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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wills are very useful documents, and every adult should have one. Each time that some very wealthy person passes away without a will (and yes, this does happen far more often than you'd believe) estate planning attorneys throughout the country roll their eyes and wonder what could possibly have kept the decedent from making a will during his or her lifetime. If you have any assets or liabilities, you probably need a will. However, it is also important to understand that wills are not magic, and cannot bypass certain laws simply because the author of a will wishes it might.
Many individuals throughout Florida find that giving someone they trust a durable financial power of attorney is a very helpful way to plan for a period of time where a person may not have the mental acuity to make financial decisions on his or her own. However, whenever you consider handing over the reigns of your financial life to someone else, no matter how trustworthy he or she is or how qualified he or she is for the job, some apprehension is still normal.
After months of planning a wedding, the big day is finally over, and you and your spouse are settling in to life together. Of course, this means it is time for a some more planning — planning how to provide for each other in the long run. Estate planning is often something that gets ignored until middle age or later, but newlyweds of any age have some very important estate planning matters to consider.