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January 2017 Archives

A special needs trust must be created carefully

Providing for the ones you love is an important privilege for those who have the means to do so, but this is often more complicated than just writing a check and being done with it. If you have a loved one who depends on government assistance to afford living with a disability, then you might inadvertently disqualify that person from the crucial government assistance by carelessly leaving them too much money at one time. Fortunately, there are options. By employing a special needs trust, you can provide for the one you love without disqualifying them from government assistance.

Mortgages and death

Creating an estate plan is an important part of providing for the ones you love after you pass away. While many aspects of an estate plan deal with the proper and timely distribution of assets to beneficiaries and circumventing or minimizing the probate process, estate plans also have great value in protecting your loved ones from debts that you may have accrued in your lifetime. As a general rule, the debt of one person is not passed on to his or her heirs upon death, but is rather settled through the surviving estate.

4 critical estate planning tips for retirees

Certainly, estate planning can be helpful at almost any age, but those who are 65 and older face a greater urgency. They simply don't have as long to craft the perfect plan, and they've had far longer to accumulate wealth and assets that have to be passed on to their heirs. In addition, retirement itself can alter those assets. A retirement investment account or a pension plan may begin paying out, for example. Below are four important tips that you should keep in mind moving forward:

Using trusts to provide for grandchildren

When crafting an estate plan that takes into account grandchildren, there is some extra care that must be taken to ensure that your loved ones are cared for without creating extra difficulty for them in the long run. Because grandchildren are often minors, and may still be minors when they become receiving beneficiaries of your estate, some extra steps must be taken to make sure that your wishes are fulfilled without incurring extra fines or violating laws governing ownership by minors.

New parents need an estate plan, too

Most people tend to think of estate planning as something to start doing once you have a lot of money, or own a house, or are nearing retirement. While it is true that anyone in these circumstances should consider creating an estate plan, they are by no means the only ones who can benefit from one. One often overlooked group who should absolutely consider making an estate plan are new or expectant parents. Ultimately, one of the most important things that an estate plan does is help you plan for how you will provide for the ones after you have passed away or become incapacitated. What loving parent would willingly put off such an important form of preparation?