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November 2017 Archives

Don’t forget to update your will regularly

Many people assume that a will is like a rotisserie oven. They want to just set it and forget it. While it is true that having an outdated will is generally better than having no will in place at all, an outdated will can still cause many issues for a person's family and beneficiaries. Most estate planning professionals agree that all adults should review and potentially update a will roughly every five years.

Is probate a problem?

If you have ever discussed estate planning with anyone, you may have heard the advice to avoid probate at all costs. Maybe you took this information to heart, not really understanding the implications of probate. Without a doubt, probate is time-consuming, confusing and sometimes frustrating. However, the process is important.

Is your choice of guardian trustworthy and eligible to serve?

When searching for a person to serve as guardian, you certainly want to choose someone that you believe is capable of handling the responsibilities that come with the territory. However, the position of guardian is at the intersection of important legal issues and very personal relationships, so it is wise to consider a number of things beyond the capabilities of a candidate.

Protect your adult children through estate planning

Once a child reaches legal adulthood at the age of 18, a parent loses the majority of his or her authority over the child's legal affairs. This can cause serious trouble in the even of an emergency, so it is important to consult with an estate planning professional when your child approaches adulthood. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling with the law simply to provide proper medical and financial assistance to the child you love.

Consider potential beneficiary conflicts while estate planning

Creating an estate plan is an invaluable component of protecting and providing for your family and loved ones once you pass away. However, just as estate plans offer differing protections or benefits, some estate planning strategies may actually create enormous conflicts that you might not intend.

Tips on estate planning when your family is a blended one

There are many definitions for the family unit these days. Gone are the times when most marriages were between a man and a woman and lasted a lifetime. Today, chances are you may be part of a blended family. So, when you sit down to plan your estate, you might want to keep that in mind.

Do you qualify for a special needs trust?

If you or a loved one is approaching a season of life where they need ongoing assistance, or if you have concerns about your loved one's provision after you are gone, you should consider what a special needs trust may have to offer. In very basic terms, a special needs trust allows a person to receive benefits from the trust so that he or she does not exceed the income caps on receiving government benefits. For many individuals, government benefits make life possible, where paying for ongoing expenses entirely out-of-pocket would quickly exhaust available resources.