For most small business owners, the biggest asset they own is their business; therefore it is critical that they begin estate planning early on to address their business ownership. If you own a small business as a sole proprietor, you have several estate planning options to handle the future of your business – such as passing the business along to children, selling it to someone outside the family, or simply closing up shop. But what if you own a business as a partner? Many partnerships are … [Read more...] about Small Business Estate Planning – What is a Buy/Sell Agreement?
An inheritance should be a blessing, not a curse. With information and planning, you can make sure you put your inheritance to good use, and not make the mistakes that are most often made with a "windfall." Planning for an inheritance involves making well-informed decisions regarding the investment, sale, or use of the property inherited, while taking tax law and your needs into consideration. 1. Know your inheritance It is certainly a sensitive subject, but knowing what you will … [Read more...] about What do you Need to Know About Receiving an Inheritance?
A fiduciary is an individual, a business or even an association that holds property or power for another party with the legal duty and authority to make decisions regarding finances and other matters on their behalf. A fiduciary is expected to act with good faith and honesty and is normally chosen with the premise that they have either knowledge and/or expertise about the particular matters being handled. In the estate planning process, there are several types of fiduciaries that you will … [Read more...] about Four Types of Fiduciaries in Estate Planning
At least one third of the children living in the U.S. are expected to live in a blended family before the age of 18, and that number is growing. With this in mind, estate planning for blended families faces a set of unique challenges, and makes working with an estate planning attorney all the more critical. Some of the tips and facts you may not be aware of when it comes to creating a will or planning an estate if you are a parent with stepchildren: 1. A stepchild has no inheritance … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families
Insecurities, confusion and frustration may surface as you begin your estate planning. You and your spouse may disagree on investments, bequests, and guardianship, just to name a few. If this is a second marriage for either partner, insecurities from past experience with finances, partnerships and children from previous relationships increase the probability of disagreements. The first thing to remember when planning your estate is that in your Will, you have complete autonomy in picking your … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Roadblocks
Estate planning is not only planning for the distribution of your property when you pass away, but planning to manage property and situations during your life. We answer some of the common questions that we have been asked regarding estate planning. Which is better in an estate plan, a will or a living trust? Both the living trust and a will are used to transfer property when you pass away, in fact, a living trust is also known as a will substitute. A trust, however, allows you to realize … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Questions and Answers
There are several misconceptions about estate planning, and those who are not familiar with it should take a moment to read these five things you should know regarding the process. 1. Estate planning is more than just creating a will. While a will is an important component of an estate plan, there is more involved. There should also, at the very least, be legal documents in place to handle any incapacitation or even a medical emergency later in life. 2. Estate planning is … [Read more...] about Five Things You Should Know About Estate Planning
With the passing of several well known celebrities over the past 18 months, there are estate planning lessons to be learned – that of privacy and your estate, along with keeping your documents up to date as life changes occur. A lesson regarding privacy was particularly evident with the estate of Michael Jackson, as his will, which is filed in probate court and thus part of a public record, was only five pages long despite his very large and complex estate. How was Mr. Jackson’s estate kept to … [Read more...] about Lessons Learned from Celebrity Estates
As estate planning attorneys, clients often ask us if they should simply retitle significant assets, such as their home, into their children’s names to smooth the transfer of assets upon their passing. In many situations, the answer will be no, and here’s why…. Medicaid Look-back Periods Senior citizens often must turn to Medicaid, a need-based, joint state/federal program, to help with the catastrophic costs of nursing home expenses. Medicaid may review gifts and transfers of assets up to … [Read more...] about Should You Put Your House In Your Child’s Name?
Estate planning is normally something people like to avoid. Nobody likes to think of what could happen should they lose the capacity to make their own decisions or to think what’s going to happen to their family after they pass. In reality, estate planning allows you to maintain control of many aspects of your life, as well as your passing. 1. Controlling Medical Decisions One aspect of estate planning is the preparation of advance medical directives. These documents allow you to specify … [Read more...] about Three Ways Estate Planning Allows You to Maintain Control