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It is important to review and update your Estate Plan

If You Haven’t Been Regularly Reviewing Your Estate Plan, Start When You Hit 60

Sep 21, 2022

How frequently you should review your estate plan depends on how old you are and whether there has been a significant change in your circumstances. If you are over age 60 and you have not updated your estate plan in many decades, it is almost certain that you need to update your documents. After that, you should review your plan every five years or so. But if you are younger, you do not need to do so nearly as often. Age Here are a few age ranges and what they mean in terms of estate planning: 18–30   Everyone needs a basic…

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Safe Storage of Estate Planning Documents

What to Do and Not Do with Your Estate Planning Documents

Sep 21, 2022

Creating and executing estate planning documents is just the first step. Once you have completed the documents, you need to know what to do with them.  All estate plans should include, at minimum, two important planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. A trust can also be useful to avoid probate and to manage your estate both during your life and after you are gone. In addition, medical directives allow you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Once you have all these essential estate planning documents, you need to make sure they are…

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Know where your important documents are after a disaster

Make Sure Your Estate Plan and Other Essential Documents Are Safe from Disasters

Sep 21, 2022

It is an unfortunate reality that with the increasing number of natural disasters across the country, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, the chance that you could lose your house and possessions has become more likely. In the event of such a calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach and easily retrievable.  If your home is destroyed by a natural disaster or another event, you will want to be able to access important information quickly. First, you need to assemble all your crucial documents and information, including the following:  Account numbers and passwords.…

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Estate Plan

Tips on Creating an Estate Plan that Benefits a Child with Special Needs

Sep 7, 2022

Parents want their children to be taken care of after they die. But children with disabilities have increased financial and care needs, so ensuring their long-term welfare can be tricky. Proper planning by parents is necessary to benefit the child with a disability, including an adult child, as well as assist any siblings who may be left with the caretaking responsibility. Special Needs Trusts The best and most comprehensive option to protect a loved one is to set up a special needs trust (also called a supplemental needs trust). These trusts allow beneficiaries to receive inheritances, gifts, lawsuit settlements, or…

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Creating Trusts

Writing a Memorandum of Intent for a Special Needs Child

Sep 7, 2022

How can you ensure that your special needs child will remain well cared for and secure once others assume the role of guardian or caregiver? While creating a financial plan and establishing a specialized trust are central to preparing for your child’s future, special needs planners also advise families to write down their intentions and expectations in a document referred to as a Memorandum of Intent, also known as a “Letter of Intent.” The Memorandum is not legally binding and, when directions conflict, those in wills, trusts and other legal documents take precedence. But for “non-legal” matters, it will serve…

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Create a Plan

Five Planning Pointers for Parents with Disabled Children

Sep 7, 2022

Buy enough life insurance. A parent is irreplaceable, but someone will have to fill in if the worst happens. It may be siblings or other relatives. In all likelihood, that family will have to pay for at least some services the parent or parents had provided when able. If the estate is not large enough for this purpose, it can be made large enough through life insurance proceeds. Premiums for second-to-die insurance (which pays off only when the second of two parents passes away) can be surprisingly low. Set up a trust. Any funds left for a child with special…

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Estate Planning

Powers of Attorney Come in Different Flavors

Aug 17, 2022

A power of attorney is a very important estate planning tool, but in fact there are several different kinds of powers of attorney that can be used for different purposes. Before executing this crucial document, it is important to understand what your options are. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or agent — to act in your place for financial or other purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated or if you can’t act on your own behalf. There are three main categories of powers of attorney. Limited. A limited power of attorney…

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Power of Attorney Estate Planning Document

The Durable Power of Attorney: Your Most Important Estate Planning Document

Aug 17, 2022

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available — even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” — to act in place of you — the “principal” — for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated. In that case, the person you choose will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Without a durable power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a conservator or guardian. That court process…

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Estate Planning Decisions

Decisions to Make for Your Power of Attorney

Aug 17, 2022

A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. From whom to appoint to what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into each choice. A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. It allows a person (principal) to appoint an “attorney-in-fact” or agent to act in his/her place for financial or other purposes when and if the person ever become incapacitated or can’t act on their own behalf. It can permit the agent to pay your bills, make investment decisions,…

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Creating Trusts

Understanding the Common Types of Trusts

Aug 3, 2022

A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and inter vivos. A testamentary trust is one created by your will, and it does not come into existence until you die. In contrast, an inter vivos trust, starts during your lifetime. You create it now and it exists during your life. There are two kinds of inter vivos trusts: revocable and irrevocable. Revocable Trusts Revocable trusts are often…

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