Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. And while this is true, it’s also true that more of us than ever before will need some form of long-term care. This fact changes the way we look at both retirement planning and estate planning. There are three main ways to pay for long-term care: Pay out-of-pocket through savings or by selling off assets. This method of paying for care requires advance planning and may have a great effect on the size and type of inheritance … [Read more...] about How Will You Pay for Long-Term Care?
Sometimes, our pets can seem so much like our children that it’s hard to remember they’re not actually people. And when it comes to estate planning, it’s easy to make the mistake of treating a pet like a person by including Fido or Fluffy in your Will, and leaving property directly to him or her. The problem with this is that, in the eyes of the law, pets are property themselves, so you can’t leave property to them. There are two ways to provide for your pet after you’re gone. 1. Leave … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Mistake: Leaving Money to Your Pet
If you’re a parent, you likely put a lot of time and careful thought into choosing a guardian for your children when they were babies or toddlers. But, as time passes and your children grow, the person who initially would have made the perfect guardian might not seem like such a great choice. For example, the grandmother or grandfather who was in perfect health ten years ago might be in a nursing home now. Or, the close family friend whom your children adored when they were preschoolers might … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Update: Time to Choose a New Guardian?
When you’re establishing a trust, you’ll need to choose an initial trustee, and at least one successor trustee. Especially in the case of a Living Trust, you’ll most likely serve as initial trustee, and you’ll likely name your spouse to serve as successor trustee. But what if you’re not married, or you know that your spouse is not the best choice? In this case, you’ll want to choose your successor trustee wisely. Once your successor trustee steps into that role, it’s not easy to get him or … [Read more...] about Choose Your Successor Trustee Wisely
Think about all the details you know about your child and his or her life. As the parent of a child with special needs, there are some things that only you know. And, if you weren’t there, that information would be lost. What impact would that have on your child’s life? A care plan can ensure that all the important information about your child, down to the smallest detail, is communicated to his or her guardian or trustee. Often done in the form of a Letter of Intent, a care plan is simply a … [Read more...] about Establishing a Care Plan for Your Special Needs Child
According to Donate Life Texas, there are more than 96,000 people across America awaiting an organ or tissue transplant. 7,000 of these people are Texans. There’s an urgent need for organ and tissue donors, as an average of 17 people die each day waiting for transplants. In Texas alone, over 500 people died last year while awaiting a transplant. How can you become a donor? You can register with the Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas registry. It’s the official organ donor registry for the state … [Read more...] about The Gift of Life: Organ Donation
As a single parent, you’re used to doing double-duty, acting as both mom and dad, and taking care of all the details by yourself. And when it comes to estate planning, attention to the details is all the more important when you're parenting by yourself. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your estate plan really takes care of your children: Work with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney with years of practical experience to draw on will be in a position to help you identify … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Concerns for Single Parents
When you die leaving behind a will, your executor is the person you choose as the representative of your estate for purposes of probate. Depending on the size and complexity of your estate, your Executor’s job might be relatively simple, or it might get quite complicated. Here’s an overview of the basic duties of an executor: File the appropriate documents with the court to open probate Notify the beneficiaries named in the will (and sometimes heirs not named in the will) that your estate … [Read more...] about What Will My Executor’s Duties Be?
It’s something that might not immediately spring to mind during the estate planning process, but if you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to think about including your pet in your estate plan. If your pet is left out of your estate plan, then it’s treated like the rest of your property. For lucky pets, this means a new life with a loving, caring family member. For the unlucky ones, though, the future can be bleak – often pets wind up without a home when their owners die. So, how can you make sure … [Read more...] about What Will Happen to Your Pet When You Pass Away?
We’re living in tough financial times. Small businesses are failing at an alarming rate, bankruptcy filings and foreclosures are reaching record levels. People who never thought they’d have to worry about protecting their property from creditors, or from lawsuits, are facing that very reality. A Revocable Living Trust Won’t Work So, can you use a Revocable Living Trust to protect your property from creditors? Unfortunately, no – because you retain control over the property in a Revocable … [Read more...] about Will a Revocable Living Trust Protect My Property From Creditors?