AARP says to head off bickering over your personal possessions, consider supplementing your will with a letter of instruction, an informal document that you can draft yourself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way—and sometimes an ugly family feud. Families are consumed with grief when a loved one dies, but unfortunately certain legal and organizational tasks that arise can’t be ignored or put off for long. But you can ease the burden on your loved ones by making some simple preparations in addition to a will.
To get in front of hard feelings and potential conflicts over your personal possessions, think about adding a letter of instruction to your will. This is an informal document you can draft which isn’t legally binding, but can be a helpful guide for your family. It gives your family more detail than what is usually in a will.
Most people struggle to plan their financial futures beyond the next decade, while those with money and foresight are likely to think well in advance about what they want to leave their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. But what about planning for eternity? It seems too long to contemplate. Yet in the last several decades, states have begun competing with one another for the business of perpetual trusts, which are designed to last forever, or at least 1,000 years in the case of Wyoming. And people have been putting their millions and billions into them, eschewing traditional trusts, which typically end after 100 years. (more…)
Today’s families are a lot different than Ward and June Cleaver. There are more families today with non-traditional situations than ever before. It is very common in my profession to have clients with same sex marriages, second marriages with assets and children from a prior marriage, as well as families that may look traditional, yet marriage was never on the agenda. Financial and estate planning for everyone is important, but if the situation has any of the variables referenced above, planning is a must.
A recent article in The Patriot Ledger, titled “Estate planning for non-traditional relationships,” takes a practical look at a common personal, financial and legal challenge. (more…)
People in their 20s often do not think that they need to worry about estate planning. They plan to live much longer, so they believe there will be time to get an estate plan later. However, you never know when tragedy can strike, so it is important that 20-somethings get estate plans.
Younger adults normally do not think anything bad will happen to them. They are “bullet-proof,” so to speak.
They do not seriously imagine that they could pass away at any time.
This leads many young adults to delay their estate planning until they are much older. Unfortunately, if a tragedy does happen, this leaves the estates of many young adults in a bad situation.
Important lessons about estate planning can often reach the general public through issues over celebrities’ estates. 2014 has been a busy year for such lessons.
Americans are fascinated by the lives and deaths of celebrities. When a celebrity passes away, the public wants to know how his or her estate will be distributed. (more…)
During this festive time of year, dwelling on estate planning may seem like a bit of a downer. Yet the end of the year is as good as time as any to take stock of your personal finances and also make sure you have done some proper estate planning. Having your affairs in order will lift a huge burden off your family that would otherwise face a big emotional and financial toll in probate court should something happen to you. (more…)
When you’re over 50 and facing divorce from a long-term marriage, coming to a settlement agreement that will safeguard a comfortable financial future is complicated. “Till death do us part” isn’t the case for many Baby Boomers today. “Gray divorces” are occurring more than ever before — the rate for adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, Ohio. “There are no ‘do-overs’ after you agree to a settlement,” the article says. “After 50, you’ll have fewer years to recoup from financial errors, so it’s essential to get this right.” (more…)
What you don’t know about Social Security benefits can hurt you and your spouse for the rest of your lives. Here are three traps to avoid when taking your benefits.