Preparing an estate plan is not a one-time event but the beginning of a ritual that you should carry out on a regular basis. From the time you plan your estate till the day you die, only one thing remains constant: change. Your circumstances will inevitably change over a period of time, making the previous plan out of date. In fact, there are several reasons you might want to update your plan: Your marital status has changed. You have either married since the time you last made an … [Read more...] about Why You Should Update Your Estate Plan
The idea of planning your estate might seem a little intimidating at first but it actually follows some very basic logic: you have assets and you want to determine what happens to those assets after you die. To do this, you make a plan – an estate plan – that not only lists your assets but also specifies who they should go to when you pass away. Your plan can consist of a number of different legal documents, including a Will, one or more trusts, powers of attorney and healthcare directives to … [Read more...] about Understanding the Estate Planning Process
Nursing home abuse has become a big problem in the United States. We’ve all heard the horror stories about the elderly or incapacitated being neglected or abused by their caregivers. To help combat the abuse and protect nursing home residents, the Government created the Nursing Home Reform Act (NRA) in 1987. The Act covers several aspects of nursing homes and supports government efforts to check abuse. The Act covers: resident care and rights staffing quality of … [Read more...] about Elder Abuse: Understanding Nursing Home Regulations
The simple answer is yes. While it is almost impossible to disinherit your spouse without his/her written consent under US law, all states except Louisiana allow you to disinherit your children. But even though it’s allowed, that doesn’t mean the courts approve. To be able to intentionally disinherit your children, they should be: Over 23 years of age. Mentally and physically capable of taking care of themselves and managing their finances. A child who in incapable of making a … [Read more...] about Can I Exclude My Children in My Will?
How you own property can affect how your estate is distributed to your heirs after you die. With that in mind, let’s see how property ownership affects estate planning: Type I: Sole Ownership This sort of property is owned entirely by you, with no other person having any rights to the property. You can identify that a property is owned by a single person if the deed has words to the effect: "Jason, a single man" establishes title as sole ownership. Property owned by an individual can be … [Read more...] about Basics of Property Ownership
Start researching about ways to plan your estate and you’ll likely come across the Revocable Living Trust. Sounds pretty impressive to be sure, but what exactly is this document and how does it work for you? A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document in which you can specify how you want your property to be managed and distributed during your lifetime and after your death. Note that I said “during your lifetime” – unlike a Will, a Living Trust does not wait for your death to become … [Read more...] about What is a Revocable Living Trust?
As people age, they often become more mentally and physically frail, putting them at risk of being abused or taken advantage of. If you have an elderly loved one, you need to know how to help protect them from falling victim to elder abuse. The first line of defense against abuse is having a strong social network. The more caring people that are actively involved in an elderly person’s life, the less likely that person is to suffer from abuse. This is due to a variety of reasons. The more … [Read more...] about Preventing Elder Abuse
If you have a retirement account, like a 401(k) or a traditional IRA, then you need to know about Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s). Generally speaking, starting when you reach age 70 ½ (or when you retire, if that’s later), you’ll have to withdraw a certain amount each year from your retirement account. How much do you have to withdraw? This depends on the balance in your account and your life expectancy. Each year, you take the balance of your account on December 31st of the prior … [Read more...] about Q&A: Required Minimum Distributions
When you think about living frugally during retirement, what comes to mind? If you imagine a life of deprivation and self-denial, it’s time to rethink your definition of frugality. Frugal living is just a matter of planning your spending and making the most of every dollar. Living frugally can actually mean living better – if you know what’s coming in and you have well-defined priorities for spending your money, you’ll be able to spend on the things that are most important to you. The first … [Read more...] about Frugal Retirement