When discussing estate planning you may have heard the term “pour over Will” used at some point and wondered “What is a pour over Will and do I need one?” The simple answer to that is that if you are relying on a revocable living trust to handle the fate of your estate assets after your death you should also create a pour over Will as well. A Last Will and Testament typically serves as the foundation of an estate plan; however, you may choose to rely on a revocable living trust to handle your … [Read more...] about What Is a Pour Over Will and Do I Need One?
Estate planning can be a very complex process involving numerous strategies and tools. At its most basic, however, estate planning starts with the creation of a Last Will and Testament. People often make the mistake of assuming that they need to have a large estate with complicated assets in order to utilize the services of an estate planning attorney to create an estate plan. The truth, however, is that even the creation of a simple Will should be done with the assistance of a professional … [Read more...] about Does Your Law Firm Do Wills?
When most people think about their Last Will and Testament, they think about a division of their wealth after death. While your Will certainly does accomplish that goal, it can do other things as well such as nominate a guardian for your minor children. In the event that neither you nor the child’s other parent is able to care for the child, this person will do so, meaning that your choice of guardian should be made after careful consideration and deliberation. Consider the following tips when … [Read more...] about Choosing a Guardian for Your Child
No one knows that life isn't fair more than people who have faced discrimination because of who they are. We have come a long way in this country towards ending this discrimination, but we all know that it continues. LGBTQ couples and individuals are constantly having to fight for their basic rights. Most of the fights today are over the right to get married. However, there is an interesting twist to that fight in a challenge over a New York Will. Frank Mendelbaum passed away a wealthy man … [Read more...] about Fighting Discrimination
Often times, parents with young children disagree over who should be appointed as guardian of their children should something happen to the parents. The husband wants someone in his family to serve in that role, and the wife wants someone in her family. There is no need to fight about it. You can compromise. In this case, you can actually learn a valuable estate planning lesson from a member of the Beastie Boys. Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, passed away in May 2012, leaving behind a wife and … [Read more...] about Pass the Mic and the Guardianship
If you have been reading our blog, then you know that you need a Will not matter how much money you have. Rich or poor, it is better for your estate to have a Will. Do you need other estate planning documents if you do not have a lot of money? Some people assume that if they do not have a lot of wealth that they can not take advantage of more advanced estate planning tools. That assumption is false. A Revocable Living Trust can be used by anyone. You do not need to have a fortune to fund a … [Read more...] about Everyone Can Have a Trust
When someone asks you to be the Executor of his or her Will, you usually agree to act in that capacity without thinking it through carefully. It is one of those things that people naturally say yes to. However, when it comes to to actually carrying out your duties as an Executor, you will face problems if you have not thought about what you need to do and prepare for it. Most of the time, Executors need to go to Probate to carry out their duties. This requires that you follow formal and set … [Read more...] about Planning to be an Executor
If you are primarily responsible for a child or grandchild, one of the most important things that you can do is to plan for what will happen if you should suddenly pass away. You should make plans for the long term care and financial well-being of any minors that you care for. You should also make sure that the minors have quick and easy access to funds after you are gone. Many estate planning instruments require time to access. If you leave something to a minor in a Will, for example, then the … [Read more...] about Minors Have Immediate Needs
New IRS regulations make leaving money to charity in a Will or Trust a little bit more complicated. The Will or Trust now needs to detail the source of the money that is to be used for charitable purposes. To qualify as non-taxable, that income source must have an independent economic effect, which basically means that the contribution cannot merely be to avoid paying income tax on the money. The reason for the new rule is because of Charitable Lead Trusts. These are instruments that people … [Read more...] about New IRS Regulations on Charitable Bequests
Getting a Revocable Living Trust is an important step in avoiding Probate hassles. However, it is only a first step and there are other things that you should do. Everyone's case is slightly different, but here are a few things to consider after getting a Revocable Living Trust: 1. Fund the Trust. This is the most important step. A Revocable Living Trust does not do any good if you do not transfer your assets to it. You do not have to transfer all of your assets to the trust, but your most … [Read more...] about After Getting a Revocable Living Trust