3 Myths About Estate Planning

There are several inaccurate beliefs by many people when it comes to estate planning, trusts. probate, etc. We hear many of those inaccuracies when we talk with clients. Here are a few of the estate planning myths I hear often: Myth 1: I Am Still Young, So I Do Not Need To Think About It We are all aware of how uncertain and unpredictable life can be.  Anyone can experience significant illness or another health issue at any given moment. …

Control Your Gifts and Estate Planning with Crummey Trusts

There are two main types of strategies when it comes to estate planning and ensuring as much money gets from you to your beneficiaries as possible. The first strategy is to make accounts that are as tax-sheltered as possible so the transfer from you to the recipient goes mostly untaxed. The second strategy is to reduce your estate over time so the remaining estate doesn’t qualify for the larger tiers of taxation. Both strategies are valid, and a combination of …

What’s Wrong with the Will: Five Common Sources of Confusion with Wills

Even at their most basic, a last will and testament is a complicated document. Every last detail needs to be specific and inarguable. That’s almost impossible to do, no matter how diligent the people involved are in ironing out the details. Whether you’re the executor of a loved one’s estate, a primary beneficiary, or you’re considering how to organize your own will and testament, look out for these five common areas of miscommunication. 1. Unspecific recipients Legal jargon is specific …

Limitations of a Guardianship

Some may think of a guardian appointed over an elderly adult as someone who can wholly take over their lives. However, that is not so. While guardians are appointed with certain responsibilities over their ward, they are also faced with a number of limitations as well. A guardian does not need to spend 24 hours a day with their ward. They don’t completely oversee their lives, but rather make sure their living and medical needs are met. However, while this …

Conflicts of Interest Between the Executor and the Beneficiary

Estate litigation frequently pits the beneficiaries of the estate against the executor for a variety of reasons. Often, the beneficiary believes that there is some form of conflict of interest that does not allow the executor to act in the best interest of the heirs, as is their duty as the executor. When this happens, the estate division gets messy. Examples of common executor-beneficiary conflicts of interest include: An executor is buying from the estate. In order to act in …

The Importance of Estate Planning

While it may not be fun to think about, estate planning is critical as it will allow you to ensure that your assets are handled the way you want once you are gone. The fact is that no matter how large or small your estate is, estate planning is important as it will ensure that there is a plan in place to protect your home, your family, and your hard-earned savings when you pass away. If you have not done …

3 Ways an Attorney Can Help You Put Your IRA in a Trust

Tax law is complicated and technical, just like any other expert field of knowledge. As you’re reading through different options as you plan your estate, you’re going to come across a lot of simplified information, especially online. Even worse, you’re going to come across information that is oversimplified. If you’ve come across several mentions of the benefits of putting your IRA in a trust, that information isn’t necessarily wrong. There are a lot of reasons to consider a trust and a …

Are You Concerned Your Heirs Will Squander Their Inheritance?

Life is long. Sometimes times are sparse, and sometimes they are plentiful. By the time you get to an advanced age, you hope you will have reached times of plenty. Not just so you can live your golden years out comfortably, but because you want to leave something behind for your family so they have that same chance to thrive. Unfortunately, youth can be reckless and often not giving the future a fair thought. This can leave you worried that …

Trust Protectors to Limit Trust Litigation

The trust process is typically pretty straightforward. You have a settlor who created the trust, a trustee that administers a trust, and beneficiaries that benefit from the trust. However, over recent years, there has become a new person in the process – the protector. The protector of a trust is very much how it sounds, they protect your trust for the beneficiaries. A trust protector can have as many or as few powers over the trust as you feel comfortable, …

Blinked Will

Recently, a Texas court found a Will to be valid where the decedent did not personally sign the Will and was only able to communicate his wishes for the provisions of the Will by blinking his eyes. In Estate of Luce, the decedent was involved in a serious accident, leaving him a quadriplegic and unable to speak. He was only able to communicate by blinking his eyes to answer “yes” or “no”.  An attorney visited the decedent in the hospital, and …