A Lifetime Trust is an Irrevocable Trust that will pay out an inheritance to a beneficiary for the duration of his or her life. Creating individual Lifetime Trusts for your family provides a wealth of benefits. Protect Assets for Minors If your children are currently minors, a Trust is a good alternative to having your child’s inheritance endure a court-supervised guardianship. Individual trusts also allows you to give your children an even split of your estate. Many trusts end when a child … [Read more...] about Benefits of a Lifetime Trust
When a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust is created, the testator or trust maker will name beneficiaries to receive his or her property. If any beneficiary receives less than her or she expected or is omitted does that person have a claim to receive a portion of the estate? The answer depends upon state law and the relationship of the beneficiary to the decedent. Current Spouse In community property states, a spouse may have a right to half of the marital estate upon the death … [Read more...] about Who Has the Right to Inherit?
If you have retirement accounts, you understand the importance of having enough funds to cover your retirement expenses. So, what if you pass away with funds still in these accounts? When you die, your family or other loved ones may inherit your retirement accounts. Make a List First, make a list of all of your retirement funds. Include your 401k, pension plan and IRAs. If you were self-employed, don’t forget to list your self-employed 401K, Keogh plan or other account. Next, include details … [Read more...] about Bequeathing Your Retirement Accounts
In a challenging economy we are often tempted to "DIY" (do it yourself). So, is it possible to write your own Living Trust? Yes, but you should know the disadvantages to a poorly drafted Living Trust before you begin. There are three positions in the creation of a Revocable Living Trust Agreement: the Trustors, the Trustees and the Beneficiaries. After completing the trust agreement, it is vital that you fund all assets into the name of the Trust. If you fail to set up and fund the trust … [Read more...] about Disadvantages of Creating Your Own Living Trust
Probate is the court administered process by which a decedent’s final affairs are publically settled. During this process an executor is appointed, the estate is inventoried, debts and taxes are paid, an accounting is rendered and property is finally distributed to the beneficiaries. Not all estates require probate. So, when is probate necessary? Sole Property Ownership If any of your property is titled solely in your name or if you have an account where you have not listed a beneficiary, that … [Read more...] about Is Probate Necessary?
If you or a loved one passes away without a valid Last Will and Testament, intestacy laws, sometimes called succession laws, will be used to settle your estate. These laws, which are unique to each state, determine who inherits property when no Will is available to make the decision. If you do not create a Last Will and Testament or your Will is deemed inadmissable by a court of law, all property in your state of residence and any real property located in other states will be subject to a court … [Read more...] about How Intestacy Laws Could Affect Your Estate
No one wants to consider dying before their children reach adulthood, but it is a very real possibility. Making a guardian plan for your children after your death is the best way to make sure they are safe and happy. To start a guardian plan, make a list of possible caregivers. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your children’s guardian: Age An older guardian, such as a grandparent, will have life experience and maturity, but may, with aging, become physically unable to attend to … [Read more...] about How to Choose the Best Guardian for Your Children
When you pass away, your estate must be settled. If you have an estate plan, such as a Trust or Will, then your assets will be distributed in accordance with your estate planning documents. If you don’t have a Trust or Will then you will have died “intestate” and your estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state of your residence and any other state where you might own real estate. Now, before you start thinking this might not be so bad, consider this: When you die intestate, … [Read more...] about What Does Intestate Mean?
There are several benefits to having a Living Trust as the foundation of your estate plan. For starters, a Living Trust allows your heirs to avoid probate, an often costly and time-consuming legal process used to distribute your assets. With a Trust, the distribution is handled within the Trust documents and because the Trust technically owns the assets, no probate is required. Another benefit is that unlike a Will, the details of your Trust are not public record. That means your estate … [Read more...] about What Can A Living Trust Do For You?
When you pass away, your estate will either be solvent or insolvent. What does this mean? And more importantly, why do you care? A solvent estate means that there are enough assets to cover your outstanding debts and still provide some form of an inheritance to your heirs. But if your estate is insolvent, you don’t have enough assets to cover your debts and your heirs end up with nothing. How can this be, you wonder? Before your heirs can inherit any portion of your estate, your outstanding … [Read more...] about Solvent vs. Insolvent Estates