Creating an estate plan is a bit like going to the dentist; in that most of us know we should do it, but there's always an excuse to put if off a little while longer. In fact, over half of all Americans have yet to create an estate plan. One common excuse people give for not having an estate plan is they don't yet need one. So, when should you talk to an estate planning attorney about creating your estate plan? The answer is simple. Every adult should have at least a basic estate plan in place. … [Read more...] about When Should You Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney about Creating Your Estate Plan?
Using the services of a financial planner can be extremely beneficial as a way to preserve and grow your assets for your estate. However, not all financial planners are equal and you should have an idea of what to look out for when deciding which one to use. The wrong financial planner can cost your estate money. The first thing you should ask potential financial planners is what their qualifications are. Find out if they have any degrees or certifications and what they had to do to get them. … [Read more...] about Be Careful With Financial Planners
Long term care in a nursing home can be very expensive. If you do not plan properly, you can lose most of your assets before Medicaid will start paying for your care. Because you do not know whether or not you will need it, planning for the possibility of long term care should be a part of your overall estate plan. You have several options to plan for long term care. In Texas, you even have a unique option that is not available in most other states. In Texas, you can use a particular type of … [Read more...] about Planning for Long Term Care
You may have heard that a recent lottery made millionaires out of some people. Because the jackpot was a record $64o million it was actually difficult to avoid news about it. You may have dreamed about what you would do with the money if you ever won that much in the lottery. But, have you ever considered what the first thing you should do is? The first thing you should do is to speak to an attorney experienced in financial planning and estate planning. The state lottery agencies like to make a … [Read more...] about What to Do After Winning the Big Lottery Jackpot
Asset protection is an important aspect of completing a comprehensive estate plan, but exactly what is it and what can it do for you? Many consider asset protection to be a strategy used by those in professions that are exposed to litigation, such as a doctor, to protect their assets from potential claims. While this may be one aspect of asset protection, estate planning considers asset protection for other purposes as well, such as: Protecting family assets from claims of creditors of … [Read more...] about Estate Planning and Asset Protection
A Living Trust is an estate-planning tool that can help keep many of your assets out of probate. When you fund your assets to your trust, they can be passed to the trust beneficiaries without the need of going through the probate system first. The reason that assets in your trust can pass to your heirs without going through probate is that they don’t belong to you, but to the trust you created. Fortunately, there are some assets that do not need to be funded to your trust due to the fact that … [Read more...] about Assets That You Don’t Need to Fund to Your Trust
The revocable living trust is a flexible and useful estate planning tool with many benefits to offer; however, it has its limits. For instance, did you know that – contrary to a popular myth – simply establishing a revocable living trust does not protect you and your assets from creditors, or from a divorcing spouse? Trust Property is Treated Like It’s Yours Since the trust is revocable, meaning that you retain the power to change or eliminate the trust in its entirety at any time, the assets … [Read more...] about Is a Revocable Living Trust a Good Asset Protection Tool?
Many married couples have “I Love You” wills. These are simple wills that mirror each other and leave all your assets to the surviving spouse. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this type of will, unless you’re in a very limited financial situation, “I Love You” wills may not be the best option for your family. Here are some of the things that this type of will just can’t do: Tax Planning. If your estate is large enough to be taxable – and starting in 2011, this just might include … [Read more...] about Do You and Your Spouse Have “I Love You” Wills?
There are many ways to protect your assets but to do that, you’ll need to have a clear idea of where you want to end up in terms of your financial future. What are your financial goals? And, how can you protect all that you’ve worked so hard for? Retirement Plans are a great way to protect your assets in your later years. These can take the form of individual retirement accounts, salary reduction simplified employee pension plan; and the savings incentive match plan for employees. These … [Read more...] about How Can You Protect Your Assets?