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What Part Does Life Insurance Play in Planning My Estate

January 11th, 2021

Some people feel that they are either too young for estate planning or they believe that estate planning is only for wealthy families.

Estate planning is important for everyone regardless of your age or income level. Unfortunately, many breadwinners are not prepared for their death.

There are several families that are not financially equipped to take on the expenses following a loved one’s death. Many families are left scrounging around for money just to pay for funeral expenses.

There is one important question every person should ask themselves, “Will my family be able to support themselves financially if I die tomorrow?” No one can predict how much time they have left on earth. However, you can plan for the financial future of your family today.

The Importance of Life Insurance & Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, life insurance plays center state. Life insurance can be compared to a safety net because it provides your family with financial support when you pass away. It will provide your family with immediate financial support to pay off funeral expenses, medical bills and other important expenses.

Give Your Family ‘Peace of Mind’

One major benefit of life insurance is that it provides your family with peace of mind. If you should experience a sudden death, peace of mind allows your family to conduct business upon your death without worrying about not having enough financially. Your family’s focus should be on handling the grieving process of your death and not finances.

You Assets

Many people leave their loved ones their assets upon their death. However, some people fail to realize that their loved ones will be responsible for paying estate and income taxes.

Your family can use your life insurance policy to pay for debts or obligations. In addition to funeral and burial costs, an insurance policy can be pay for college tuition and other financial needs.

Hello, I’m Jeff Pennington. In late 2002, I decided to create a business that would improve the way people buy term life insurance. I wanted to combine the friendliness and personal service that comes from a small insurance company, with the effectiveness of an online insurance business.

I also work with physicians and small business owners to help them buy disability insurance that will provide income if they ever suffer an injury that prevents them from working.

Why Investing in Multi Family Houses A Good Start For You

December 15th, 2020

Investing in real estate can be a real challenge for some people, particularly for those just starting out in the field. A good means to start out is by investing in multi family houses. One property with four or less families is a safe enough home which will allow you to have a property with a residential mortgage and take benefit of the low rates on interest. You will learn that there are lots of reasons that you will want to start off investing in this sort of building, but the main reason may be because it is a lot less risky than investing in numerous other buildings.

Another good reason to be interest in multi family housing is that you will have a lot less competition. Most of the investors want to get single household homes and because of this the worth of these types of estates also build up which can turn into a liability instead of an benefit for you. Bear in mind that you would want to merit simply by buying a estate and not having to wait for someone else to purchase the building from you.

This also means that you can proffer more than one unit to rent to people. This is a less precarious way of investing since you will not have to be concerned if the tenant all of a sudden disappears or if they will lease the building long enough for you to merit from it. You may have one or two of your units vacant for a period of time, but it will be rare for all of them to be empty at any one point. This keeps you and your earnings secure and when you have enough cash you can make use of it to set off investing in multi family houses again to increase more returns.

You can also see from the above reasons, that you can get proceeds every month through your tenants. And because you have more number of units, you also acquire more cash per month once all of the units are occupied. The safe thing is that although it can cost only as much as a single household building, you merit more than what you would probably earn in a single household estate. This can even be enough to pay for your mortgage payment.

If you are investing in multi family houses, you will understand that it is also very cost efficient when it comes to repairs. For instance, if you need to restore the roof of three single household buildings you be in possession of it will cost you more in preservation than if you have only one multi family estate with the same number of households living under the same roof. You only have to be anxious about one property and not having to be concerned about other properties.

You can build up your money if you use the returns you get from investing in multi family houses to invest in same estate. You can decide to invest in single household buildings, but that is an option you can afford by then.

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Benefits of Trust Planning and Common Estate Planning Mistakes

December 8th, 2020

Trusts are basically a document that involves the transfer of ownership of property and or assets from a Grantor (original owner of assets and property) to the TRUSTEE (the one who manages the assets; a lawyer, accountant, best friend, or anybody not related to the grantor by blood and marriage) for the BENEFICIARIES (people who will receive the full benefit of the assets; family, best friend, favorite charity and organizations, the list is unlimited). There are two common types of trusts, the first is the irrevocable trust, where the grantor surrenders any control whatsoever of, and any access to the property and or assets. Otherwise, if the grantor wishes to have control over the assets, it will become revocable and subject to court discretion. Also, irrevocable trusts are permanent, the trustee wields total control over the assets, thus, if the grantor finds something not to his liking, it could not be changed. So the grantor now needs firm trust planning to take care of their estate. The grantor as well as the beneficiaries cannot afford any estate planning mistakes.

Trust planning means that you intend to take care of your family’s well being and estate. Most people fail to make estate plans or avoid estate trust planning, often leaving their loved ones in the dark when they start to spend large amounts of money, (money they thought they saved by not trust planning) on trying to figure out what to do if they become disabled or what becomes or the family estate when they die. All unwanted events could be avoided through thorough and concrete trust planning.

On the other hand, this type of planning can be also called as estate planning. You should pay attention to the details. Little things can increase the expenses for you and for your family. When planning your estate, after including all the little things like a couch or a grandfather clock, make sure you include the specific beneficiary. Most people spend more money than what the asset is worth just fighting for ownership of it. Planning should involve you asking every member what they want.

Tips

To make sure that your plan is solid, get some more help to avoid making estate planning mistakes. Browse the web for more information and tips about trust planning and estate planning. The more you know about it, the more secured and thorough your trust planning is…the more secured and thorough trust planning you make, the more you could provide for your family. Trusts are documents that decide how your assets are to be managed and who benefits from it. It would be best to help your family avoid any squabbling, plan your estate with sound advice.

The Importance of Estate Planning for Alternative Families

November 23rd, 2020

Society can change very rapidly, often within our own lifetimes. This is both a technological evolution – there are many people alive today who can remember a childhood when television simply did not exist – and a cultural one. Only a few years ago, same-sex marriage was still a taboo subject with little serious support. However, the last two years have seen a dramatic shift, with the Federal government, and many State governments, officially recognizing same-sex marriage. At the same time, many other forms of “alternative” families have become increasingly common, including single parents and heterosexual couples who choose not to get married even when they have children. This form is commonly known as a “blended family”.

This presents a challenge, because the law moves much more slowly than society’s attitudes, and most of the legal framework designed to protect and regulate family estates still only recognizes next of kin. When couples are not legally married, this means that an unexpected death can result in their home and their retirement funds being placed in the control of someone other than their partner. The answer to this potential problem is careful estate planning – in fact, because of this, estate planning is critical for the “alternative” family.

Estate planning includes a collection of legal documents directing how your assets and wealth will be distributed in the event of your death. It is important to keep in mind that if you are not married legally you may not enjoy any legal protection as a family unit, meaning that your partner and children may not have automatic authority to act on your behalf in the event of your disability. As a result, Estate planning should include provisions for disability, naming a partner or a child and giving that individual the authority to act on your behalf. Otherwise, a family member may automatically be placed in this position regardless of your relationship with them.

Estate planning tends to be one of those life events we put off due to the fact no one imagines the unthinkable happening to them. Often people assume that a life built together automatically means something. The fact is, in the eyes of the law, your life together may not mean anything. The time to make your wishes clear and to anticipate every potential problem is now, while you have the time and ability to confer with an expert and plan your estate properly.

3 Reasons Why You Need Estate Attorneys

November 5th, 2020

If you’ve never thought about what services estate attorneys can provide or you just don’t understand why they’re important, you probably don’t understand why it’s vital to have an attorney help you through the estate planning process. Many people mistakenly think that planning is only for the very rich or those who have a lot of family members to divide things between. Instead, consider these three situations that call for assistance from a lawyer.

Call A Lawyer Before You Think You Need One

Many people wait until it’s absolutely necessary to have a will created — that is, they wait until they’re facing their own mortality. This is a wake up call that urges someone to take action, but you shouldn’t wait! An accident or illness could hit you at any time, which could render you unable to express your wishes to your friends or family members. Professionally drafted legal documents can help make sure your friends and relatives understand what medical decisions you want made so they can follow your wishes exactly.

Use Estate Attorneys Even If You Don’t Have Any Direct Beneficiaries

If you don’t have any family members still living, you probably don’t know why it’s important to have a will. Without directly related family members, such as a mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles or grandparents, your assets could be divided between relatives you don’t know, and in some cases, relatives you’ve never even met!

When you write a will with a professional lawyer, he or she will be able to help you determine where your assets will end up. This means that you’ll be able to decide to leave your assets to a favorite charity of your choice or even to a friend. A friend has no legal rights to your estate so if you want them to receive anything, you’ll need to take legal steps to make this happen.

Keep Your Family From Arguing After You’ve Passed

It’s an unfortunate truth that family members often argue and squabble over asset distribution after a loved one passes away. To help keep them from fighting amongst themselves, make sure that they understand what will happen with your belongings or your life insurance policy after you’re gone. Ask your estate attorneys to help you divide your holdings equally so that everyone is given an equal portion of your assets.

It’s also important that your loved ones understand what should happen during your funeral services. If you want a specific type of service or have certain burial or cremation wishes, you should talk them over with your loved ones beforehand. This will help ensure that your wishes are followed and will reduce the stress on your family members when they’re already worried and feeling overwhelmed.

Whether you have an extensive estate or you simply need a cut and dried will to protect your family, estate attorneys are an important part of this process. To find an experienced one in your local area, talk to your coworkers, friends and family members to receive a personal recommendation.

Estate Planning – The Life Estate

October 22nd, 2020

The life estate is something every first year law student learns about when they study the arcane and often bizarre history of property law that harkens back to the days of English knights, lords and serfs, and the transfer of property through the ceremonial throwing of dirt clods with oaths of duty to accompany. The life estate is about as old as they come as instruments of wealth transfer go and students love it, because it is relatively easy to understand. Apart from what students love and what is easy to remember, however, the life estate still has practical value today in your estate planning and assets management schemes.

The basic idea of the life estate is that a person can be left a piece of property for life, and upon their passing, the property in question can go to whoever is designated to receive that property afterward. The individual or group who receives the property after the life-tenant passes is called the remainderman or remaindermen, which is useful only in that it helps one to remember that the person who remains gets the property. If, for example, one wants to leave a family estate that has been with the family for many generations to their spouse and then have it immediately pass on to their children or another relative who will maintain the estate for the generation to come, then a life estate might be the perfect vehicle to do so. Another example is the same family estate, left to a surviving spouse until the surviving spouse either dies or remarries. Again, the aim is to ensure that the estate stays in family, a contingency which is threatened by the remarriage because that creates a new marital joint-tenancy, absent any other provision. Often the life-estate was used to keep assets, like the family home, headed down a single line of familial ownership.

However, the life estate has other uses, for example, it can leave an asset to be owned by one person until the death of third person. If an older relative has become incapacitated, such that it is difficult for them to make decisions for themselves, then the asset can be left in the care of another for the incapacitated person’s lifetime. An example might be, that Blackacre (the fictitious name for a piece of property used in law schools everywhere) is left in the care of cousin Tilly, until great aunt Nelly’s death. Thus, Tilly is allowed to make Nelly comfortable at Blackacre (the family home) until Nelly passes on. In this instance, Nelly’s life is what is called, the measuring life of the life estate, and Tilly’s ownership ends when Nelly is gone.

On the whole, the life estate may be falling out of use for a number of reasons and being replaced by the much more fluid instrument of the trust. But, the life estate still captures, from time to time, our instincts regarding how property is to pass from one generation to another and that is why it is still relevant even for an estate planner who uses it very rarely. It helps us to ask and to get the answer to very difficult questions, which is part of the act of estate planning. Both the client and the attorney must face tough questions, and the life estate (even if it is sometimes regarded as a legal relic of the past) tells us how people used to answer questions of intra-generational wealth transfer and why. We may use different instruments to bring about our legal ends (or we may not), but even if we do, the life-estate still has relevance in helping us think about the questions that underlie the choices to be made in estate planning.

Should You Create an Estate Plan

October 15th, 2020

The reasons for needing an estate plan are as varied as the individuals involved and, it seems, the many myths surrounding the subject do quite a bit of harm. For example, do you have to be “rich” in order to need an estate plan? The answer is, “No”, one does not need to be rich to need an estate plan. All you need is the desire to pass on to your heirs the greatest amount of the wealth possible that you have preserved during your lifetime.

Among the major benefits of a well-drafted estate plan are minimizing the expense of passing your estate to beneficiaries, decreasing the administrative complexities and ensuring to the extent possible that your distribution wishes are followed.

For example, if you own a home, have minor children or grandchildren, grown children in their own marriages, have been divorced, own a business, or expect to receive an inheritance of your own, you need to seriously consider the benefits of properly planning your estate. Instead of passing problems on to your heirs, you can instead elect to pass on the greatest amount of wealth with the least amount of problems through estate planning.

The largest hurdle, oftentimes, is building a lasting relationship with an attorney who specializes in estate planning. Going through the Yellow Pages, or asking friends for referrals or using the internet is often a haphazard process without much guarantee of success.

Compelling Reasons to Build an Estate Plan

Among the common motivations that compel creation of an estate plan are the following. The more the following reasons apply to any situation, the greater is the need to complete estate planning to not only build and protect your hard-earned wealth but, also, to transfer your wealth with as little depletion and expense as possible. With a proper estate plan in place, you can plan ahead to:

1. Designating who will manage your affairs if you become disabled and when you pass away. If you fail to do so, a court will decide for you not only who receives your wealth but who will make the distributions. You never know who the court will appoint. Keep control of your own destiny!

2. Planning for Medicaid and its impact on your estate if you must go into a nursing home. Nursing homes today can cost as much as $75,000 per year, or more, and a longterm stay can easily impoverish all but the wealthiest families. With proper planning, however, you can shelter assets and keep your family’s wealth intact. Because there is a 50-50 chance that the average adult will spend at least one year in a longterm care facility, it becomes painfully clear this type of planning is extremely important.

3. Avoiding probate, during your lifetime and when you pass away. Do you want the court controlling you or your assets? Probate proceedings are public, expensive, and time-consuming and should be avoided whenever possible. Leave your money to your heirs quickly, privately and efficiently by establishing a proper estate plan.

4. Protecting children from a prior marriage if you pass away first. Second marriage planning can be complex and tricky. Expert legal guidance is needed to ensure your assets are preserved and your children of your first marriage will receive the proper share of their inheritance.

5. Protecting assets inherited by your heirs from lawsuits, divorces and other claims. Make sure your assets are inherited by your loved ones, not the people you don’t want to receive them, such as their ex-spouses, in-laws, creditors or the IRS.

6. Imposing discipline upon children or grandchildren who may not be capable or experienced in managing wealth. Make sure your children or grandchildren spend their inheritance wisely and protect their inheritance against inexperience and mismanagement by including specific conditions and rewards in your estate plan.

7. Providing for special needs children and grandchildren. The loss of governmental benefits can wipe out your estate. Special considerations and planning is needed to avoid the loss of governmental benefits.

8. Insuring that a specific portion of your estate actually gets to grandchildren, charities, etc. Without planning, a judge will decide who inherits your assets. Pre-planning your estate ensures your intentions and directions are followed.

9. Protecting a portion of your estate if you pass away first and your surviving spouse remarries. Special Trusts, commonly referred to as “A-B trusts”, can be crafted to protect your current surviving spouse and to insure that your assets don’t end up in the wrong hands. Take action now to protect your family.

10. Addressing different needs of different children. No two children are alike. Customized estate planning can assure that each child’s personal needs are addressed in the manner you deem best.

11. Preventing or discouraging challenges to your estate plan. Establishing a well-drafted and comprehensive Revocable Living Trust now makes it more difficult for objections when you are no longer around to speak for yourself.

12. Encouraging and rewarding your heirs who make smart life decisions and preventing the depletion of your estate from those who do not. There can be a point at which giving a child more money can make them less productive and less happy. A Family Incentive Trust can be tailored with financial incentives which encompass your family values and goals to encourage and motivate your children. Such a Trust can be a loving way to support your children while inspiring them to be productive members of society and fostering their sense of self-worth.

13. Assuring an education for children, or grandchildren, despite what they (or their parents) dream of doing with the inheritance. Establishing an educational trust can assure that your children or grandchildren use their inheritance for education and not fund a vacation in Las Vegas.

14. Plan for a “Brady Bunch” family estate plan and assure that a stepparent doesn’t spend your children’s inheritance and/or provide for a spouse without sacrificing the intended legacy for children of a prior marriage. A divorce and subsequent marriage can have devastating effects on the inheritance you intend for your children if your estate plan is not reviewed and updated. Often times, the original “traditional” estate plan will not meet the needs or provide the protection needed for your new blended family so proper planning is imperative.

15. Pursuing charitable goals you may not otherwise feel you can afford. Considerably cutting probate expenses allows you to also leave a legacy to a charitable organization you admire.

If your wealth or disposition desires fall into any one of the above groups, you should contact an estate planning attorney in your area. Many times, waiting to make a decision about distributing your wealth or deciding who can make decisions for you in case of death or incapacity will result in your dreams for your children and grandchildren, or your favorite charity, never, ever, being realized. Thus, tarrying in creating an estate plan can cause extreme confusion, turmoil and expense for your heirs that can easily be avoided by contacting a highly qualified, trained and tested estate planning specialist in your locale.

Choosing the Best Family Plan

September 25th, 2020

So you have a partner, and children (of any age) and at the moment you are both fit and healthy. It’s highly likely that your main priorities are earning a living and providing for your family.

It seems that all you have time to think about is child care, nursery, babysitters and school catchment areas. You’ve probably been asked many times before – quite often when you purchase or move house or when you review your life insurance – have you made a will?

The first thing that goes through your mind is “We’re young!” we don’t need to think about this yet, only old people should plan. After all we are fit and healthy so we’re not going to die are we?

Wrong. It happens to people of all ages, every single day.

If you have any children, especially minor (under the age of majority) children, the time to do your estate planning is today. Right now.

Estate planning is essential if you want to have control over who will care for your children, decide who your property will go to, want to know who will be in charge of winding up your affairs and distributing your assets and who will look after the property you leave to your children until they are old enough to do it for themselves.

Still think you don’t need to do this? Consider the following:

Why Haven’t You done It Already?

For many families especially those with young children, just making ends meet each month can be difficult enough, let alone the cost of actually sitting down with an Estate Planner. When you’re trying to pay the mortgage, life insurances, gas & electric bills, an estate plan may seem like an unnecessary expense you can put off until a later time. But what happens if (when) something does happen to you and/or your partner/spouse. Who would look after your children? If you don’t make a decision about who will take care of your children and document it in your will, then the court will. Depending on the circumstances that may mean Social Services stepping in and your children being fostered.

Some people hold off on doing estate planning because death is a difficult subject and they don’t want to think about it. Or they don’t know who they want involved, or a previous bad family experience of what happens. If this sounds all too familiar, take the time to sit down and discuss it with your spouse/partner and really get to the bottom of your feelings. Once you’ve been able to face how you feel about these issues, you will have a much better idea on how to plan your estate and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your children, partner and your property have been properly catered for.

Be Realistic

Once your happy that you’ve got to grips with your feelings about estate planning, it’s time for a little dose of common sense. Be very realistic about what you have and how it’ll be used. If you want your estate to be used for your children’s education, you need to also think about how they will be supported during childhood until they are old enough to go on to further education. The first and initially only priority is a roof over their head and food on the table.

Planning Tomorrow May Be Too Late

Estate Planning tends to be one of those things that people “will get around to”, when? well maybe next week, or next month, or next year. The trouble with that is that events will overtake you and then it’s to late. Do you need to see a professional? Well, you can get some do it yourself forms, but they won’t ensure that your children are properly protected. It’s highly unlikely that they will protect your Estate from the ravages of the tax man either. Imagine how your family would feel if the Family Estate was lost and they became homeless because you “never got around to it”.

Before you meet with your Estate Planner take the time to sit down and make a list of the property you own, what it is realistically worth on the open market and how much you owe on it (if anything). Go and find all of your life insurance policies – don’t forget any employer benefits. Don’t just think about now but what your family might need in the years to come.

Don’t forget that your will will need to be changed as the years go by – your needs will change, your children will become adults, health problems may lie in the future. Your will needs to be reviewed every couple of years, if it was last checked over a few years before your death, the odds are it isn’t going to be adequate. An inadequate will can in some circumstances be worse than not having one at all.

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Happiness For Your Family – Estate Planning

August 11th, 2020

I want to bring something to your attention: I’ve written about your financial future and your financial security. The question you want to address that many people overlook or outright choose to avoid is, “Do you have your estate planning in place?”

Don’t go to the local office supply store and pick up the software for creating your will and everything. Go to somebody who specializes in estate planning.

Make your wishes and desires known. Be sure every thing is set in place legally because, you know what, if you’re depending on a will, your assets probably won’t end up going where you want them to go. If you don’t know how to correctly arrange your financial assets, the chances of them going to loved ones rather than to the government are very, very slim.

There are so many sad stories out there of very wealthy families where the breadwinner died thinking he had put everything in place to take care of his family. In fact, that caring person failed to set the right programs in place. With all the taxes that were incurred after the breadwinner’s death, there was nothing left for the family to live on.

Here they lost their devoted, wonderful breadwinner person in the family. They lost all their financial stability. They lost their home. They pretty much lost everything–all because of somebody having good intentions, without having the knowledge and services of an expert.

You get what you pay for. Find somebody who specializes in Estate Planning. Do not go to a general lawyer. DO NOT go to your family lawyer-though you might get a good recommendation from that person.

Estate laws change often enough that you want someone taking care of your estate planning who stays current with the latest laws and knows how to give you what you want and need-even when you may not know what you need.

Find somebody who has a good reputation for success in knowing what he or she is doing. Be sure that you have taken care of every aspect of your finances and estate – Every aspect of your estate so that everything goes to the person or people you of your choosing.

Medicaid Estate Recovery – The Secret to Saving the Family Estate

March 13th, 2020

Hi there, my name is Donna Harris and yes, I am a real daughter caring for my 92 year old mother. And yes, I was told by the social worker from the hospital who asked me if I would like to get paid for taking care of mom after she came home from the hospital because she was told she could not live alone any longer. We were also told that MEDICAID probably would not try and recover the family estate after mom’s passing because the house had been put in all the children’s names about 20 years ago.

Well, the social worker didn’t have all the facts, which there was no way he could. When you are dealing with an overwhelming situation you may forget half of what is important at the time to check out.

We had forgotten that my older sister’s share was given to her husband after her death, so therefore my former brother-in-law and his new wife was also on the deed to the house. After many month’s of struggle removing them from our family estate, my brother-in-law finally transferred his share of the house BUT put it back into my mother’s name to complicate things and therefore the Medicaid Estate Recovery would complicate the division of the house by merely by mom being involved with a portion of the house.

In my journey of investigating what the outcome would be for me since I have been here with mom for over 7 years of my life caring for mom, I accidentally found out the steps that Medicaid does not want us to know. It took many hours of countless searching to put together a plan for myself so I would not be out on the street at the time of my mother’s passing.

Sometimes the rules can be waived and I have figured out the steps to do this. I did it and I am in the process right now of putting the steps together in an E-BOOK to help others do the same and I will have it up soon. Your parents don’t have to lose everything they have worked hard to save for their future from devastating nursing home and caregiving costs. Stay tuned. It will be out soon.