How a Will can Prevent a Guardianship Battle During Probate

How a Will can Prevent a Guardianship Battle During Probate

One of the best things that a parent can do for his or her child is to establish legal guardianship in a will. It is so important to establish guardianship in a will because it lets you – the parent – decide the legal guardianship of your child, in the event of your untimely death or incapacity.

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Kids Going Away To College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

Kids Going Away To College?  Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

Will your children be preparing for their first year of college later this year? You're probably prouder than you can say, but you're a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your child is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn't seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do?

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3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to have an asset protection plan. But in reality, anyone can be sued. A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances. 

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Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan Is Set Up to Fail  

Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan Is Set Up to Fail   

You may be surprised to learn that not only has asset protection planning been around for a long time, but you likely have already engaged in it at some point during your life. In fact, you probably currently have one or more types of traditional asset protection planning in place. The problem is, in many cases, the type of planning you have right now won’t be enough to protect you and your family. 

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Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences

Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences

Although leaving your hard-earned assets outright to your children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries after you die may seem like the easiest and most desired form of distribution, this scheme will make their inheritance easy prey for creditors, predators, and divorcing spouses.  Instead, consider using discretionary trusts for the benefit of each of your beneficiaries.

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Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving

Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving

Estate planning for married couples can be tricky when one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other, and each spouse wants different beneficiaries to ultimately inherit their estate. One solution to this problem is the Lifetime QTIP Trust.  

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Estate Planning for Rental Property Owners

Estate Planning for Rental Property Owners

In all parts of the country, services such as Airbnb have grown in popularity over the past few years. Indeed, these alternatives to hotel stays are popular among homeowners and vacationers alike. If you have a home or other rental property that is generating income, you should understand the following asset protection and estate planning considerations.

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An Easy Three-Step Review for Your Estate Plan “Helpers”

An Easy Three-Step Review for Your Estate Plan “Helpers”

While putting together an estate plan is important for you and your loved ones, it is equally important for you to understand the role of the trusted individuals who will be carrying out your wishes when you are unable to. When it comes to estate planning, these helpers are key. They generally include a trustee, guardian, executor, agent under a power of attorney, and healthcare proxy, among others.

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Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Top 1 Percent

Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Top 1 Percent

There is a common misconception that estate plans are only for the ultra-rich - the top 1 percent, 10%, 20%, or some other arbitrary determination of “enough” money.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. People at all income and wealth levels can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan. Sadly, many have not sat down to put their legal house in order. 

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4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

A will or trust contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can help your family avoid a potentially disastrous will or trust contest.  

If you are concerned about challenges to your estate plan, consider the following…

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The Harmonious Family that Won’t Fight?  The Outcome May Surprise You

The Harmonious Family that Won’t Fight?  The Outcome May Surprise You

Most families are happy families. They get together for the holidays, share laughs, and tell stories. Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company. Then, the matriarch or patriarch dies. Suddenly, years of pent-up resentment and hurt feelings bubble to the surface, and the once-happy family is now embroiled in litigation over the decedent’s estate.

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How Estate Planning Can Help You Dream About Your Future  

How Estate Planning Can Help You Dream About Your Future   

A dream without a plan is simply a wish. Estate planning is not just about death and taxes -- it puts you in the driver’s seat of your financial life, allowing you to set achievable goals. It is a great opportunity to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind for loved ones, help you avoid the expense and delay of probate, as well as help you save on taxes. 

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Why Factoring Long-Term Care Into Your Estate Plan Pays Off

Why Factoring Long-Term Care Into Your Estate Plan Pays Off

For most people, thinking about estate planning means focusing on what will happen to their money after they pass away. But that misses one pretty significant consideration: the need to plan for long-term care. 

The last thing any of us want to contend with when a health issue arises later in life is having to throw together a hasty estate planning solution in the face of mounting medical costs. Your best defense is careful planning with the help of a trusted expert.

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The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages & Estate Planning 

The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages & Estate Planning 

You have likely seen several advertisements for reverse mortgages if you have spent any time watching television or surfing on the internet. The concept and sell is a simple one: as long as you own and live in your home, you can supplement your retirement income with a loan that you do not need to pay off. The trade-off when it comes to a reverse mortgage is that you are using your home’s equity to receive that extra retirement income. Even if a reverse mortgage is right for your circumstances, entering into a reverse mortgage is something that should be understood fully before signing any paperwork.

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New Baby? Time to Create Your Estate Plan

New Baby? Time to Create Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is often one item that gets pushed back on nearly everyone’s to-do list. The reasons you might be delaying vary:lack of time, not thinkingyou have enough assets, not knowing how to start, or fear of contemplating death. Whatever the reason for not putting an estate plan together, it is important to understand that if you just had a baby - now is the time to meet with an estate planning attorney to implement a plan.

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5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!

5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!

Estate plans are almost magical: They allow you to maintain control of your assets, yet protect you should you become incapacitated. They take care of your family and pets. And, if carefully crafted, they reduce fees, taxes, stress, and time delays. Estate plans can even keep your family and financial affairs private. But one thing estate plans can’t do is update themselves.

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