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Estate Planning: Why you should do it now and do it right

At some point in your life you have heard that you should do estate planning, or you have been told that you should create a will or a trust. Maybe you don’t know exactly why or what estate planning is but have just been told in a general sense that it is a good thing to do or some may have told you that it is a vital thing. You may listen to Suze Orman, who tells everyone it is a crucial financial document. You may have been recommended to an estate planning attorney years ago by your financial planner and you, for your new year’s resolution are committing to finally get it done. You may have created a simple will years ago and wonder if it is still valid or if it is enough for you all thes

What are the Differences Between Dying Intestate, with a Will, and with a Trust

You may have heard that it is a good idea to create an estate plan, but unless you have personally gone through the process of administering someone’s estate or trust after they have passed away you may not know exactly why it is such an important process. Today, I want to go through what to expect if you pass away in these three different scenarios. First, I will go over what it is like to pass away without any plan at all. Then, I will go over what it is like to pass away with a will. Finally, I will go over the process that you can expect when you pass away with a trust. Passing without a plan (aka intestate): Passing away intestate, without a plan, means that your loved ones will have to

The Not-So Silent Threat to Your Estate Plan

Many create an estate plan because they want to plan for taxes or to avoid probate: the court process that distributes property from a decedent’s estate. While both taxes and probate can be a serious expense to your estate, an oft overlooked source of problems are people. Some may mistakenly think that an estate plan cannot adequately plan for people problems that may crop up. Some may not even be aware of the problems that often present themselves when a loved one passes and leave a pile of assets to be distributed. Just like the old saying goes: “Where there is a will, there… are relatives.” While the people problems that are present in different situations are as various as each individua

5 Steps to Leave a Legacy for Generations to Come

When discussing how to leave a legacy it is important to think about more than just saving money through avoiding taxes and administrative costs or building wealth through wise investment strategies. Those who want to leave a legacy for their family must construct an estate plan that also prepares the eventual beneficiaries for the responsibility of taking on wealth and handling it wisely. Below are five steps that will help you and your family do just that. Family Meetings: Changing family dynamics make it very important to hold semi-regular family meetings to discuss financial and other family goals. In these meetings you can discuss concerns and objectives for family resources, retirement

Do You have enough assets to need an estate plan?

You most likely just finished up your holiday celebrations and you may have celebrated the holidays in a lot of different manners. I know that when I got married the way my wife had celebrated holidays was different than the way I had celebrated the holidays. I was an only child from divorced parents whereas my wife was the second of five children to a family that had multiple generations living in nearby. My celebrations consisted mainly of dividing my time between my mother’s house and my father’s house during the holidays. Plans were easy because they were plans just for me. My wife, on the other hand, had to plan around her five siblings and had always traditionally gone to both her mate

Is Micro Estate Planning Right for You?

You may know about the benefits of a traditional estate plan that includes a trust, will, power of attorney, and health care documents, but you may be unaware that this this mainly takes care of big picture decisions. The average estate plan should be updated maybe every 3 to 5 years, but in reality life changes faster than that. Most estate plans average 17 years when they are actually used (which is obviously too long to wait to update even your big picture plan). You can make your estate plan even more useful and make any changes in your life even smoother by implementing a micro estate plan strategy. Micro estate planning employs short-term techniques rather than the long-term strategies

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