Why Is a Living Trust Better Than a Will?

A last will is a very limited estate planning device, and there are also some drawbacks that go along with the utilization of a last will. First, let’s look at the drawbacks. Time Consumption and Money Lost You probably would like your loved ones to receive their inheritances in a timely manner after you are gone. This will not happen if you use a last will to facilitate the distribution of your personally held property. When you use a will as your asset transfer vehicle, you name an executor when you create the document. This is the person who will handle the business of the estate after your passing. The executor cannot follow your instructions and distribute inheritances independently. Under the laws of the state of Connecticut, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate. During the probate process, the court would supervise the administration of the estate. This process can consume a great deal of time, and the inheritors that are named in a last will must wait


Three Estate Planning Questions Answered

Once you become a self-supporting, responsible adult in your own right, you have a certain set of basic responsibilities. At that point, there may well be people relying upon you, and if you are like most people, you will take these commitments to heart. This line of thinking should be extended to the subject of estate planning. Curiously, far too many American adults are totally unprepared for a future event that is definitely going to take place When you put an estate plan in place, you are taking steps to make sure that the people that you love are appropriately provided for, and this is an extremely important act. There is no room for procrastination, even if you are relatively young, because people of all ages pass away every day. If you don t know where to begin, set up a consultation with a licensed  estate planning attorney. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and your attorney will provide you with guidance. In this post, we will look at three commonly asked esta

Holistic Planning for the Eventualities of Aging

There are different stages that you pass through along life s path. At first, you are going to be concerned about your own place in the world as an adult. Many people will become parents at some point, and a new set of concerns will present themselves. Time goes by quickly, and though it can be hard to wrap your head around it when you are younger, there are eventualities that you inevitably start to recognize as you reach the middle portion of your life. To be properly prepared for your senior years, you should create a plan that leads to comfort and security. Most people are aware of the fact that retirement planning is important to set aside the resources that you will need to put your working years behind you. These active retirement years can be among the best years of your life if you have adequate resources. Beyond the active retirement years, there are also the twilight years. This stage of your life can come with some challenges. Long-term care is something that most elders w

How Early Can I Start to Collect a Social Security Benefit?

People often want gratification as soon as they can possibly get it, but in many cases, waiting can provide better results. This enters the picture when it comes to the submission of your Social Security application. There are those who can t wait to start receiving a benefit, and they want to know how soon they can get it. To provide a straightforward answer, if you have earned at least 40 retirement credits while you have been working, you can submit your application for your Social Security benefit when you are as young as 62 years of age. This can be an exciting prospect, especially if you are still going to be working when you are 62. You can receive your Social Security benefit as gravy on top of your salary, right? That would put you in a great position as you look ahead toward your retirement years. This may make sense at first, but there are rules in place that limit the possibilities. If you decide to take an early Social Security benefit when you are 62, there is a limit to

Divorce, Remarriage and Estate Planning

Unfortunately, a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce. We should also point out the fact that the divorce rate for second and third marriages is higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. Most second and third marriages do not withstand the test of time. There are a number of things to take into consideration from an estate planning perspective if you are getting divorced. Clearly, you are probably going to want to change the beneficiary designations on your insurance policies and retirement accounts. If you have a last will or a trust in place, adjustments to these documents will be called for as well. Once you have established yourself as a single individual from an estate planning perspective, you can go forward with peace of mind until and unless you get remarried. At that point, you are going to have a new set of estate planning concerns, especially if you have children. To protect yourself, you may want to consider the creation of a premarital agreement. Rem

Social Security Administration: No COLA Next Year

The government programs that are in place to assist senior citizens should not be overestimated. If you rely on these benefits as the centerpiece of your retirement plan, you may be sorely disappointed when you recognize that you will never be able to retire. First, we should explain the eligibility requirements. When you work and pay your taxes, the FICA or self-employment tax that you pay goes toward future Medicare and Social Security eligibility. This is done through the accrual of retirement credits. During the current calendar year, you get one credit for every $1220 that you earn, and you can earn as many as four credits in a year. When you have a least 40 credits, you will qualify for these benefit programs for seniors. The age of eligibility for Medicare is 65 for everyone under currently existing laws. Things are different with Social Security. The full eligibility age depends on the year of your birth, but it will be somewhere between 66 and 67. Modest Payouts Social Securi

Do I Have to Withdraw Money From My IRA?

You contribute into an individual retirement account to set aside resources for your senior years. The contributions may accumulate over decades, and each step of the way, you really don t know where you will stand when you attain senior citizen status. If you are successful financially, when you decide that it is time to retire, you may come to the realization that you will never need the assets that you have in your IRA. At this point, you may wonder about the estate planning implications. Let s look at some of the facts. Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts Whether or not you are required to withdraw money from your IRA will depend upon the nature of the account. If you have a traditional individual retirement account, you made the contributions into the account with pretax earnings. The government wants to be able to get some money eventually, so any withdrawals that you take are subject to regular income taxes. However, there can be a benefit here, because your taxable inco