There are a lot of good reasons to do estate planning. Unfortunately, many people put it off until tomorrow. But can we ever be sure we will have a tomorrow? Life is unpredictable. That is why estate planning is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to rest easy and have peace of mind.
The Tolstoy adage "Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" is not one you wish to have applied to your family if you can help it. If you have children who are estranged from each other or are unwilling or incapable of communicating with each other, your decisions in your estate plan may cause more grief than relief.
Setting up your estate planning documents is not a "one-and-done" event. Even if you are not the type to make New Year's resolutions, you probably still have a "To Do" list for the year. If a review of your existing estate plan is not on that list, it should be.
A few years ago, a wealthy real estate tycoon passed away at the age of 97 with no children and no other family members. The man, a Holocaust survivor, left behind a $40 million estate, but he did not have an estate plan, not even a will - at least none that anyone could find. After a thorough worldwide search for blood relatives, his fortune escheated to the state where he resided.
It may seem like a rather odd gift for a young adult, but if your child is about to turn 18 years old sometime this coming year, consider making a birthday present of a simple estate plan.
Charles Manson, responsible for nine murders almost half a century ago, died of natural causes last month at the age of 83, and once again he appears to be causing chaos. Apparently, during all his years in prison, he failed to do any legitimate estate planning, leaving his potential relatives and friends to fight over his belongings in probate court.
Estate planning is a task that many people put off doing. As a matter of fact, a 2015 survey from Caring.com revealed that 44 percent of parents in the United States do not have wills or living trusts. Is it because they do not understand the importance of having these documents in place?
Estate planning is complicated, and needs careful attention. Many people put it off, however, because it involves thinking about difficult topics like:
It's hard to believe that a new year will arrive in just two months. Before you dive into the holidays that fill up these last days of 2017, take a little time to review this checklist:
No matter your level of income, your home may be one of your most valuable assets. Unlike other types of assets -- such as pension plans, stocks and 401(k) accounts -- homes and long-held vacation properties have sentimental value as well. This can make them hard to let go when the time comes.