How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney

While the term fiduciary is a legal 6a01b8d0a6271d970c01bb087bd2a1970d-500piterm with a long history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests. Trustees, executors, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries. When you pick trustees, executors, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to make decisions in your and your beneficiaries’ best interests and in accordance with the instructions you leave. Luckily, understanding the basics of what each of these terms means and what to consider when making your choices can make your estate plan work far better.

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Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment

Most financ6a01b8d0a6271d970c01b7c7cc7927970b-500piially savvy individuals begin planning their estate when they’re in peak mental shape. The idea that this might change at some point in the distant future is an unpleasant one, and they would rather go about their estate planning as if they’ll be as sharp as a tack late into their golden years. Unfortunately, this common approach of ignoring a potential problem and hoping it simply won’t happen can leave a giant hole in your estate plan. Read on to find out that this common hole can be more easily filled than you might think.

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The Flexible Protection of Trust-Based Planning

859f880e-84a9-41fd-bfd6-6a86450ca80f-thumbnailAs you assess your goals for the year ahead, take a moment to review your legacy planning. You’ve hopefully already handled a few key pieces—set up and funded a trust, signed a will, created a power of attorney, etc.

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Got Stuff? George Carlin Says You Need An Estate Plan!

shoppingGeorge Carlin would have been a great pitchman for estate planning. You may remember his stand-up routine on “stuff.” We all have stuff, and we’re pretty particular about our stuff. We move it around with us, it’s hard for some of us to get rid of it, and some of us don’t like our stuff mixed up with other people’s stuff.

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How to Align Insurance with Your Estate Plan

Pad of Paper & PenIf you’re like most folks, you use a variety of insurance products to manage risk and protect you, your family, and your assets from losses caused by property damage, businesses, property, accidents, disability, retirement, and death. However, instead of considering these insurances as separate items, we suggest you make them part of an integrated, overall risk management plan.

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The Real Life Perils of Online and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Estate Planning

6a01b8d0a6271d970c01bb0866d4c0970d-500piWith the number of online and do-it-yourself (DIY) legal providers continuing to grow and advertise heavily, you may be wondering if you could do your estate planning with the help of these forms. The advertising is seductive. Ads say, “attorneys use similar forms,” “the cost is significantly less than hiring an attorney,” and “many of these websites and kits are created by attorneys.” Most folks think their estates are not complicated and many think forms are forms – and – attorneys just charge for forms, right?

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The Value of Having a “Life Plan” in Estate Planning

House and Keys in Female HandsAll too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction; just sign here, here, and here on a document: will, a living trust, and powers of attorney – then be off. But the best planning happens when an estate planning attorney can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a lifelong process instead of a transaction.

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Why Does a Living Trust Cost More than a Will?

Avoiding LossesYes, you will likely invest more in trust-based planning than will-based planning because you get a whole lot more value. Comparing these estate planning investments is like comparing apples and oranges – and the overall investment may not be what you think.

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Impacts of the Trump Presidency on Estate Planning: Your Quick Guide

MP900341744It’s official — the Electoral College voted on December 19, 2016, essentially completing the 2016 presidential election cycle. With that bit of uncertainty behind us and a fresh year starting out, here’s what you need to know about planning your estate under the incoming Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress.

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How to Avoid High Octane Stress and Organize Information for Your Family

Frustrated Businesswoman on the PhoneThink, for just a few moments, about what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do? Would they know where to find important records, assets, password, usernames, and insurance documents? Would they be able to access (or even know about) online accounts or files on your computer?

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