Estate Planning | Shah & Associates, P.C. Estate Planning & Business Law Blog - Part 2
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Legal Documents You Can Use to Empower Someone Else to Make Decisions for You

August 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are many different legal documents that may become an important component of your estate plan. In the event that you become incapacitated, your investments must still be managed, your bills must still be made and other financial issues must be dealt with. A durable power of attorney is a document that helps to ensure that if you were to become incapacitated, there is someone to manage your finances. This person serves as your agent and he or she will be able to deposit, write checks and withdraw money from the accounts on your behalf as well to speak with your financial advisors. Ensure that you name a financial agent as someone who you can trust who will act in your best financial interests. A power of attorney is different from a durable power of attorney. legal documents for estate planning

A durable power of attorney can be problematic because many real estate title companies or financial institutions are hesitant about using them because they are not sure whether or not it is the most recent version of the power of attorney. Your general power of attorney ceases to become valid legally as soon as you become incapacitated. However, find out the criteria associated with real estate title companies and your financial institutions before putting together a power of attorney. The companies that manage your retirement accounts might have their own power of attorney forms or other requirements that you need to follow in order to comply. If they do have necessary documents, make sure you use theirs and share this information with your estate planning lawyer.

Some people identify the problems with the power of attorney documents and chose to set up a revocable living trust instead. This can act like a super power of attorney because financial institutions such as banks are legally required to comply with their terms. A revocable living trust tends to be most appropriate for estates that are worth more than $1 million. Transferring assets into the trust and designating yourself as the trustee is the typical course of action followed by people using revocable living trust for estate planning purposes. Contact a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to learn more about how this can benefit you.

                                                                                                                

Retirement Being Redefined By Lack of Confidence for Baby Boomers

August 16, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Baby boomers make up a significant portion of the population today, and as many of them are confronting retirement and realizing they do not have appropriate support behind them, this is redefining what it means to retire. There are approximately 76 million Baby Boomers coping with the impacts of the financial crisis as they prepare for or enter retirement. retirement and lack of confidence

The financial crisis decreased the value of their homes, and it cut into their net worth and savings. This means that the confidence carried out by baby boomers in achieving a satisfying retirement decreased significantly. Those are the results of a study commissioned by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. Less than 4 out of every 10 baby boomers are certain that they will be able to have a personally satisfying retirement. The study looks at how lack of confidence has changed the attitudes and behaviors regarding saving and investing, and how many of them are adapting to meet the new challenges.

Approximately 28% of Boomers are making more conservative investments, and 26% report that they no longer invest due to having weathered the most recent crisis. The Boomers who were surveyed also have decreased their expectations for complete financial independence in retirement. This study indicates that

-Only 19% expect to pay off their mortgage.

-34% expect to retire free of debt.

-16% believe they will have an inheritance to pass on to heirs.

-16% expect to have savings.

The percentage of Baby Boomers who expect to work part-time or full-time in retirement has increased from one-third to almost one-half since before the crisis. The new retirement often means working longer and reconsidering the amount of money they will need to support themselves in retirement.

If you have questions about how retirement planning and estate planning can work together, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can walk you through how these issues often intersect, and the appropriate strategies and tactics you can use to protect yourself now and well into the future. With a lot on the line for your retirement, as well as your ability to pass on assets to your loved ones, taking action sooner rather than later is strongly recommended.

Five Things You Can Accomplish with Estate Planning for Your Children

August 15, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Your children are probably some of the most important people in your life. Parents spend a lot of time worrying about and thinking about their children’s future. estate planning for your children's sake

Spending time with your children over the summer holidays can reignite concerns about what will happen to them after you pass away. This is a natural inclination that may even prompt you to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Although estate planning certainly has individual benefits for the person putting together the materials, it also has many advantages associated with your children or your grandchildren. There are five primary ways that properly structuring your estate plan and consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can assist you. These include:

  • Protecting benefits for a disabled child.
  • Protecting the inheritance that you leave behind for children.
  • Ensuring future vacations at the family vacation home.
  • Assisting adult children with health care decisions.
  • Providing for someone to step in and care for your minor children in the event that you pass away.

All of these crucial issues can be addressed typically in one or a series of meetings with the right estate planning lawyer. Many people put off the prospect of estate planning because they assume that they do not need it or that it is too time consuming or expensive. However, scheduling a consultation now will give you an overview of all of the different things that can be accomplished with the right lawyer.

DIY Dangers

August 14, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

You know you need to set up a will and perhaps a trust, too. A Google search reveals a broad range of websites that promise to help you do just that either for free or a minimal cost. Pointing and clicking, though, is a dangerous approach to take with your estate planning. NJ estate planning lawyer

Using an online site to put together estate planning documents like a power of attorney, a trust or will is appealing if you think that you might not be able to afford to shell out a few hundred dollars for an estate planning lawyer, or in situations in which you need the paperwork settled quickly. However, there can be major risks associated with doing this, particularly if you have an issue that requires legal oversight like caring for a special needs child to protect him or her being cut off from government benefits, or if your financial situation is complex.

If you have an uncomplicated estate, it’s still a good idea to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney because you can get further insight about how relevant laws and regulations affect you as well as further strategies that can help to protect you and carry out your wishes. With so many things that must be accomplished and even the most basic of estate planning documents, it can be a mistake to assume that a generic form is capable of capturing all of the information you will need to have your wishes carried out once you pass away.

Far too many people never even realize the negative impacts of failing to take action because their family members will be the ones sorting out conflicts and unresolved issues after the loved one passes away. Do your family a favor and schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney so that you can learn more about the benefits provided by estate planning.

The Dangers of Planning for Your Estate After a Crisis Hits

August 9, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Estate planning is always important, but most people are uncomfortable looking towards a future and considering the possibility of incapacity or death.

Waiting too long to consider asset protection, estate planning or business succession planning could expose you to major risks. Although there are still steps that can be taken to minimize the outcome of these problems after a crisis has struck, it is far better to do the diligence ahead of time to plan for a potential problem. Being caught in the midst of a legal conflict or a complicated issue can generate a great deal of stress and unnecessary confusion. a crisis and estate planning

Handling these issues well in advance by sitting down and talking them over with an experienced lawyer can help you identify where your estate is currently exposed to risk or jeopardy. Waiting too long to put together an estate plan or articulating how you intend for your business to be transferred to another person, for example, could make it difficult if you are suddenly incapacitated.

If you were unable to speak for yourself and these decisions had to be made, this could generate conflict within your family. It is far better to schedule time to consult with a lawyer about your own intentions so that your beneficiaries are empowered should something suddenly happen and so that you minimize the chances of confusion or conflict.

Should You Use a Fiduciary for A Trustee?

August 3, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

A fiduciary is someone with a moral as well as a legal obligation to put their client’s interests first. Not every adviser would consider themselves to be a fiduciary and this could leave that person open to conflicts of interest. A new fiduciary role, however, requires that all advisors who work with retirement plans or provide any type of retirement and planning advice consider themselves fiduciaries, but other financial advisors may or may not act as strictly as fiduciaries. The best way to know for sure is to ask to your advisor.

Make sure that when selecting a trustee, you choose someone with the right kind of knowledge. Your trustee will most likely have to make serious decisions about how to manage the assets within your trust and they will need to have the appropriate background to make educated decisions. Ideally, they will have both an investment and a tax background and other types of experience may be required based on the types of assets within your estate.

If you have a small business as part of your estate, for example, you will want a trustee with business management experience. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the various benefits of moving forward with choosing a trustee is wise. Make sure that the individual that you select is well aware of his or her responsibilities, is capable of carrying them out and is comfortable doing so.

Does It Make Sense to Move College Savings Out of A UTMA Account and Into A 529 Plan?

August 1, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Many people who have been saving for their children’s college education over the past couple of decades since the children were born will have set up a Uniform Transfer to Minor Act. Some financial aid documents may illustrate that it could be beneficial for the assets to instead be in a section 529 plan rather than in a custodial UTMA account. Student assets are assessed more heavily in the purposes of determining financial aid from the government perspective. 

Many of the assets owned by the parent are sheltered on the FAFSA. For example, life insurance policies, the net worth on the principle place of residence, small businesses owned and controlled by the family and life insurance policies, all do not have to be reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. An age-based asset protection allowance also allows the parents to shelter up to $50,000 in assets. Student assets, however, do not have an asset protection allowance and can be assessed at the flat rate of 20%. Each $10,000 that has been set aside in the student’s name will increase the expected family contribution by approximately $2000.

On the FAFSA, a student is responsible for reporting the custodial UTMA account. A 529 college savings plan, however, is reported as a parent’s asset on the FAFSA, even if the account has the student’s name on it and it is owned by the student. The favorable treatment of 529 college plans became effective relatively recently in 2009. You may be eligible to transfer money from a UTMA or other custodial account to a 529 savings plan.

You will need to set up a custodial 529 college savings plan account since the money will be transferred from a UTMA account to begin with. When the child reaches the age of trust termination, which is usually 18 or 21 depending on the state, he or she officially becomes the owner of the section 529 plan. Talking to an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended if you are interested in these plans.

The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

July 31, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many estate planning tools provide numerous benefits for a broad range of individuals. Believing that estate planning is only for the wealthy or only for those approaching retirement and beyond can be a big mistake. One of the most flexible and powerful tools associated with estate planning is known as the revocable living trust. It should always be set up by an experienced attorney.  

The basic purpose of any trust is to allow one responsible individual or a firm to manage the assets of someone else. The settlor may also be referred to as the grantor, donor or trustor. This is the person with the assets. The trustee then becomes responsible for those assets and acts on behalf of those receiving the assets. If you don’t want someone knowing the full details behind your assets and your worth, a trust can help to keep this confidential. When a settlor passes away, you can structure it such that all of your assets will transfer over to the trust.

This is why all assets should be in the name of the trust while the settlor is still alive. However, you might use an additional tool called a pour over will, that means these will eventually end up in the trust. A revocable living trust provides a great deal of flexibility because it can be changed over the course of your life.

This is in direct contrast to an irrevocable living trust, which is established once and cannot be changed over the course of your life. Knowing the different tools available to you and how to use a revocable living trust goes a long way in explaining how your future beneficiary will be able to receive assets. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer today to learn more.

Is Estate Planning Only for Your Finances?

July 27, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many people think that financial benefits are the only ones obtained by planning. Although the most obvious benefits of your estate plan are financial in nature, there are many other nonfinancial benefits as well. Identifying a guardian to serve for pets or for children or even protecting non-traditional assets like a stamp or gun collection can additionally be accomplished through the estate planning process. Talking things through with a lawyer can help you uncover all the advantages of a complete estate planning process. Estate Planning Tools

Another major reason that people schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to begin with is because of a concern over privacy. Establishing a trust gives a layer of privacy to someone who wants to accomplish estate planning without it becoming a matter of public record. An estate also has one other major non-financial benefit and that is peace of mind. All of the numerous what-if scenarios that through the mind of a person putting together an estate can be overwhelming, but sitting down and discussing these directly with a knowledgeable attorney can help to clarify your position and articulate your goals clearly in valid legal documents. While you can reap a lot of financial benefits through the estate planning process, there are many others that can be obtained, too.

Are you ready to ensure your existing documents meet your goals? It’s time to schedule a consultation.

The right attorney can make a big difference when contemplating the financial and non-financial benefits of estate planning. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey estate planning lawyer today.

Naming More Than One Beneficiary: A Smart Estate Planning Move

June 28, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When contemplating your estate plan in full, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have more than one person listed on your accounts asked for beneficiary info. Usually these accounts will be your life insurance, your brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts. Outside of your will, these accounts have their own forms regarding beneficiaries and take precedence over what’s listed in your will. beneficiary

This means that when you outline who you want to receive these assets if you pass away, the company is responsible for upholding whatever was last accurately written on these forms. If you haven’t updated them since your divorce, a former spouse would be legally entitled to get those benefits. Furthermore, you should review these designations every single year just in case your life has changed and you need to update this information.

Having a primary and secondary beneficiary helps your family if you do pass away. This articulates what the company in charge of that asset will do with it. If your primary beneficiary has passed away themselves, this ensures that your secondary beneficiary will get access to that asset in full. You can often determine the percentage split for the primary and secondary regardless such that if the first person passes away the second will receive all of the assets.

No matter what you decide, it’s smart planning to review these details every year and to update your primary and secondary beneficiary as needed. You’ll allow for a smooth transition of assets without confusion or mistakes that entitle someone to receive these assets without your full blessing.

What’s the Difference Between Your Legacy Plan and Your Estate Plan?

June 27, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When it comes to looking towards future, there are many different components you need to consider. If you have a will, a simple trust, and a life insurance policy in which you’ve named beneficiaries, you may assume that you’ve taken care of all of your crucial end of life planning. 7

However, you’ve only managed your estate plan at this point. Protecting and creating a legacy can take some more effort and a sit-down meeting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. An estate plan looks at the distribution of your assets as well as the opportunities to minimize taxes but a legacy plan creates a more far-reaching and comprehensive strategy for your assets, your family and the way that you intend to be remembered.

This means it’s about more than just naming who will receive the assets you pass on but also about preserving and sharing your community involvement, your personal history, your beliefs and your morals. There are several things you should consider in the process of generating a legacy plan including:

  • How much control, if any, do you want to have over the continuing distribution of your assets?
  • How do you want your heirlooms to be displayed or passed down?
  • What are some ways that you can contribute to causes you care about?

Consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended if you find yourself and are prepared for the process of legacy planning and your estate planning together.

Your legacy plan and your estate plan articulate who you are to your loved ones and even to charities you care about. Talk to an estate planning lawyer today to learn more about the best options for you.

Estate Planning Is About More Than Taxes

June 26, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people assume that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy but that is not the case. Do you have elderly parents? Assets like a bank account? A home? Grandchildren or children? If you have any of these, it’s important to have a comprehensive estate planning and it goes beyond more than just planning for taxes. estate planning NJ

An estate plan is crucial for protecting your family when you pass away. However, it can also help you articulate your wishes over the course of your life should you become incapacitated. Naming a power of attorney allows an agent to step in and make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. One of the most important components of your estate plan is your last will and testament. A recent Gallup poll identified that only 44% of Americans had a will in 2016.

This crucial document tells everyone of your final wishes and yet over half of Americans certainly have not made one. This leaves much more up to chance and can lead to confusion and potential legal battles for your loved ones. In addition to having a last will and testament, you should also name beneficiaries on tax deferred accounts so that those pass directly to the individuals specified outside of your will. Retirement accounts and life insurance falls into this category. If you have further questions about the estate planning process and how to draft it in a manner that serves your individual needs, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer today.

Managed Care at Home Becoming a Common Form of Long Term Care

June 22, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

The long-term care landscape for Medicaid is changing quickly and this may cause us to consider as a society how to reconsider the way that we get personal assistance as we age or become disabled. Nearly half of all states in the country are currently provided long-term care benefits through Medicaid as managed care, and in fact a further 13 states are requiring that older adults receive care in this same way. Four out of five states in the country are expanding their home care benefits through Medicaid and others are even beginning to provide housing services through the federal program as well.  long-term care at home

Since 1965, when Medicaid was first enacted, nursing homes were considered to be the primary place where long-term care benefits were delivered. However, this has shifted gradually towards the home and community assistance for many reasons including the fact that federal waivers programs gave states the flexibility they needed to make it a reality. A Supreme Court decision at one point required it and consumers demanded it.

More recently, the federal government allowed states to provide this care at some assisted living facilities. The trend towards home based care mostly affects those individuals who are recipients of Medicaid. The accelerated shift to managed care will have bigger consequences for all adults. Being able to get the help necessary in your own home as you age raises important questions. It is critical to have the estate planning documents that you will need to transition to this phase successfully, including your will, any trusts and then any powers of attorney that allow another individual to step in and make decisions on your behalf.

The Most Fundamental Error You Can Make in the Estate Planning Process

June 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Far too many studies show that Americans who are most in need of estate planning have done absolutely nothing to protect themselves. Some of the most common estate planning mistakes can have a significant impact not just on you but also on your beneficiaries when you pass away.

Here are the most common mistakes you can make:

  • Failing to update you will. Many people believe that their will is a ‘set it and forget it’ document, but if you get divorced or have any other major life changes, your will needs to be updated.
  • Not having a will. Up to 64% of people living in the United States do not have a will at all. Many believe that they just haven’t gotten around to it or that they didn’t need one, both of which can be catastrophic mistakes.
  • Overlooking the benefits of a trust. Wills only account for how your property will be distributed when you pass away but trusts go on for a set period governing the distribution of those assets. They can also provide greater control and privacy.
  • Not being realistic about your heirs. Make sure you consider whether or not your beneficiaries have the emotional and financial capacity to handle money appropriately.
  • Choosing the wrong trustee or executor. Choosing the individuals who will help step in and make decisions for you or to assist your family when you pass away can be extremely important. Make sure that the individuals that you have chosen understand the responsibility and are willing to accept it. You may also need to appoint contingency people to serve in this role in the event that the person you originally selected passes away.

Tips for Making Any Retirement Goals Stick

June 20, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Planning ahead for your retirement is important in conjunction with your estate planning. A study by Fidelity Investments recently identified that up to one-third of people hope to make financial resolutions they can stick to. retirement and estate planning

There are six different tips that you can follow to ensure that your retirement goals stay on track. These include:

  • Breaking your goal into smaller chunks.
  • Learning where you currently stand by assessing how much money is already in your retirement account and how much more you will need to accomplish your estate planning goals. You can use Fidelity’s retirement score calculator to assess your retirement savings needs as they stand now.
  • Write down your goal and post it somewhere that you can see it every day. Research shows that this increases your chances of success.
  • Share your goal with a person you trust, like a relative, spouse, trusted advisor or close friend.
  • Track your progress and make it into a game. Checking your savings on a regular basis can help motivate you to continue with the progress you’ve already made.
  • Put your savings on auto pilot by signing up for an automatic withholding out of your paycheck, either through an arrangement with your financial institution or through your 401(k) plan at work.

Employing all of these tips together dramatically increases the chances that you’ll be successful when setting a new retirement goal. Staying on top of your retirement planning will allow you to envision the future more successfully and have less anxiety about the prospect of leaving the workforce.

Planning for Better Health and Retirement

June 15, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

If you are not saving enough for your retirement, then you might want to consider adjusting your health and exercise habits to allow you to work longer. A new study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies identified that 39% of people globally who retired earlier than they expected, 29% of them did so for health-related reasons. In the United States alone, 61% of retirees left their jobs sooner than planned and this was the highest rate around the world. 

A person in poor health was more likely to plan to work to age 70 or beyond and never retire when compared with those in excellent health. Although there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to work for as long as you intend to make up for retirement savings shortfalls, keeping yourself healthy is one of the best bets for continued employment. This certainly gives you the most opportunities to determine how long you wish to stay in the workplace. Only 58% of the respondents in this survey reported eating healthily and just over half reported avoiding negative behaviors like smoking or drinking too much.

You can reap numerous benefits for maintaining good health in the decades that are leading up to retirement. Taking care of yourself reduces your healthcare expenses and allows you to invest this in retirement to make up for a savings shortfall, and your retirement healthcare costs will be decreased. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is strongly recommended if you are approaching retirement.

Here’s What to Cover in Your Mid-Year Estate Planning Analysis

June 13, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

It’s the middle of the year which seems like a great time to mentally check out and go on vacation. However, it’s appropriate to conduct a mid-year estate planning checklist. Having a consultation with your New Jersey estate planning attorney is one way to ensure that all of your materials are still on track and cover your unique needs from an estate planning perspective. Review any trust agreements and your existing will. 

Over the course of a year and even in the last six months, your professional and your personal life could have changed dramatically. The next step is to consider whether the fiduciaries you’ve named are still appropriate. Significant responsibilities are aligned with your trustees and executors so they should be people that you trust. Likewise, review your financial powers of attorney and determine whether the beneficiary designations listed on your retirement accounts and your life insurance policies are still appropriate.

Any existing insurance coverage should be evaluated. If major life changes have occurred such as the birth of a child or a divorce, it may be appropriate to update some or all of your estate planning materials. One big mistake that people make is failing to fund a trust. During your mid-year estate planning review, you may wish to discuss your opportunities to fund a trust with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Talking to an attorney early on will help you identify your short term as well as your long-term plans as it relates to your estate. Passing on as much wealth as possible to a future generation or to charities may be one of your goals for minimizing taxes and determining appropriate vehicles for passing on this material are common reasons why you may wish to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

New Aging in America Study Results

June 5, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

A new study has analyzed data on aging in the U.S. and how people nearing retirement feel about it overall. Plenty of government data indicates that there are two key factors influencing the aging population in America: longevity and the rising cost of healthcare. For anyone nearing retirement age, it’s important to consider how the assets you have set aside can help you accomplish your retirement planning goals and assist you through a long and healthy life. new aging in America study

 

This most recent study, completed by Felician University, explored how college students feel about their own aging. This is a unique perspective that has not often been covered in previous research. Typically, projects focus on those nearing retirement age or those who have passed it. Understanding the perspectives of younger people, though, highlights the value of long-term views with it comes to issues like investing, asset protection, and estate planning.

Most of the students in the study felt that they believed they would need assistance with activities of daily living after age 85, but that they hoped to have enough money to continue living independently even past that point. Most study respondents indicated that they knew they would need help planning financially for their elderly years, but that they didn’t know at what age that would become appropriate.

The findings of this study highlight a key point: those with the most potential to begin working now towards their long-term goals have no idea where to start. This makes it all too easy to put off retirement planning or estate planning until your options are more limited down the line. Planning now instead puts you in the driver’s seat for your future goals.

 

 

 

No Heirs? You Still Need to Plan an Estate

June 1, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Not having any direct heirs might seem like an easy out when it comes to estate planning, but skipping over this process could be a big mistake. Make sure you’ve taken the opportunity to sit down with an experienced estate planning lawyer to talk through all the options. You may be able to make use of assets inside your estate to benefit charities or others, but talking with a lawyer can help you understand your choices. estate planning without heirs

Most people assume that if they don’t have a substantial amount in savings then they don’t need to worry about estate planning. What about your 401(k)? Or your life insurance policy? These items may already be in place but could require that you name someone to get these benefits when you pass away. These items pass away outside of your typical estate plan, so you need to have an awareness about who you name as beneficiary and whether that will change over time.

The right estate planning attorney can tell you more about philanthropic options if you wish to get involved in giving some of your assets to charity. Setting up plans in advance allows you to leave as much as possible to your other loved ones if you wish or to a charity. Without planning, the courts will take matters into their discretion when deciding what happens to your belongings and assets after you pass away. Even if you think you don’t have any heirs, you probably still want to exercise some control over your estate plan. Don’t wait to find out how you can pass on assets and gifts to others while you’re still alive or after you pass away.

Are You Making These Big Estate Planning Mistakes?

May 31, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

The most troubling aspect of mistakes made in the estate planning process is that it’s your beneficiaries who have to deal with the consequences of poor planning or no planning at all. Once you pass away, it is your loved ones who have to step in and manage your estate and any confusion associated with it. estate planning mistakes

The good news is that many of these mistakes can easily be avoided by consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer early on. Having a relationship with someone you can trust can benefit you tremendously when you have questions about how your shifting life circumstances will influence your future.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to considering the future of their own needs while they are still alive or passing on their assets and legacy after they pass away:

  • Not updating beneficiaries on life insurance policies or retirement accounts
  • Setting up a trust but failing to fund it
  • Using a do-it-yourself will that is not legally valid
  • Not telling anyone where the most recent version of your will is stored
  • Failing to consider how your assets may be impacted by long-term care needs in the future
  • Not thinking about estate planning and retirement planning as a joint process.

Setting up a meeting now with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can help you uncover the strategies that will help you accomplish your goals and give you the peace of mind that comes with advanced planning. Don’t hesitate to talk to an attorney who can help you navigate these complex and extremely important situations.

 

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