Chances are at some point or another you and your spouse have brought up the topic of estate planning. Whether it was talking about writing wills or how to plan for retirement, it’s a common discussion for married couples to find themselves in. Often, though, couples are not entirely familiar with the planning doors marriage opens up.
Welcome to 2017! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the first few days of the New Year trying to get organized and set some goals for the year to come. Whether it’s a new workout regimen, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or something else, the start of a new year presents a natural opportunity to make some small changes to improve ourselves and our lives. One item that you may have been putting off for a while may be putting an estate plan in place to protect your family. And, if you haven’t done so, I’m happy to help you make 2017 the year you finally cross that ever-looming item off your to-do list.
Welcome to 2016! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the first few weeks of the New Year trying to get organized and set some goals for the year to come. Whether it’s a new workout regimen, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or something else, the start of a new year presents a natural opportunity to make some small changes to improve ourselves and our lives. One item that you may have been putting off for a while may be putting an estate plan in place to protect your family.
A revocable trust is one that is created during the life of the grantor, and its primary uses are to manage property during the grantor’s life and reduce the cost and time associated with probate upon the grantor’s death while permitting the grantor to retain an amount of control over the assets it holds. Along with the ability to retain control over the assets in a revocable trust, a grantor retains the power to amend or even revoke the trust entirely during his life.
Most people have heard of trusts, but often times when I begin a conversation with a client about whether a trust should be incorporated into their estate plan, I am met with blank stares and dozens of questions. If you have heard of a trust but don't really know what it does or how it works, you're not alone.
Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples presents some challenges not otherwise seen when planning for married couples. In states like Illinois, where same-sex marriage is legal, the challenges are now much easier to conquer than they were even a year ago, however, it's important for same-sex couples, both married and unmarried to know the implications to their estates should one of them become incapacitated or die.
Did you know that there are multiple ways in which you can hold title to real estate? For first time homebuyers, especially couples- both married and unmarried, deciding how to take title to their new home can be confusing. Not only that, but small variants in the words used in a deed can have far-reaching consequences for each person should something happen to the co-owner. That’s why it’s important to know the major characteristics that differentiate the main ways to hold title to property.
There are numerous considerations when contemplating making gifts to minor children. Outright gifts are frowned upon because, under the eyes of the law, children are under a legal disability, which means that they do not have the legal capacity to administer property. That means that a guardian is necessary to hold or manage property for a minor child. Without some planning, it may be necessary for a court to appoint that guardian- a process that may outweigh any benefits of making the gift to a minor child in the first place.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNT BASICS
Retirement accounts, like IRAs, Roth IRAs and 401(k)s are often some of the most substantial assets that people own, so it’s essential to consider them when doing your estate planning. Failure to plan for these assets or poor planning can lead to a number of unintended and potentially devastating consequences.
Upon death, individuals are entitled to leave their assets to chosen beneficiaries tax free so long as the total value of those assets is less than the current estate tax exclusion amount in place for the year in which the death occurs. Apart from real estate, one of the most valuable assets that many people own, or will consider purchasing during their lives is life insurance.