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February 2018 Archives

Do your homework before visiting your estate planning attorney

When you are ready to do your estate planning, you can always show up at your attorney's office and have him or her walk through the entire planning process with you, but there are questions he or she is going to have to ask. Having the answers ahead of time can streamline that process and help you avoid making snap decisions that you will have to change later.

Review and update your estate plan regularly to ensure accuracy

If there's one common mistake people make when dealing with their last will or estate plan other than putting it off too long, it's treating the process like a one-time responsibility. Some people will create a basic last will, trust or estate plan and then move on, assuming that they no longer have to worry about their assets and end-of-life planning.

Planning for your pet when you die

While most people think about their children and heirs when it comes to estate planning, pets often get left to anyone who will take them. This does not always fair well for someone's cherished companion. Many pets have known only one caretaker all of their lives and just like humans, they are going to experience a deep sense of loss.

Can Medicaid-planning help you or your parents?

If you or your parents are past retirement age and have considerable assets, it is time to carefully consider Medicaid planning for the future if you haven't done so already. This is especially relevant if you, your spouse or either of your parents has been diagnosed with a degenerative condition like Alzheimer's disease or if there is a family history of disorders like Parkinson's with known or suspected genetic links.

James Brown's estate-planning failure

James Brown has been dead for 11 years, but not a dime of his estate has gone to any of his beneficiaries yet. The estate has multiple lawsuits tying it up in probate. The situation has gotten so bad, one attorney referred to it as a "mini-series," saying that you needed a map to maneuver through it.

How to do the best job possible as the executor of an estate

For many people, serving as the executor of an estate or as trustee of a trust can be a dubious honor. On the one hand, it's a clear sign that someone trusted you, respected your ability to follow directions and make decisions and believed that you would follow his or her last wishes.

Caregivers need to know their own needs and limits

When you were a child, your parents provided everything you needed. From taking you to get your hair cut to helping you figure out your hopes for the future, the guidance of your parents helped shaped you into the person you are today. Now, as an adult, you find that your aging parents are in need of support and help from you.

Estate planning and artwork

Prosperous individuals are fortunate enough to be able to be extravagant when it comes to collecting things they are passionate about, such as artwork or other collectibles. Wealth allows them to purchase the best of the best, affording them the opportunity to be very particular about their taste and desires. However, particular as they may be, it is usually much easier and more fun purchasing these grand items than it is to decide what to do with them after their demise.

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