Articles Posted in Wills

Countless families have members who are black sheep. These individuals can end up influencing how the family passes on assets. Regardless of the situation, it is critical to evaluate and reflect on your beneficiary’s situation when it comes to estate planning. As a result, this article reviews some critical issues to consider about estate planning if you have a black sheep in your family.

# 1 – You Need Not Divide Your Assets Equally

Disinheriting a beneficiary is a more routine occurrence than many people think. There are various reasons why you might decide to disinherit a beneficiary that has little to nothing to do with that beneficiary’s lifestyle. Parents might decide to leave more assets to a special ended child. Other times, parents might have helped a house with something while the parent was alive and wants now to make sure that an equal amount of assets are passed to each child. Regardless of your reasons for disinheriting a beneficiary, it is a good idea to explain either in your estate documents in a separate document your intention for unequally dividing  assets.

While trusts grow in their popularity and usage, some people still encounter difficulties in creating a trust. One problem that some clients face is banks and financial institutions who create challenges in funding a trust. 

While this problem is not all that common, it is still helpful to understand why these challenges can arise. This article also reviews some of the benefits that people commonly realize through the creation of a trust.

Common Challenges involved with Trust Funding

In the United States, married individuals almost always receive assets from their spouses without paying estate tax. One exception is the often-overlooked law involving marriage between a citizen of the United States and a foreign national. If you find yourself in this situation, it can create a unique challenge during estate planning.

The Foreign National Exception

Under federal law, if an American citizen is married to a foreign national and the first to die in the couple, the surviving foreign national is prohibited from using the standard marital deduction to inherit property. If the couple lives in the United States, the entire asset is subject to this regulation. If the couple lives overseas, however, only US-based assets are impacted by this law. 

Trust protectors are becoming an increasingly common part of estate plans in New York as well as the rest of the country. A trust protector refers to someone who is appointed to look over a trust and make sure that the trust is not adversely affected by changes in the law. 

Appointing a trust protector is not a decision that benefits everyone. As a result, this article reviews some of the biggest advantages that people realize throughout appointing a trust protector.

# 1 – Make Changes to a Trust without Formal Amendments

The Mississippi Court of Appeals recently decided that a man convicted of DUI manslaughter that led to the death of his wife can collect survivor benefits from the state. The late woman had designated her husband as a 40% beneficiary while the deceased woman’s sister was a 60% beneficiary. While Mississippi law permits spouses in the husband’s situation to still receive benefits, some states have prevented this type of result by altering statutory language. The husband previously pleaded and was sentenced to 25 years in prison with 10 years suspended and 15 to serve. The man later received a separate two-year sentence for possession of contraband. 

While the Mississippi Court’s decision might seem strange, it emphasizes the importance of understanding the basics about the New York Survivor’s Benefit Program, which will be briefly reviewed in this article.

The Role of the New York Survivor’s Benefits Program

After the devastation of accepting the loss of a loved one subsides, it can be challenging to determine how to best process. Unless you have navigated this process before, performing the various tasks asked of an executor can seem overwhelming. 

As a result, this article reviews some pieces of advice that will make the selection of an executor easier. 

# 1 – Understand the Role of an Executor 

Following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, you and your loved one will end up facing a number of serious challenges. 

For one, there are a number of difficult emotions including fear and uncertainty about what the future holds. Second, there are a number of complex issues involving estate planning. 

As a result, this article reviews some important estate planning tips that you should remember following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis of a loved one.

There are few things as painful in life as the death of a spouse. In addition to weathering the devastating emotions like loneliness and sadness that accompany this process, it is still important to plan for your future as a widow or widower. 

Unfortunately in some situations, the surviving spouse might have even been left out of financial and estate planning decisions that were made before death. 

This article reviews some of the important strategies that you should remember when it comes to estate planning and the death of a spouse.

There are a number of common estate planning errors that we see people make. These errors occur in almost equal proportion among the wealthiest as well as individuals of modest means. 

In the hopes of making the estate planning process more efficient for everyone, this article reviews some of the most common mistakes made by people during the estate plan.

# 1 – Not Having an Estate Plan

After creating an estate plan, you might think that you’ve made all of the steps necessary to plan for your future. 

Instead, it is just as important to make sure that estate planning documents are stored in a safe location. This article reviews some of the various options that people utilize to make sure that estate planning documents are safely stored.

# 1 – A Lawyer Holds the Documents

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