Over-Reliance on Documents and Estate Planning

Planning how to distribute your estate and putting your decisions in writing is one of the best ways to protect your heirs while ensuring your assets remain in the hands of those you love.  Unfortunately, it is possible to over-rely on certain aspects associated with estate planning, placing those closest to you in a precarious position after you pass away. Those who use do-it-yourself estate planning tools are often Read More

Including Bitcoin in Estate Planning

Bitcoin is an open-source payment method that uses peer-to-peer technology to allow individuals to exchange money without relying on centralized government, banks, or stringent oversight.  While governments are starting to explore ways to regulate bitcoin transactions, the cryptocurrency movement has continued to grow, with more individuals exploring ways to obtain bitcoins and utilize them for the majority of their Read More

What Traits Should My Executor Have?

Probate, the process of establishing the validity of a will, is a stressful and time-consuming process that most people hope to avoid. However, even if you are able to create a detailed estate plan that allows your beneficiaries a chance to bypass probate, someone must still administer your estate. In most cases, a person who has left behind a valid will has named someone to act as executor of his or her estate. The Read More

Protecting Your Heirs from Coercion Accusations

The federal government has recently enacted new laws designed to protect taxpayers in the United States from forms of tax fraud that could ultimately lead to tax increases for all citizens.  While these changes have helped reduce the amount of tax-related identity theft and fraud, one issue that continues to plague older Americans is fraud that specifically targets those who are 60 or older. Unfortunately, in an Read More

Why Your New Estate Plan May Need an Update

An adult in the United States who is part of the small percentage of people with valid wills may believe that he or she has done everything necessary to secure the future for his or her heirs.  Creating an estate plan is viewed as the ultimate way to address asset distribution and record your final wishes for those you leave behind. Unfortunately, creating a will and then forgetting about it can be dangerous even if Read More

Potential Estate Planning Problems for Blended Families

In the United States approximately 40% of all married couples include a spouse who was married at least once before. The growing number of blended families has added complexity to all aspects of personal and professional life throughout the country. Adults must consider the needs of their current spouse while also remembering their responsibilities to children or investments tied to their previous marriage. One of Read More

Ways to Handle Timeshares When Estate Planning

A timeshare is a property that is jointly owned by several people, allowing the owners to enjoy the property on a schedule while sharing the overall cost. Most time-sharing agreements are for vacation homes that an owner can use a certain amount of time each year. Timeshares allow those who enjoy travel to benefit from having a vacation home without being solely responsible for its maintenance, but when the time Read More

What Happens When Spouses do Not Estate Plan Together

The idea that one might outlive a spouse is something that most adults do not want to think about. Unfortunately, failing to discuss and plan for the possibility can create several problems.  In the United States approximately 7% of the population has been a widow or widower at some point in their life. Though women have a higher chance of outliving their spouses, thousands of men find themselves coping with the Read More

Estate Planning Tips for Art Collectors

In 1996, Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos passed away leaving billions in cash, property, and other assets to his oldest son. Among Niarchos’ personal assets was an art collection worth an estimated $250 million. The collection includes works by Monet, Picasso, and van Gogh, with new additions being acquired by Niarchos’ son Phillip. Though not every collector boasts such an extensive private collection, even Read More

Estate Planning Documents You Can Not Afford to Overlook

The majority of adults in the United States do not have an estate plan, and those who do often fail to include vital information that their estates will need. Many believe that an estate plan only includes a will that gives instructions for distributing assets and do not realize that there is more to a will than financial assets. Unless you work with a trust and estate lawyer, you place yourself and your estate at Read More