Estate Planning for Singles

The Unique Estate Planning Needs Of The Unmarried

Forbes says:

“Unmarried people should put a priority on developing the traditional estate planning documents that don’t pertain to disposition of property: the health care proxy (or advance medical directive or living will) and financial power of attorney. Without these documents, when the single person is unable to make medical decisions or take care of financial matters, there might not be someone to make decisions whose authority will be readily recognized.”

By |2021-11-02T10:46:36-07:00November 2nd, 2021|

When a will won’t work

Yahoo Finance discusses what a will cannot do:

A will can’t avoid probate, the legal process that typically follows death. In probate, your will becomes a public record and the court supervises the distribution of your estate.

A common way to bypass probate is to create a revocable living trust and then transfer ownership of your real estate, accounts and other property into the trust. You retain control, but upon your death, the person you name as your successor trustee can distribute your property without a court’s involvement, says Matt Palmer, associate product counsel at online legal site LegalZoom.

By |2021-11-05T13:20:30-07:00November 1st, 2021|

Do You Need a Trust?

Charles Schwab asked three of their own professionals important questions regarding the differences between wills and trusts.

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that specifies how your assets are to be distributed, usually without the involvement of a probate court. They can be structured to take effect before death, after death, or in case of incapacitation. In contrast, wills take effect only upon death and typically need to be authenticated by a probate court, which can take time and involve additional costs.

Trusts can be arranged to accomplish a variety of different goals. For example, you can use a trust to transfer property, help minimize estate taxes, preserve assets for minors until they are adults, or benefit a charity.

By |2021-11-05T15:21:20-07:00October 6th, 2021|

What Singles Need to Know About Estate Planning

Real Simple explains what singles need to know about estate planning, according to experts.

“Everyone needs a financial plan, and everyone also needs an estate plan,” says Amy Richardson, a certified financial planner with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium. And yes, that includes singles without obvious heirs—i.e., kids of your own. Of course, the cornerstone of any estate plan is a will, which at its core is a document aimed at outlining how you would like your life on earth to be closed out.”

By |2021-11-05T07:32:52-07:00September 8th, 2021|

How to Set Up a Trust Fund if You’re Not Rich

Investopedia discusses how to set up a trust fund if you’re not rich:

Trust funds are designed to allow a person’s money to continue to be used in specific ways after they pass away, and to avoid their estate going through probate court (a time-consuming and expensive legal process). But trusts aren’t only useful for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the middle-class can use trust funds as well, where setting one up isn’t out of financial reach.

By |2021-11-05T14:54:43-07:00December 22nd, 2020|

Are wills, medical directives and other end-of-life documents needed?

Richmond Times discusses the answer to this imperative question in a recent article regarding attorneys experiencing a surge in requests for wills and other estate planning matters as a result of COVID-19.

Legal professionals say definitely yes to make sure your wishes are honored for how your money is distributed or whether you want to be placed on a ventilator.

Wills spell out in detail who gets your property and other assets. Sometimes for young adults with minor children, wills might dictate who would serve as a guardian or how the children’s finances would be handled.

If someone dies without a will, generally that person’s property will go to the closest relative, starting with a spouse and then children. If single, the property and other assets could go to siblings or other relatives.

Advance medical directives or a health care power of attorney allow you to appoint someone to follow your decision on medical issues.

By |2021-11-05T13:09:23-07:00April 25th, 2020|

Strategies for estate planning during a divorce

JDSUPRA:  Divorce is a fact of life in America. It should come as no surprise that it can be a difficult process and can cause other aspects of a person’s life to be ignored while it is happening. It is important, though, that a divorcing individual involve his or her estate planning attorney in the divorce process to make sure that any settlement agreement and estate plan comport with post-divorce reality. In many cases, a divorce will automatically eliminate a former spouse from receiving any benefits under the other spouse’s will or revocable trust. This may not be the case in all states, though. Moreover, the divorce may not affect assets that have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance and retirement benefits (and, more commonly now, bank and brokerage accounts). Thus, a careful review of all of an individual’s assets is essential.”

By |2018-10-29T16:15:51-07:00November 2nd, 2018|

You’ve won the Mega Millions jackpot! Time to hide.

The Washington Post:  “First things first: Quadruple-check your ticket after Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. Then do it again. Do they match the winning numbers (5-28-62-65-70, with a Mega Ball number of 5)? No? Skip to here. Yes? Lock the deadbolt and read on. Congratulations! So, you’ve done it. Beaten the odds — one in 302,575,350 — and won the largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. And it’s yours alone, so you’re almost certainly about to enjoy an astronomical spike in wealth. Now what? Before you shout from the rooftops or broadcast your excitement on social media, take a deep breath and keep some practical advice in mind. To sign or not to sign the back of the lottery ticket? There are plenty of people who will advise you to sign the back of the lottery ticket right away — including lottery officials in South Carolina, where Tuesday’s winning ticket was sold. After all, what would happen if, heaven forbid, you lost the ticket? Or worse yet, if an unscrupulous person in your life took the unsigned ticket and claimed it as his or hers?”

By |2018-10-29T15:20:43-07:00November 1st, 2018|

Six important tips for estate planning success

Moneyweb:  “The increased Value-Added Tax (VAT) rate – announced in the 2018 National Budget – dominated headlines for weeks thereafter, but this is not the only tax change affecting consumers and investors. Many tax changes also affect estate planning and the cost of estate administration. I asked Brenthurst’s Fiduciary Services Expert, Rozanne Heystek-Potgieter, for her top tips to navigate this. We compiled a list of six important issues to consider when navigating the complex field of deceased estate administration. More importantly, we have included tips on how to prepare for the inevitable and re-evaluate your existing will, the liquidity of your estate and estate planning goals in general.”

By |2018-10-15T14:46:06-07:00October 18th, 2018|

Gray Divorce Boom: A Retirement Train Wreck

Financial Advisor:  “It’s happening more and more among baby boomer couples. While divorce rates overall have leveled off, and have even begun to decline among some demographics, they’ve risen among Americans over 50 years of age, with approximately 25% of the divorces today occurring among couples who are 50 and older. According to a 2015 New York Times story, the chances of an adult over 50 divorcing doubled between 1990 and 2014, and the jump was even higher for those over 65. When couples divorce in their 50s, 60s and 70s, there is less time to recover from the experience—not only emotionally, but financially. The marriage may be decades old, or it may be a second or even third marriage of shorter length.”

By |2018-08-13T10:58:55-07:00August 14th, 2018|

Rise of ‘Gray’ Divorce Forces Financial Reckoning After 50

Bloomberg:  “For some, it means liberation. For others, loss. For women in particular, the doubling of the divorce rate for the 50-plus crowd since the 1990s can mean something far more prosaic: a need to shoulder the big financial decisions they’d let their spouses deal with when they were married. Often, they find some nasty surprises after he’s gone. A majority of married women—56 percent—still leave major investing and financial planning decisions to their spouse.”

By |2018-04-23T11:40:03-07:00April 27th, 2018|

Article on Rational Patient Apathy

Wills, Trusts, & Estate Prof Blog:  “Patients with serious or life-threatening illness are frequently asked to make complex, high stakes medical decisions. The impact of anxiety, low health literacy, asymmetric information and inadequate communication between patients and health care providers, family pressures, rational apathy by health care providers, cognitive biases of both patients and health care providers, as well as other factors, make it quite difficult for patients in these circumstances to process and comprehend the strategic uncertainty and resultant risks and benefits of, and alternatives to, whatever therapeutic or life-prolonging treatment physicians are offering.”

By |2018-02-19T08:42:36-08:00February 20th, 2018|

More Planning Tips for Individuals Under New Tax Act

JDSupra:  “As Shanna Yonke mentioned in her January 22, 2018 Legal Update The New Tax Law Provides Estate Planning Opportunities, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22, 2017.  The Act (officially, Public Law 115-97) is the most sweeping tax legislation to be enacted in decades.  It is broad in scope, complicated, and will impact almost every aspect of tax, estate, retirement, and business planning.”

By |2018-02-19T08:30:51-08:00February 19th, 2018|

Student, 21, Flushed Her ‘Emotional Support’ HAMSTER Pebbles Down the Toilet and Drowned It After Spirit Airlines Banned It from Traveling with Her (and Now She’s Suing)

DailyMail: “A student who flushed her hamster down the toilet when Spirit told her she couldn’t fly home with it, is now attempting to sue the airline for causing emotional distress. Belen Aldecosea claims she didn’t have any other options but to kill her pet Pebbles rather than miss her flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November after staff informed her that rodents were not allowed aboard.”

 

By |2018-02-12T14:04:37-08:00February 14th, 2018|

Estate Planning Opportunities and Considerations Beginning in 2018

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP:  “An Act to Provide for Reconciliation Pursuant to Titles II and V of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018” (“Act”) was enacted in December 2017 and implements a wide range of changes to existing tax laws. The Act temporarily increases (from Jan. 1, 2018 until Dec. 31, 2025) the federal estate, gift and GST tax exemption amounts from $5.6 million to approximately $11.2 million.”

By |2018-01-16T15:13:39-08:00January 16th, 2018|

Should Doctors Honor a DNR Tattoo?

American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys:  “A 70-year old man arrived at a Miami hospital. He was alone and unconscious, with no ID, a high blood-alcohol level and multiple chronic conditions. He also had a tattoo on his chest that read Do Not Resuscitate,” along with his (assumed) signature. Despite treatment by hospital staff, the man continued to be incapable of making his own medical decisions. Should the doctors honor the man’s Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) tattoo when it became clear that he would die without treatment?”

By |2017-12-28T15:25:01-08:00December 29th, 2017|

12 Estate Planning Questions That Might Make You Squirm

The reality of our immortality is a chilling thought to come to terms with. Planning for the future by implementing your wishes in a trust and estate plan, presents many tough questions to ask.  Who will raise your children if you die? What happens to your pets? When do you want to pull the plug? Don’t let your concerns or fears become a living nightmare for your loved ones.

“For most people, estate planning is more painful than a root canal without Novocain. . . .it forces us to acknowledge that we may become demented; decide who gets what after we pass away; and make provisions for end of life care.”

By |2013-03-15T15:18:26-07:00March 15th, 2013|

Bad Money Moves: Not Having An Estate Plan

CBS Boston: We talked about dumb money moves last week and many listeners let me know that there is a whole lot more than the ones we talked about.

Estate planning is not for just for the wealthy. If you have some assets you have accumulated such as your home or retirement accounts or if you have children you have people and things you need to protect.

What estate planning does is allow you to plan. Plan for the day when you are not around to care for the loved ones in your life or plan on how your assets are to be distributed upon your death.  Sounds easy but no one wants to talk about their own mortality or morbidity.

By |2011-10-08T18:27:43-07:00September 29th, 2011|
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