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.
Your pet is an important part of your family and deserves to be cared for long after you pass away. Fortunately, the law recognizes this important relationship. While there are a number of ways one might provide for a pet through an estate plan, creating a pet trust provides some of the best protections and flexibility available to pet owners.
As you create and manage your estate plan, you may find that it is necessary to create legal boundaries between you and your assets. This is particularly common if you are in a position of influence where the choices you make for a business or as a part of a governing body could constitute giving yourself unfair advantages. This type of trust momentarily gained nationwide exposure after then President-Elect Donald Trump declared that he was breaking with tradition and not placing his many business holdings in a blind trust. Many other presidents and lawmakers have chosen to use blind trusts to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest as they shape the laws that govern the country.
When it comes to making your end-of-life wishes known, it is important to understand the differences between creating an advanced medical directive and appointing a health care representative. Far too many people do not fully execute one or the other of these two aspects of end-of-life planning, greatly weakening their loved one's power to follow their wishes. Still others seem to think that advanced medical directives and health care representative appointments are the same thing. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding often causes serious problems.
The guidelines surrounding giving away assets without incurring taxes are regularly misunderstood or simply not accounted for when creating an estate plan. Unfortunately, this error often leads to hefty unnecessary taxation when the owner of an estate passes away.