An Easy Three-Step Review for Your Estate Plan “Helpers”

While putting together an estate plan is important for you and your loved ones, it is equally important for you to understand the role of the trusted individuals who will be carrying out your wishes when you are unable to. When it comes to estate planning, these helpers are key. They generally include a trustee, guardian, executor, agent under a power of attorney, and healthcare proxy, among others.

Reviewing Your Key Helpers: Determining who will handle your affairs when you are unable or once you are gone is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Here is an easy three-step guide to help you that you can use when reviewing your estate plan. Read More

Murphy’s Law and Estate Planning

As the old adage goes “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Referred to as Murphy’s law, this well-known saying has no mercy. Sadly, estate planning is no exception to its wrath. There is hope! Below are five-estate planning mistakes and how to fix them:

Incorrect guardian for your children: A will is a way for you to control what happens to your estate and your minor or disabled children from the grave. If you fail to put together a will, the state will decide who cares for them at a court hearing. If you do have a will, be sure to review it regularly and confirm your original guardian is still a great choice for your children. If he or she is not, then amend your will and choose another guardian. Because all family law judges are required to make decisions in the “best interest of the child”, it’s a good idea to write a letter of explanation to help the judge understand the decision you’ve made. Read More

Your Fall “Legal Affairs” Checklist

There are several reasons to review and update your legal matters, including your estate plan. Understanding how your wishes are affected by applicable law will help make you make a more informed decision and protect you and your loved ones. Below is a checklist to ensure your planning meets your needs and is up-to-date: Read More

Just Like You Need a Medical Checkup, Your Estate Plan Needs a Checkup!

Whether or not you currently have estate planning documents, one important item to add to your calendar is getting an estate plan checkup.

If you don’t already have an estate plan, then getting one in place should be at the top of your to-do list.

Why?  Because without an estate plan, you and your property may end up in a court-supervised guardianship if you become incapacitated, and your property and your loved ones may end up in a time-consuming and expensive probate proceedings after you die.

Worse yet, if you don’t take the time to have any estate planning done, then the state where you live at the time of your death will essentially write one for you. It most likely won’t divvy up your property the way you would have and certainly will not protect your heirs the way you would.  Read More

What to Do When Your Doctor Says to “Get Your Affairs in Order”

Five words no one ever wants to hear from their doctor: “Get your affairs in order.” Unfortunately, 58 percent of Americans do not have a will or trust, and it often requires a chronic disease or terminal illness diagnosis, or other life-changing event to prompt the estate planning process. Talk to your attorney about completing the documents below and follow these tips to protect your future and make the circumstances easier for your loved ones. Read More

After the Heart Attack: Get Your Estate Planning Done

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 40 seconds. That means approximately 790,000 people have a heart attack each year. If you have recently been hospitalized for a cardiac condition or other near-miss medical event, then you may be feeling a strong sense of urgency to get your estate planning done to protect your family, your business, and your legacy. Act on that feeling before you go back to your routine. Here’s how. Read More