Despite the best intentions, divorce can, and does, happen. It’s sometimes unavoidable, and while the emotional and financial fallout can take a lot of energy, it may also be worth looking at how these life changes impact your estate planning. Even the best laid plans need to change according to circumstance, and divorce is definitely one of those circumstances. You may have plans with your spouse involving trusts, guardianships of children, and insurance policies in place. You’re probably named as the beneficiaries on each other’s retirement plans. A divorce impacts all of these. Here’s what to be aware of if you are going through this situation.
Sometimes, thinking about the future can be difficult, especially thinking about a time where you might be incapacitated, or no longer living. However, doing a bit of thinking about these things, and planning for them, can make things easier for you and your family.
Estate planning is an in-depth way to ensure that your family is taken care of after your death. Estate plans use different types of documents to secure your assets after your death. This can include your will, as well as a living will, which involves you dictating your requests while still alive. For instance, a living will explain the type of medical care you would want, should you become incapacitated and are unable to speak. It can also help your family make difficult end-of-life decisions and save them money. With an estate plan, you can designate a financial power of attorney. This is someone who can handle your finances if you are incapacitated and unable to do so. The attorney-in-fact will be able to make transactions on your accounts, business decisions, and other financial decisions, based on what you set out to allow. Establishing a power of attorney for your finances is a good way to keep your finances stable, should you lose your capacity to manage them yourself.
Understanding Medicare can be daunting. It’s an often complicated and convoluted realm, where it’s not always clear what the best decision is. Aside from reading the large manual you get in the mail, how are you supposed to know what’s best for you? And because of how important Medicare is to our general health and well-being as we age, it is important to understand your options. We will try to lay out the basics here.
Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and have taken to targeting the elderly and those with serious health conditions, who potentially have a higher risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.
Criminals use tactics such as email, texts, social media, and phone calls to con innocent people out of their money. These scammers have become experts in following news headlines to change their tactics to follow current events. Currently, there is an influx of scammers using the COVID-19 Pandemic as leverage to facilitate their scams.
A power of attorney is a tool for a person to use to help oversee their health or assets as they age or face health issues. The person, or principal, who enlists a power of attorney can revoke it at any time, and the different power of attorney designations can expire at different times. When choosing a power of attorney to act as your agent, the assumption is that they will be trustworthy and carry out your wishes to the best of their ability. This is not always the case, however, and sometimes things do not work out the way they should. What happens then? Can a power of attorney be challenged?
Protecting your assets makes sense and is a good thing to do in terms of preparing for your future, as well as your family’s future. Some risks to your assets are more serious than others, and it is essential to be aware of what can impact you and your family. With that in mind, we will discuss the biggest predators to your assets.
First, it may be worth having a discussion with an estate planning attorney about some of the risks that can come up. It may seem counterintuitive to speak with an attorney before a problem comes up. It is a good idea, however, to know about all the risks out there and how you can handle them.
After a loved one dies, there are a number of things to take care of. From funeral services, to figuring out their estate, it is a lot, and all at a very sad time for the family. Often times, the last thing people are worried about are taxes, and they can be confusing. Who pays the inheritance tax? Who pays the estate tax? It can be a lot to take on. Read on, as we will examine the differences in inheritance and estate taxes.
When people set up wills or trusts to protect their assets, it is to ensure their assets go where they want them to go. If you do not make plans in advance to protect your assets, you risk not having any say where they go. It will be left to the state to distribute your assets through a process called probate. In fact, not protecting your assets can have an impact on a number of areas of life, way before you are thinking about end-of-life planning. It can impact how you pay for long-term care, how your family pays for your care, what you stand to lose in litigation, and other areas.
If you are running a small business, you have likely put your heart and soul into it and done everything in your power to make the business successful. But what happens when you step away from the business, or if you were to pass away? Would it continue to hum along, doing business just as you intended? That all depends on how you have planned for the business after your passing. And if your legacy is important to you, estate planning for your small business will be vitally important.
A power of attorney is a legal document giving someone authority over financial assets, healthcare, or both. There are essentially four types of power of attorney. It is an important document that appoints an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” The grantor retains the right to make decisions on their own. The power of attorney can often be limited in scope to making either financial or health care decisions on the individual’s behalf. As such, it is important to choose the right type of power of attorney that is right for you. Here are the four types of power of attorney: