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December 2015 Archives

New Year's Resolution: time for an estate plan

In less than 12 hours, we will turn our calendars to to January 2016. We will all celebrate a new year, and we will marvel in all of the possibilities that such a new year can bring. Promises will be made and resolutions will be kept (or broken). And in this regard, there are many financial resolutions that people will make. One of these resolutions should be estate planning, because no matter your age, an estate plan is crucial to your life (and the lives of your loved ones).

Some common estate planning questions, answered

Estate planning is an inherently complicated topic that can leave many people feeling confused. As such, people who are entering the estate planning process often have a lot of questions on their mind. Let's answer a few of the typical questions that get asked while planning an estate:

What home care is and why it is important

The last time we talked about long term care planning was about a month ago. We wrote about LTC insurance, and how it can prove very beneficial to some people. Today, we're going to talk about home care, what options there are for this type of care and why many people choose this type of care for the end of their life.

Don't risk your estate plan by constructing it without a lawyer

Planning for the inevitable is a great way to stay organized in your life. But when that "inevitable" situation involves your impending death or incapacitation, it can be very difficult to muster up the motivation to plan for it. However, it should go without saying that planning for these situations are imperative -- not just for yourself, but also for your family and their future well-being.

What happens if your guardian is negligent or fails in their role?

Imagine that you are in your later years, and you are in need of a guardian to help you with many important matters in your life. Your finances; your medical care; and even basic household chores or duties are being handled by this guardian. Obviously, given the incredible importance of the role of guardian, you are going to want to have a trustworthy person in the role.

What happens to a person's debt if they die?

As you can imagine, most deaths are exactly "planned." People don't know when they are going to die, and even if they plan for the end and die of old age -- i.e. if they have an estate plan and are medically declining to the point that death seems apparent -- there can still be some elements to their estate or life that cause confusion during the estate planning process.

The living trust: what it means and how it works

Whether someone is planning for their later years in life, or they are just trying to strategically place their property and assets in the right place for estate purposes, a trust can help their cause. One common type of trust is the living trust. The living trust gets its name because the grantor is alive when he or she creates the trust. Other trusts can be created upon the grantor's death, but the living trust is done while the grantor is alive.

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