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Estate Planning Archives

Cryptocurrency and your estate plan

In the last several years, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have seen their public image rise considerably. While the idea of owning cryptocurrency seemed like a distant possibility for laypeople only a few years ago, these financial instruments are gaining popularity more quickly than state or federal laws can often keep up with them.

When is the right time to fund a living trust?

righttimetofundtrustinfographic.pngLiving trusts offer a convenient "hybrid" approach to estate planning that combines many of the most important protections that make trusts useful while foregoing some of the most frustrating restrictions that other trusts keep in place. While this flexibility comes at the cost of some of the more detailed protections that more unwieldy trust provide, many individuals find that the added access to assets and flexibility in altering terms of a living trust are worth the trade off.

Examine the details before converting a Roth IRA

Estate planning, unlike a certain rotisserie oven, is not a matter one should simply "set and forget." In fact, leaving an estate plan unchanged or reviewed for too long may virtually guarantee conflicts when it comes time to disperse assets to your beneficiaries. The laws that govern estate planning change regularly, so it is important to review your estate plan to take advantage of these changes regularly, or at least every three to four years.

James Brown's estate still facing legal challenges

More than a decade after music legend James Brown passed away on Christmas Day in 2006, his estate plan remains contested, keeping many heirs from receiving any portion of his multimillion-dollar estate. Many different parties claim that the plan excludes them in one way or another, or includes terms that do not reflect the limits of copyright law.

It is time to review your estate plan

Even if you only recently assembled an estate plan, it is probably time to review and possibly amend it. With the passage of the recent tax reform laws, many estate plans created over the last several decades are now significantly uncalibrated to fully take advantage of the new rules and exemptions.

Should I consider a joint will?

Joint wills are still possible to create, but they are mostly an artifact of an earlier era of estate planning, before more effective asset protection tools rose to prominence. For most couples or individuals considering a joint will, it is wiser to consider other options that grant similar benefits with fewer archaic restrictions.

What is an irrevocable trust in estate planning?

Depending on the benefits that you consider priorities, you may choose from a number of different trusts when creating your own individual estate plan. For some, estate planning is about creating protections while maintaining as much flexibility and control of assets as possible. For others, estate planning is primarily intended to offer the widest protections possible, even if it is at the expense of control over those assets.

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.