Think you don’t need estate planning because you’re not married or have no children? It’s a mistake to skip over this vital process, because every person should evaluate five possible tools that can help plan for the years ahead. These five documents are just the basics and it’s recommended that you meet with an estate planning attorney to determine if any additional documents would benefit you.
Healthcare power of attorney: This empowers another individual to make healthcare decisions for you if you can’t.
General Durable Power of attorney: This is key for singles, since you might need someone else to manage your finances on your behalf if you become unable to do so.
Revocable trust: If you want a private way to pass on some of your assets, a revocable trust could be just the tool you’re looking for.
Will: Your will is basically your public record of what you wish to pass on. You should have one, but you might consider other options if you want some privacy.
Living will: If you have specific feelings about pertinent healthcare decisions, they should be outlined in your living will.
For more specifics, contact our office today. We can help you. Set up an appointment at email@example.com.
When you own a home, you open up the possibility for multiple heirs to argue over the property in the future. This could happen because one heir wants to keep the property to himself or herself. This could necessitate a new mortgage loan or a cash-out refinance.
A home is a significant asset and probably one of the biggest purchases (if not the biggest) you’ll make in your lifetime. If you don’t plan ahead carefully, family members could end up battling one another over the asset. You need to spend time thinking about whether any of your family members would like the home and what estate planning tools you can use to make this happen.
This calls for a conversation with your loved ones. While it is never easy to talk about death, you might be surprised to learn which of your heirs is most interested in keeping the house. If one child or heir is not interested, perhaps you could supplement what he or she receives from your estate with other assets. If keep child is definitely interested in inheriting the house, you need to plan carefully for this.
Likewise, there is planning you can do as a married couple when you own a home. If one partner unexpectedly passes away, meeting mortgage payments could become difficult. Using estate planning tools or even life insurance gives you the opportunity to set up protections for your spouse and get some peace of mind about what your heirs can expect in the future. Get an appointment today to discuss your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most people are familiar with the idea of using estate planning as a way of determining what happens after they pass away, but there are also benefits to planning ahead for possible incapacity. Thinking about this could be critical for setting aside instructions for personal care and determining who can help manage your assets in the event that you become incapacitated.
Without the health care decisions being made by you and documented in legal forms, your family members might have to petition the court in order to make healthcare decisions for you or to manage your assets. An incapacitation could occur after a heart attack, stroke, or other health crisis, and these events are more common than you might think.
There are a few documents that can help protect you in the event of incapacitation. The first is your durable power of attorney, which gives you the right to name someone else to manage your financial affairs. To take it one step further, you might also wish to put together a revocable living trust. A healthcare power of attorney and a HIPAA authorization are other documents that you should consider using for incapacity planning. These instruments keep your family from undergoing additional stress and frustration in the event that something happens to you. Contact us at email@example.com.
With more than 47.5 million individuals affected by dementia worldwide and 7.7 million new cases annually, research is targeting ways to prevent or limit the impacts of the disease. Researchers in Finland believe they have identified four ways to stave off the mental decline that is becoming more common with older age.
The study involved 1,260 people between the ages of 60 and 77. The participants were put into a gym program, an eating regimen based on a Nordic diet heavy in fish, and brain training over the course of two years. Researchers found that at the end of two years, those participating in these activities scored 25 percent higher than their peers. In certain tests, the difference between the two testing groups was even more pronounced: for tests involving the brain’s ability to regulate thought processes and organize, the group of individual participating in the plan developed by researchers scored 85 percent higher.
Activities that were a good match for the older individuals participating in the study included dancing, doing crosswords, computer games, and Sudoku. If you are concerned about your elderly family member’s health or if your family has already been impacted by the serious nature of dementia, meeting with an elder law attorney can help you understand your options. Set up a meeting today to learn more about planning for long term care and managing the health needs of a loved one with dementia through Medicaid planning. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are concerned about a loved one growing older, such as a parent, long term care insurance can provide a lot of benefits in addition to your peace of mind. Long term care insurance, when purchased at the right time, can safeguard against the skyrocketing costs of a long term care event. Long term care insurance gives individuals the financial security they need and protect their finances from being destroyed by the need for long term care. The policy will activate after an initial waiting period, providing critical support so that the impacted individual can focus on recovery.
One important thing to realize about long term care insurance is that individuals beyond a certain age are not able to get coverage at all. This depends on the carrier, but most insurance companies will not provide LTC coverage to those above age 84. Some companies have set their cap even earlier, such as 79 or 75 years of age.
These cutoffs are not the only reason you should get LTC insurance when you’re young and healthy (ideally, in your 40’s or 50s, if not younger). Your premiums can be extremely expensive or you can be denied coverage altogether if you have extreme health issues, so the longer you wait, the higher the risk that you’ll have a medical condition, making coverage hard to access.
The myth that LTC insurance is only for older people is simply not true. Younger individuals can-and do- become victims of accidents that require long term care protection. Some of the youngest individuals to make use of an LTC policy are individuals in their 20s.
The reality is that LTC insurance can be an important, but not the only, component, in planning for long term care. If you have questions about planning for LTC or what to do if your loved one is not able to get insurance, you need to consult with a Medicaid planning and elder law specialist today. Get our advice at email@example.com.
How you think about your retirement has a big impact on the way you approach succession planning. There are two common misconceptions that business owners might have about retirement, both of which can throw off the purposes of your business succession planning.
First of all, let go of any ideas that you have where you see retirement as death. Many small business owners avoid succession planning because they have difficulty grappling with the idea of not working someday. Perhaps it’s because you feel that your identity is tied to working, but this is big reason why so many business owners miss out on the critical benefits associated with succession planning. Not planning ahead puts your family members and your staff in a position of serious vulnerability.
Retirement also should not be viewed as deciding not to go to your office anymore. It’s a complex process that involves thinking about whether you have enough money to retire. It’s about making the big decisions linked to whether you’ll be selling your company or whether it will carry on without you. If you plan for your business to go on, how will that transfer of ownership happen? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that business succession planning and retirement are only about the choice you make to leave the work world.
These misconceptions could wind up costing you a lot if you’re not careful. Strategize now with a business succession planning attorney to get your questions answered. Your appointment can be scheduled at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been said time and again that you should evaluate your documents and estate plans on an annual basis. Of course, this is good practice. You should keep these things in mind when scheduling your annual appointment with your estate planning attorney.
Step 1: Review Your Life Insurance or Purchase It
Does your life insurance policy still meet your needs? Has your term policy expired and generated a need for more coverage? Do you need a supplemental policy in addition to what you already have? These are all questions to consider annually and at each major life event.
Step 2: Look Over Your Will
This is usually the primary estate planning document for an individual, but things change. Make sure all the major assets you want to pass on are explained in this document and that none of the beneficiary information you listed is incorrect.
Step 3: Consider A Living Trust and Other “Living” Documents
If you’ve skipped over a living trust or a durable power of attorney in the past, you need to get these items put together. Neglecting them every year only exposes you and your beneficiaries to risk. Get these items dealt with today.
To walk through these steps or any other estate planning matter, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment today at email@example.com.
You may have personal and sentimental collectibles that you have cherished for a long time, but your family members may not feel the same way. It’s all too common that an individual inherits a family member’s collection of items and feels unsure about what to do with these collectibles. Especially if your loved ones don’t cherish the collection as much as you, it might be a good idea to plan ahead and try to find someone who will love the items.
While money seems easy to divide in comparison, a collection can be a real challenge. The first step to take if you have any kind of collection is to get it appraised. You might be surprised to learn the value, but you need some kind of monetary guideline to help you with the next stage. In this next stage, you can then actually make the decision about what to do with the collectibles: sell them, pass them on to someone else, or give it away.
If you know someone who wants to buy it, you can sell it while you’re still alive, pay any capital gain taxes, and then allocate the money however you choose. If there is a family member who might like the collection, use the annual gift exclusion to make this transfer while you’re still alive (and don’t skip the gift tax return if the gift exceeds $14k (in 2015)). Finally, you could give it away if a museum wants to have it. Remember that if you gift to a qualified charity, the charity actually needs to make use of the gift in order for you to be able to get a charitable deduction for the gift.
To talk through your options, contact us today. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to CNBC, the baby-boom generation approaching retirement has been a threat for decades. These days, however, it’s easy to see how the many individuals retiring on a daily basis is influencing our economy as a whole. Every month, more than 250,000 Americans reach age 65. Nearly 20% of this group reports that they are presently retired, which is an increase from the 10% of individuals aged 65 who entered retirement in 2010.
These numbers also have implications for small businesses. It’s expected that around 10 million small-business owners have plans to close or sell their businesses within the next decade. These business sales will be a critical source of retirement funds for the business owners.
Up to 80% of small business owners today plan to sell their businesses in order to fund their retirement. These same business owners see their business sale as the potential to fund all of their retirement needs. Despite this vast interest in selling a business, less than 30% of small business owners have an actual written succession plan. This most recent statistic comes from a national survey of 182 financial advisors.
While business owners clearly see the benefits in selling what they have built, there’s a knowledge gap regarding the importance of succession planning. Without a proper plan in place, a business owner who is counting on the sale to fund retirement could be putting his or her future in jeopardy.
Are you a small business owner? We can help you get started thinking about the need for succession planning. Contact us at email@example.com.
Being a family business owner is often challenging and also rewarding. In this position, there are important questions you should answer about the future of your business. This is certainly true when it comes to passing on the business interests to the next generation with minimal tax impacts. A will, annual gifts, and trusts can all be used to some extent for this purpose. Let’s walk through this third option.
In order to minimize the tax implications for the next generation, you could transfer the holdings for the family business into a trust. A revocable trust, for example, would allow you to designate the owner as the trustee as well as the grantor. The role of grantor involves actually funding the trust and the role of trustee allows the owner to maintain control over those same assets.
The trust can be structured so that in certain events, the trust releases out assets to heirs. This might be graduating from college or achieving a particular age. There are ways to plan for the business after death, too. For example, naming alternate trustees determines who can control the business after the main owner has passed away. If the owner passes away before the children are old enough or experienced enough to handle running the business, the power to control the assets for the business can be granted to a trustee until the heirs are capable.
For more specifics about planning ahead for the family business, contact us today. We can help set up your initial consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to research from the American Institute of CPAs, clients are sharing concerns about retiring with enough money. This is, in fact, the leading concern that clients to their financial advisors. Secondary concerns included how much should be withdrawn from retirement accounts and the rising costs of healthcare, all of which play into critical issues faced during and after retirement age.
Planning ahead can be done successfully when you work with a team of knowledgeable professionals to create a comprehensive approach. With regards to financial and estate planning, you may have common goals across both spheres. Protecting the wealth that you have worked so hard to build may involve strategic planning like trusts or other vehicles.
There’s a great deal of uncertainty about retirement, but many of these questions can be accomplished by putting together the team of professionals to help you reach your goals. Knowing where you stand now and the best way to protect your wealth in the future will provide you with peace of mind and confidence. In order to get the most out of estate planning, you need to be regularly involved in reviewing your document and determining whether any changes in your life warrant a change in your plans.
Get started today so you can plan ahead for retirement. Reach out to us at email@example.com.
When you are getting married for the second or third time, there are important things you need to consider related to your estate planning. Since remarriage is only on the rise, prepare to avoid these common mistakes by working directly with an estate planning attorney.
Mistake #4: Not Updating the Will
A remarriage is a big life change and one that warrants an update in your will. You may need to include new family members like the spouse and his or her children in your will, so it’s worth a review. Along the same lines, make sure the language in your will is clear. When you make a reference to “my children”, what does that actually mean? Likewise, “my family” can be quite vague.
Mistake #5: Not Factoring In the Feelings of All Family Members
It’s often overlooked just how much your family might care about your estate planning. This is especially true for children and stepchildren in blended families. Even if the relationship with all these individuals seems good now, that ca change in the future. Be open to reviewing your documents at least once a year.
You can avoid these common mistakes by setting up an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney. Estate planning is not an activity that you can schedule once and forget- it’s an ongoing process that can be altered based on the changing needs of your life. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hear the Attorneys of the Law Firm of Shah & Associates, P.C. describe the highlights of this weekly Blog Posts. For the full post, visit: https://lawesq.net/blog/
Who Handles My Affairs If I Am Unable to Do It?
One of the cornerstones of elder law planning involves a durable power of attorney that helps you safeguard against a possible inability to manage your own affairs. Many people are familiar with the benefits of having a will to allow smooth distribution of assets upon death.thers, however, skip out on planning for a possible disability that could render them unable to manage their personal. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/who-handles-my-affairs-if-i-am-unable-to-do-it/
Income Taxes and Estate Planning: The Time is Right
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that wills and living trusts each accomplish three goals, but they are not one and the same. Neither document is likely to be a comprehensive solution for all your needs, so you’ll need to consider what time period you are planning for. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/income-taxes-and-estate-planning-the-time-is-right/
Dealing With Debts on Death: Some Planning Tips
In the majority of cases, a deceased person’s debts land in their estate for payment. If the amount of debt involved is substantial, however, it can be a shock for heirs to learn how much the size of the estate has been minimized due to debt payments. This is why more people are considering debt planning in the estate planning process. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/dealing-with-debts-on-death-some-planning-tips/
Running a Business? You Need a Personalized Asset Protection Plan
Every business owner should have an asset protection plan, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with day to day tasks and let this fall by the wayside. There are numerous reasons why it’s a good idea to start an asset protection plan, though, such as the fact that owning and operating a business can be very risky. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/running-a-business-you-need-a-personalized-asset-protection-plan/
Spring Cleaning: Three Tips to Organize Your Life for the Rest of 2015
With spring on the way (or hopefully on the way shortly), it’s a great opportunity to do your spring cleaning. Your home isn’t the only thing that might benefit, though, as you can do a few other personal items to ensure that the rest of 2015 is successful for you. Here are three easy tips to help you succeed. Click here to know more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/spring-cleaning-three-tips-to-organize-your-life-for-the-rest-of-2015/
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A second marriage can be a time of excitement and celebration, but there are also important planning steps you need to take to ensure that you’re moving into this new partnership successfully. What follows are some of the most common mistakes you can make with regard to a second or third marriage and your estate planning.
Mistake #1: Creating a DIY Will
If you have a blended family, it’s all the more important to get professional legal help so that you can appropriately draft a will. Small mistakes can turn into catastrophes, so avoid the attempts to do it on your own and enlist help instead.
Mistake #2: Skipping the Life Insurance Policy
Life insurance policies can be very successful in navigating the tricky waters of providing for blended families. This is especially helpful when you intend to leave property to other family members but also want to provide for your new family.
Mistake #3: Not Evaluating Trustee Options Entirely
It might be tempting to automatically make your new spouse, a stepchild, or your own child a trustee, but it might not be what’s best for you. Choosing an outside trustee with no vested stake in the situation might help reduce arguments between family members after you pass away.
For more advice about structuring your estate planning after a second or third marriage, contact us today. Reach out to us for help at email@example.com.
A recent interview with Rob Lowe shows how people are often unaware of the pervasive long term care issue in the United States. Lowe, like many adults in the early processes of caring for parents, feels “blindsided” by the depth of these needs. Just a few of the statistics that triggered the connection for Lowe include:
The cost of care around the country in a nursing home or a living facility, could be $87,000 a year or higher
70% of those individuals above age 65 will require some type of long term care at least once
Nearly 60% of Americans are not comfortable talking to their families about their long term care needs
The need for long term care is one thing, and it’s certainly a lesson that is becoming more real for adults everyday as they struggle with the difficulties of helping aging parents. The statistic that is perhaps most alarming, however, is the last one. Talking to family members about long term care is a critical first step that opens the door for planning opportunities. Pre-planning for long term care events is extremely valuable for informing family members about what actions can and should be taken in the event that long term care is required. Knowing where to turn for help is essential. When you’d like to plan ahead for your own long term care, get advice from the specialists at our office who can help you and your parents chart out a safeguarded future.
For more information about long term care planning in New Jersey, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With spring on the way (or hopefully on the way shortly), it’s a great opportunity to do your spring cleaning. Your home isn’t the only thing that might benefit, though, as you can do a few other personal items to ensure that the rest of 2015 is successful for you. Here are three easy tips to help you succeed.
Review Taxes, Your Credit Report, and Your Budget
You’re probably already in tax mode, so go ahead and request that free credit report to see where you’re at with regard to debts. Clear up any mistakes. Look at how well you’ve been meeting your 2015 budget so far this year. Is it time to adjust? What changes can you make?
Review Estate Planning
These documents inside your estate plan should be updated on an annual basis or whenever a major life change happens (like marriage). If you’ve let this slip because you’ve been overwhelmed, you’re not alone- but it’s definitely time to get it on the calendar.
Revisit Retirement Planning
Ask for a report from your retirement plan to see how things are performing. Are you putting in enough? Look at projections to see how well your planning matches up with your expected retirement date. It might be time to tweak your contribution.
These three tips can help you accomplish several goals at once and ensure that you’re ready for the rest of 2015. Contact us at email@example.com if we can help.
Every business owner should have an asset protection plan, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed with day to day tasks and let this fall by the wayside. There are numerous reasons why it’s a good idea to start an asset protection plan, though, such as the fact that owning and operating a business can be very risky.
What if your business defaults on an open vendor account, a mortgage, or a secured bank loan? If the debt is personally guaranteed by you as the owner, you might be exposing yourself to a lot of unnecessary risk. This doesn’t even cover the circumstances related to what happens if an employee does something negligent while carrying out company business. Consumers can also bring claims for injuries or unfair or deceptive business practices.
Although none of these are easy to think about, it would likely be a disaster if just one of them happened to you. One incident like this and you could be exposed to financial catastrophe. An asset protection plan explores all of these risks and outlines a strategy through which you attempt to protect them. Taking the right steps today could help you insulate personal and business assets from creditor claims. Asset protection planning is aligned to your needs, so reach out for advice sooner rather than later. We can help you- call us at 732-521-9455.
Hear the Attorney’s of the Law Firm of Shah & Associates, P.C. describe the highlights of this weekly Blog Posts. For the full post, visit: https://lawesq.net/blog/
Should I Do a Will Or Living Trust? Part One
Anytime you hit the Internet to do some kind of research, you’re likely involved in thinking about the situation at hand, how a product or service will fit into your own life, and any unintended consequences that might pop up during the way. Just as choosing a new car or new home involves the careful weighing of options for your unique needs, estate planning involves the selection of tools that are most appropriate for you and your situation. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/03/should-i-do-a-will-or-living-trust-part-one/
Should I Do a Will or a Living Trust? Part Two
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that wills and living trusts each accomplish three goals, but they are not one and the same. Neither document is likely to be a comprehensive solution for all your needs, so you’ll need to consider what time period you are planning for. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/03/should-i-do-a-will-or-a-living-trust-part-two/
Should I Just Give My Assets to My Kids To Qualify for Medicaid?
In the event that you or your spouse are facing a long-term care crisis and are concerned about spending down your assets quickly in order to qualify for Medicaid, it’s important to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls of acting too fast without carefully considering your options. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/should-i-just-give-my-assets-to-my-kids-to-qualify-for-medicaid/
Estate Tax Repeal Bill Likely Headed for a Vote
In early March, Representatives Kevin Brady and Sanford Bishop introduced an estate tax repeal bill currently known as HR 1105. Although this isn’t the first estate tax repeal bill to appear as possible legislation, it’s quite likely to head to the House floor for a vote. It would be the first estate tax repeal bill in the last decade to make it that far. Click here for more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/estate-tax-repeal-bill-likely-headed-for-a-vote/
Benefits of an Annual Business Protection/Continuity Planning Review
Business owners are continually focused on managing risks, expanding the company, and enhancing profitability. As your company grows, it’s especially important to look at your vulnerabilities on a yearly basis to evaluate the plans you already have in place as well as future plans you may need. Click here to know more, https://lawesq.net/blog/2015/04/benefits-of-an…lanning-review/
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In the majority of cases, a deceased person’s debts land in their estate for payment. If the amount of debt involved is substantial, however, it can be a shock for heirs to learn how much the size of the estate has been minimized due to debt payments. This is why more people are considering debt planning in the estate planning process.
When you’re planning ahead, you can reduce a lot of confusion that might otherwise arise when you pass away. Limiting any confusion for your loved ones can go a long way for their emotional state, especially since they’ll be grieving your loss. Here are a few tips to get the most out of debt planning when you incorporate it into your general estate planning:
Be clear and honest about the situation. Get an annual credit report for yourself to see what’s out there. It’s not always easy to admit the truth, but you’re definitely one step ahead if you know what’s there. As an added benefit, this is a good opportunity to clear up any mistakes or debts that should have been removed from your credit report so they don’t impact your estate mistakenly.
Get advice. If you want to know the best way to structure your estate planning, you need a qualified professional to answer your questions. Enlist the help of an estate planner with experience.
Organize documents. If you keep all the debt-related documents together, it’s going to be much easier for your loved ones or Executor to review these details on your death so that anything outstanding can be paid promptly.
If you’ve got debts and you’re concerned about the impact on your estate, do some planning now. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re ahead of the curve or right on time, you should be wrapping up your income tax preparation for the year. Being knowledgeable about where you or your business succeeded in the past year can be a wakeup call about revising your estate plan. Over the course of one year, a lot of things can change in a person’s life or a business. This might call for some changes in your asset protection planning or estate planning as well.
This can be a very valuable exercise especially if you claimed new deductions from this past year- did you buy a house? Have a child? It might be time to reconsider your approach towards planning or to at minimum update your estate planning documents to reflect new beneficiaries.
Since you’re already in the mindset of thinking about how things have changed over the past year, it’s wise to get ahead of the planning curve and reach out for an estate planning review now. You might be surprised and a new strategy that could help you accomplish your goals more effectively. Contact us at email@example.com.