One of the primary goals of estate planning for most people is to ensure that their family members and loved ones are provided for financially in the event of their death. If that is among your top estate planning priorities you also need to consider something else that may not have occurred to you – estate liquidity. Leaving behind assets for loved ones doesn’t help if they cannot access those assets. At this point you may be asking “ How do I know if my estate has enough liquidity ? ” The best … [Read more...] about How Do I Know If My Estate Has Enough Liquidity ?
In today’s electronic age just about anything can be downloaded from the internet. “Do-it-yourself”, or DIY, projects of all sorts, for example, can be found online. Even legal forms, including a power of attorney, can be found online or at your local stationary or office supply store. Just because you can find a boilerplate DIY power of attorney from Staples or Office Depot does not mean you should use any DIY legal form. Going the DIY route appear to be the quick and easy way of creating your … [Read more...] about Can I Get a Power of Attorney from Staples or Office Depot?
You have undoubtedly heard from friends and families about the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan in place; however, do you also know why an incapacity plan is important to include within your estate plan? To properly protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones it is just as important to have an incapacity plan in place as it is to have an estate plan. For most people the purpose of an estate plan is twofold – to protect and provide for loved ones and to plan for the … [Read more...] about Do I Need An Incapacity Plan?
There is a very good chance that at some point in your life you will find yourself appointed to be the Agent under a power of attorney. As an Agent you have a number of duties and responsibilities, all of which are considered to be fiduciary in nature. As a fiduciary you are expected to use the utmost care with assets of the Principal and to invest funds prudently. All actions taken by a fiduciary must be taken with the best interest of the Principal in mind. Taking that into consideration, can … [Read more...] about Can You Make Gifts to Yourself As the Agent of a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is one of the most commonly used estate planning documents, in part because of the numerous goals and objectives that can be achieved by using one. With the right kind of power of attorney an Agent can conduct business on behalf of the Principal. There are limits, however, to the authority granted in a power of attorney. There are also limits to where a power of attorney will be honored. If you are an Agent under a power of attorney you may be wondering “Can I use a power of … [Read more...] about Can I Use a Power of Attorney for the SSA?
For many people, their first experience working with an attorney is when they decide to sit down and create an estate plan. If you fall into that category you may have a number of questions concerning the attorney-client relationship. For example, you may want to know “ Do I work with you or a paralegal? ” Although every law practice operates a bit differently, there are some common methods of operation used in most law offices. Knowing a bit more about the attorney-client relationship and how … [Read more...] about Do I Work with You Or a Paralegal?
Like most people, your Last Will and Testament is likely the foundation for your comprehensive estate plan. In order to achieve all of your estate planning goals, however, you will likely need to incorporate a variety of additional estate planning tools and strategies into your overall plan. One of the most common additions to an estate plan is a trust agreement. If you have never used a trust agreement before you probably have a number of questions relating to trusts, such as “ Do trusts save … [Read more...] about Do Trusts Save Taxes?
As the costs associated with long-term care in the United States continue to increase, the need to include Medicaid planning in your overall estate plan increases as well. Although every estate plan is as unique as the individual creating the plan, one common addition to an estate plan that includes Medicaid planning is a Medicaid trust. If you are considering the addition of a Medicaid trust to your estate plan you may have questions, such as “ Why do I need a Medicaid trust?” and “ How much … [Read more...] about How Much Can a Medicaid Trust Protect?
You have likely been told that creating a comprehensive estate plan is a good idea and that, at a bare minimum, you should have a valid Last Will and Testament in place. If you have yet to execute a Will it may be because, despite being told how important it is, you really don’t understand why it is so important. Like many people, you may think that because your assets are not worth all that much a Will is unnecessary. To gain a better understanding of the importance of creating an executing a … [Read more...] about How Is Property Distributed Without a Will in Texas?
If you are in your retirement years and you foresee the need for you to qualify for Medicaid in the near future you may be concerned about how your need for Medicaid will affect your spouse. Specifically, you may want to know “ How can I protect my spouse when applying for Medicaid in Texas? ” Your concern is well founded given the stringent (and very low) income and asset limits used when determining eligibility for Medicaid. If you included Medicaid planning in your estate plan when you were … [Read more...] about How Can I Protect My Spouse When Applying for Medicaid in Texas?