When you are in the midst of your grief following a spouse's death, carrying out even the simplest of tasks can be too difficult. You might prefer to stay in bed all day mourning your loss. However, you may be the one tasked with the responsibility of administering the estate.
If you feel as though the years of retirement are far away, you might not have given your estate plan a second thought. But the fact is that whether you have created one or not, you already have an estate plan. This is because the state has general laws that will come into effect in the event of your death.
When a loved one dies, family members don't always act rationally. This is especially true when the will is read and one or more members feel as though they did not receive what they perceived as their fair share of the estate or were passed over entirely.
In 1951, the Powers of Appointment Act was established. This was one of the greatest developments in the tax and estate planning sector. A power of appointment in broad terms means that a person has the power to dispose of a property, and they hold that power even if they do not own the property in question. This could be a "reserved" power or a "donated" power.
The mantra of investment commercials focuses on preparing baby boomers who are close to retirement age with the wisdom and knowledge to retire with enough income to enjoy the good life. Indeed, limiting risk is just as important to retirement planning as it is to estate planning. Because of this, there are several things that soon-to-be retirees should keep in mind as you plan for the next stage of your life.
If you find yourself in the position of estate administrator for a friend or loved one who has passed on, you may not have a clue what duties are expected of you. That's quite understandable for those who have never before undertaken these tasks.
Some may be surprised to learn that family members battling over estates don't always fight over large sums of money, property or expensive items. Often the most pitched battles deal instead with family heirlooms that have minimal value to anyone not emotionally tied to the decedent's possessions.
Survivors and heirs are often gratified to learn that they don't have to submit to a lengthy probate process in order to take possession of the few assets that are in very small estates of their loved ones. For instance, a voluntary administration can be initiated even when the decedent died intestate, as long as the following conditions are met:
When it comes to choosing the executor for your will, it's important to realize that not everyone in your life will be temperamentally fit for the responsibility. While many — if not most — estates can be satisfactorily handled by laypersons with no formal legal training, there are some qualities estate administrators should possess, including:
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, an independent news organization dedicated to covering all things charitable, recently released its annual report outlining the state of charitable giving here in the U.S. and ranking the nation's top 400 charities in terms of total private contributions.