Category Archives: Beneficiary Designation(s)
What are the Stages of Probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process occurring after your death. It takes place in the state where you were a resident at the time of your death and addresses your estate—all of your financial assets, real estate, personal belongings, debts and unpaid taxes. If you have an estate plan, your last will names an executor,… Read More »
Just What Does an Executor Do?
Spending the least amount of time possible contemplating your death is what most people try to do. However, one part of the estate planning process needs time and reflection: deciding who should serve in important roles, including executor. Whatever the size of your estate, the people you name have jobs that will impact your… Read More »
Trusts can Work for ‘Regular’ People
A trust fund is an estate planning tool that can be used by anyone who wishes to pass their property to individuals, family members or nonprofits. They are used by wealthy people because they solve a number of wealth transfer problems and are equally applicable to people who aren’t mega-rich, explains this recent article… Read More »
Does a Trust Have to Be Funded to Be Valid?
Thinking you have divided assets equally between children by creating a trust that names all as equal heirs, while placing only one child’s name on other assets is not an equally divided estate plan. Instead, as described in the article “Estate Planning: Fund the trust” from nwi.com, this arrangement is likely to lead to… Read More »
Does a Will Supersede a Beneficiary Form?
It’s a simple question: do you know who your retirement account beneficiaries are? These tax-deferred accounts are complex, with significant tax implications for heirs that become more challenging if key information is missing on beneficiary forms, which is often the case. According to this recent article from The Street, “Secure your IRA—Review Your Beneficiary… Read More »
How Much Should We Tell the Children about the Estate Plan?
Congratulations, if you have finished your estate plan. You and your estate planning attorney created a plan that is suited for your family, you have checked on beneficiary designations, signed all of the necessary documents and named an executor to carry out your directions when you pass. However, have you talked about your estate… Read More »
What Happens If You Fail to Submit a Change of Beneficiary Form?
Wealth Advisor’s recent article entitled “I’m being denied an inheritance. Can they do that?” explains the situation where an individual, Peter, was given a CD/IRA by a friend named Paul. Paul told Peter that he wanted him to have it, in case anything happened to him. Paul was married and didn’t tell his wife… Read More »
The Importance of a Will
Even during a pandemic, few people want to spend time thinking about death. However, having an estate plan means having some of the most important documents you’ll ever create. Having a will is a gift that alleviates the burden placed on loved ones after we are gone, says this recent article “Why it’s important… Read More »
The Biggest Mistake in Trusts: Funding
Failing to put assets into trusts creates headaches for heirs and probate hassles, says the article “Once You Create a Living Trust, Don’t Forget to Fund It” from Kiplinger. It’s the last step of creating an estate plan that often gets forgotten, much to the dismay of heirs and estate planning attorneys. Are people… Read More »
Will I Owe Taxes on My Life Insurance Benefit?
MoneyWise’s recent article entitled “Are Life Insurance Benefits Taxable?” explains that, although the proceeds from a life insurance policy are usually tax-free, there are some exceptions. Life insurance payouts may be subject to taxes in the following situations: A high-value estate. The federal estate tax exemption is $11.58 million this year, so if you… Read More »