Where’s my Estate Plan?

Do you have an estate plan?  Statistics show that many people do not have any basic estate planning documents.  A recent survey found that only 14% of adults aged 18-29 have an estate plan, 35% of 30-49 year olds have one, 56% of those aged 50-64 and 68% for those over 65.

Clearly the issue of where most people’s estate plans are is simple . . . They don’t have one.  But there is another issue that many people tend to overlook once they have their estate plan in place.  Quite a number of people either cannot recall where they put their documents or do not tell anyone where those documents are located.  Are the documents at home?  In a fireproof box?  At your attorney’s office?  In a safe deposit box?  Or, perhaps buried in a box that wasn’t unpacked after a move?  If you can’t find your estate planning documents, it may be a wise choice to redo your estate plan.  After all, if no one can find your documents when the time comes that is basically the same as not having a Will in the first place.

Equally as important, even if you know precisely where your documents are, is having a list of accounts, passwords, and advisor names and contact information.  This is an often overlooked aspect of estate planning.  However, if you have a number of online accounts that no one can access, you have done a disservice to your executor or other family members.  Keep in mind that the person dealing with your estate is probably a close family member that may be having difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Adding the task of having to dig through your entire house, with years and years of accumulated stuff, searching for paperwork, accounts and passwords makes life even more difficult for those you leave behind.

Every estate plan we produce comes with an additional paperwork so you can keep all your important information in one place, thereby making it easier for your family to handle your affairs.  So make sure you know where your estate plan is located, inform the people you have chosen to act for you when the time comes and have all the information your family will need filled out and accessible.

Elder Law Planning:  Definitely Worth Pursuing

Many people have the false impression that Elder Law planning is not worth finding out about because they think they are not eligible for Medicaid.  They feel they have too much income, money or other assets to qualify, or believe that some specialized trust strategies used for asset protection are only for rich people. WithContinue Reading

Do You Need a Living Trust?  A Few Ways to Avoid Probate Without One

Do you need a living trust?  The short answer is probably not. For those who promote the use of living trusts, the general logic is that this is the single, best document that will help you avoid costly probate proceedings when passing assets to your heirs. And while this technically may be true, in mostContinue Reading

Wills are critical if you have children

Do you have a Will?  Do you have children?  One of the survey’s most surprising findings was that just 36 percent of those with children under 18 have an end-of-life plan in place.  This is a potentially devastating oversight. There are two crucial reasons to have a Will when you have minor children.  First, ifContinue Reading

10 Things an Estate Plan Can Do For You

     Provide support and financial stability to your spouse, children and grandchildren.      Preserve your wealth for later generations.      Make sure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs.      Support a favorite charity.      Distribute assets in a timely fashion.      MinimizeContinue Reading