Three Keys to Protecting Yourself from a Rogue Executor

Unfortunately, sometimes a death in the family can bring out the worst in people. Inheritance theft is an underreported problem that can cost families dearly. To protect your inheritance, knowledge is key!, do a good job at documentation and get help. Read More

The Silent Threat to Your Estate Plan

It is common knowledge that everyone needs to have an estate plan in place. Commonly, the focus is on assets, taxes, and any changes to legislation that may affect the security of your loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death. What many often forget, however, is that changes in family dynamics and circumstances can threaten even the most well thought out estate plan. This silent threat can easily keep your estate plan from actually working when it is truly needed. Below are several situations where updating an existing estate plan or creating a plan for the first time is necessary to protect your loved ones. Read More

Giving Thanks With Your Estate Plan

Estate planning covers more than just financial matters. Indeed, many use their estate plan to pass along their values as well as their wealth. One way to do this is to give thanks with your estate plan, by designating charitable giving or specific gifts that will help ensure your legacy. It is important, however, to balance your income and the needs of your beneficiaries with the available tax incentives.

While the general purpose of estate planning is to ensure you and your family are taken care of when most needed, you do not need to contain your estate planning to financial issues. Indeed, many individuals use estate planning to pass along family history and traditions through their giving. An estate plan may specify how a beneficiary can use their inheritance such as for studying abroad, embarking on a particular trip, or other values that are important to the giver. In addition, you can choose to give to a qualified charitable organization in your will so that the gift is distributed upon your death or incapacity. Giving to charity during your life or after you have gone can help significantly reduce federal estate and gift taxes and allows you to support charitable causes that are meaningful to you. Read More

Caution: Creditors Now Have Easy Access to Inherited IRAs

Most people don’t know the law has changed: inherited retirement accounts no longer have asset protection, meaning they can be seized by strangers. Fortunately, retirement account protection still exists by using Standalone Retirement Trusts. Read More

5 Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts Now

A special trust called a “Standalone Retirement Trust” (SRT) can protect inherited assets from your beneficiaries’ creditors. Spouses can use SRT to shield one or the other from creditors, SRT will provide oversight and instruction on how much beneficiaries receive and when, SRT can protect beneficiaries from creditors, SRT can avoid disqualification on need-based government assistance programs and you can also avoid disinheritance of children after remarriage. Read More

3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

When you pass away, your family may need to visit a probate court in order to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in only your name. Although having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, a will simply lets you inform the probate court of your wishes – your family still has to go through the probate process to make those wishes legal.

Here are 3 key reasons why you want to avoid probate. Read More