Do I Need More That Just a Will?

Some people think about estate planning, and they automatically flash upon a last will. You draw up a last will stating the way that you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away, and you have an estate plan in place. Having a will and only a will may be better than nothing, but there is really more to the process of estate planning. First of all, even if a will is the best choice for you as an asset transfer vehicle, you should consider end-of-life issues. People often become incapacitated late in their lives. There can be physical incapacitation, and there can also be mental incapacitation. Along these lines, Alzheimer s disease is certainly attention-getting. This disease, which causes dementia, strikes about 45 percent of people who have reached the age of 85. Once you attain senior citizen status, it is likely that you will live into your eighties, so this is a potential scenario that everyone should be concerned about. You can prepare for possible incapacity through

Is There an Estate Planning Solution for Small Business Partners?

Many people drag their feet when it comes to estate planning, because they do not know where to start. They recognize the need for a plan, but they have questions, and the matter seems complicated. This can be true for anyone, but it is especially true for small business partners. If you are a partner in a small business, you may face a somewhat difficult estate planning scenario. What would happen to your share of the business after you pass away, and how do you see to it that the liquidity is spread among your surviving family members? This is just one question, but the next question would be this: Where would liquidation of your share leave the surviving partners? A buyer could come along, and the intentions of the buyer may not be consistent with the wishes of the surviving partners. Without question, this is a tricky situation. However, there is an estate planning solution that is often implemented called a buy-sell agreement. Insurance Proceeds Insurance policy proceeds are at t

What Is a Self-Proving Last Will?

You have probably heard of the estate planning document called a last will or last will and testament. Though this document can seem like a simple device to execute, you should understand the fact that the process of estate administration does not take place in a vacuum. Someone has to administer the estate after you pass away. This person is called the executor or estate representative. The executor handles the business of the estate, but the administration of the estate is supervised by the probate court. After you die, the will must be admitted to probate, and this process must run its course before the heirs to the estate can receive their inheritances. During probate there is a proving of the will. The court examines the will to determine its validity. This process can be more expedient if the will is a self-proving will. In the state of Connecticut, in order for a will to be valid, it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are competent adults. It could potentially

How Can I Balance Inheritances as a Family Business Owner?

Estate planning can present challenges when certain conditions exist. When you are the owner of a family run business, you may well face some vexing circumstances. To explain by way of example, let s say that you have two sons and a daughter, and you have operated a business throughout your adult life. Early on, your sons decided that they would like to help you run the business, and they have done just that. You would like your sons to continue to run the business after you pass away, and they want to carry the torch. The business may be your most valuable asset, so if you leave the entire business to your sons, where does that leave your daughter? This is the matter of inheritance balancing. If you are in this situation, you could potentially utilize life insurance to balance the inheritances that your children receive. You could determine the value of the share that each son will have in the business, and you can take out a life insurance policy that will provide a payout that is e

What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?

When you plan your estate, you execute certain legally binding documents. In this blog post, we will look at some of the documents that could be included in a well constructed estate plan. Last Wills Most people have heard of the legal document called a last will or last will and testament. It would be possible to use a last will to state your wishes regarding the distribution of your financial resources after your passing. While a will can be a decent choice for some people, other options exist. Under many circumstances, a trust of some kind would be a better option. Living Trusts Even if you are not wealthy, you may want to use a living trust as an alternative to a last will. A will must be admitted to probate, and the estate must be probated before the heirs can receive their inheritances. When assets have been conveyed into a living trust, they could be distributed to the beneficiaries outside of probate. As a result, the inheritors could receive distributions in a more timely man

Are All Asset Transfers Subject to the Probate Process?

The process of estate administration is something that you should gain an understanding of if you want to effectively plan your estate. Stating your wishes in writing is part of the equation, but actions must be taken after you pass away to bring these wishes to fruition. If you maintain direct personal possession of your property and you facilitate distributions through the terms of a last will, the executor will be forced to admit the will to probate. Probate is a legal process, and it takes place under the supervision of a court. Property that was in your direct and sole personal possession at the time of your passing could not be distributed until after the probate process was completed. There is an exception in the state of Connecticut. If the estate in question is valued at $40,000 or less, a simplified probate procedure could be utilized, and the full blown probate process could be avoided. Transfers Outside of Probate There are certain types of property transfers that would no

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

If you have always had health insurance throughout your working career, you may go forward with a certain peace of mind. You will be protected financially if you run into health problems, and you would assume that this protection would continue after you obtain Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. Medicare will certainly provide a good bit of coverage, but you have to understand the fact that Medicare does not pay for long-term care. People who are concerned about long-term care costs sometimes purchase long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance is rather expensive, and this is a drawback. The exact cost of the insurance will depend upon your age when you take out the coverage. As you would expect, the premiums are lower if you take out the insurance when you are relatively young. At the same time, you probably will not need long-term care until you reach an advanced age. Medicaid and Long-Term Care Insurance Medicaid is another government health insurance program,

What Is Included in My Estate Plan?

A basic estate plan will address the issue of asset transfers, and it will also include an incapacity planning component. In this blog post, we will take a look at the rudiments, but a well constructed estate plan will be custom crafted to suit the individual needs of the planner. Last Wills Many people reduce estate planning to the creation of a last will. You can use a will to state your wishes regarding the way that you want your assets to be transferred after you pass away, and you could nominate a guardian to care for your children if you have dependents still in your home. A last will can be a suitable choice for some people, but there are limitations when you use a will, and a will must be admitted to probate. This is a legal process that can be time-consuming and expensive. Revocable Living Trusts A revocable living trust is another viable option as an estate planning tool. The person who creates the trust can act as the trustee and the beneficiary at first, so there is no los

Does Your Estate Plan Need Revisions in 2015?

Now that we have settled into the new year, you may be honoring the resolutions that you made. People also tend to matters that have been placed on the back burner when the calendar turns over, and this can apply to estate plan revisions. When you put your initial estate plan in place, it is going to be constructed based on the way that things were at that time. Your own life situation is going to be a big part of it, and there are also laws that are applicable to everyone that could enter into the equation. Estate planning is not something that is necessarily going to be completed in one sitting. It is an ongoing process, and your estate plan will need revisions when certain things take place within your life Changes in marital status would result in the need for estate plan revisions, and additions and subtractions to the family could also be a factor. Plus, your intentions can change with regard to the way that you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. In addition