One of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that unless you have children or other heirs, you don't need to worry about your estate. But even if your estate is relatively modest, consisting only of personal items and a couple bank accounts, you still want that to go to the person or organization of your choice rather than the state, don't you?
From the mistaken belief that estate planning is reserved for the very wealthy to general unease over the prospect of addressing the topic of death, there are multiple reasons why people choose to forgo the advantages of creating a comprehensive estate plan or even executing a simple will.
Somewhat shockingly, a recent survey found that as many as 64 percent of adults here in the U.S. have not taken the altogether vital step of executing a will. This effectively means that the laws of the state in which they reside will decide how their hard-earned assets will be divided and, by extension, that the special needs of certain loved ones may not be adequately covered.
Once a person has discussed, read through and appended their signature to their last estate planning document, they will likely shake hands with their attorney and depart the office with a rather thick file in hand. Their satisfaction with these efforts may prove to be short-lived, however, as they will be confronted with an important issue upon arriving home: where exactly this file should be located.
A last will is much more than simply a legal document that directs affected parties about what to do with your property when you pass away. It is also a declaration of your legacy and speaks volumes about your values and priorities to your heirs and beneficiaries. When setting out to write your last will, one of the most important steps in the process is choosing a qualified, competent executor.
A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about an estate that was challenged due to some irregularities with the will. Along with that post, we have talked extensively in the weeks since about wills and how they impact your estate, let alone the possible legal ramifications of a will should your heirs or beneficiaries challenge it. Which leads us to our question for today: on what grounds can someone challenge a will?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today men and women are waiting longer to marry and some are foregoing marriage altogether and opting instead to remain in long-term and committed relationships. In cases where one individual in a committed relationship is involved in a serious car accident or passes away suddenly, his or her partner may have few to no legal rights with regard to making important medical decisions or inheriting personal belongings or assets.
When most people think about creating an estate plan they think about drafting a will. A last will and testament is a legal document that is used to establish your wishes and how you want your legacy to be passed down to heirs and beneficiaries after you pass away. A will can address important issues such as who should have guardianship of your minor children if you and the other parent are no longer able to care for them yourselves.
In just a couple of short weeks, the Thanksgiving holiday will be upon us. As families throughout the Boston area gather to give thanks and spend quality time with one another, it may also be a good time to discuss some weightier topics including aging parents’ plans with regard to estate planning matters.
It seems like everything else can be done on a smartphone app these days. Why not estate planning?