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What are the Responsibilities of a Personal Representative?

Senior woman meeting with an estate planning lawyer

Being chosen as the personal representative of a person’s will is both an honor and a responsibility. Along with the role comes certain duties. Before you accept those responsibilities and obligations, you should know exactly what you are taking on. Generally speaking, you will be distributing the deceased person’s property and arranging for payment of estate debts and expenses. Duties specific to this role include choosing the type of probate, filing the will for probate, setting up an account to pay bills, paying estate debts and taxes, maintaining the willed property, making/filing an inventory with the court, distributing assets, and more. The role of a personal representative is no small task, so people who have accepted this role often find it helpful to work closely with an attorney during the process. 

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Things to Consider When Choosing Power of Attorney

blank power of attorney document

As we age, planning for our estate and end-of-life care becomes an increasingly important way to ensure that your wishes are known, and you and your loved ones are prepared for the changes in your life. Planning may include considering the possibility of becoming incapacitated and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding our health or assets. One way to prepare for that possibility includes granting a trusted person powers of attorney. This is a powerful designation, and requires careful consideration. 

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What are Some Common Estate Disputes?

court dispute

The death of a loved one is difficult in more ways than one. Aside from the grieving that comes with death, disputes over a person’s estate can sour relationships and lead to more stress on a family. Such disputes can cause the destruction of the loved one’s intended asset distribution plan. For this reason, careful, intentional estate planning is advised to ensure your assets are going where you intended them to go.

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Are an IRA or Life Insurance Part of Probate?

Jar labeled IRA filled with money

Figuring out which property does and does not go through probate when a person dies can be quite confusing, especially when the person had a lot of assets. While it makes sense that a person’s estate would go through the probate process, assuming there isn’t a trust set up, what happens to things like their IRAs or life insurance policies? Are they included in the probate process?

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What are Advanced Directives?

Senior Couple signing estate planning documents

As we grow older and start to think about what life will look like in the future, there are many decisions that need to be made, especially if we want to do the best we can for our families. Most people know about preparing a will, but what happens if you get sick? Who makes decisions for you? This can be handled using advance directives. 

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Five Common Trust Mistakes to Avoid

Trusts are an essential tool in estate planning, as well as a fantastic way to ensure that you are protecting your assets from probate while still honoring your needs and wishes. There are several types of trusts and many reasons why you would use one to protect your assets and ensure they go to the right entity. Irrevocable trusts and living trusts all serve a specific purpose, depending on your needs. No matter which type of trust you decide on, however, there are some common mistakes to avoid.

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Why are Advanced Directives Important?

A living will is an advanced directive

We start to think about what our life will look like as we age. There are many decisions to be made, especially if we want to do the best we can for the people we care about. Planning for this includes preparing a will and other estate planning tools. But what happens if you get sick? Who makes decisions for you then? One way to handle that is through the use of advance directives.

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Can a Bank Reject My Power of Attorney?

Bank Meeting

Though most people do not like to think about it, there may come a time in life when we are unable to make financial decisions for ourselves due to medical issues or not having the ability to keep up on things. A power of attorney can ease the burden of those situations by assigning someone as your agent or attorney-in-fact. It is essentially a legal document that allocates the right to make certain decisions on another’s behalf. The principal, or grantor, still retains the right to make decisions on their own.

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Medicare Regulatory Changes Due to Covid-19

Medicare Diagram

Covid-19 has altered many facets of our lives, from wearing masks in public to being mindful of things like social-distancing. The pandemic has changed things we don’t usually think about, as well. Some of the changes made at the federal level were to Medicare regulations, to provide health care providers, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D plans more resources to respond to the crisis created by the pandemic. The changes gave flexibility to providers and patients alike. It is important to be aware of the changes and how they might impact you. 

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How Early Should You Start Estate Planning?

You couple meeting with an attorney. Possibly to discuss an estate plan.

Estate planning ensures that you have a say where your assets go after you die. For a lot of people, it is not something they begin thinking about until they get older. Thinking about our own deaths is not the most pleasant thing to think about, and we hardly do, especially when we are young. However, having a plan in place, no matter your age, is a sound idea and can help ensure loved ones are cared for when the time comes. You can set up a plan at any time and adjust it as you age.

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