The employees of our firm are big proponents of saving money and being good stewards of your assets. However, many people confuse being cheap with being wise managers of their money. There is definitely a difference between the two actions. That is why we are reminding you to take caution when not seeking a qualified, state-specific lawyer to draft your estate planning documents in an effort to save money.
An important decision that one has to consider when creating a Special Needs Trust is whom to designate as the Trustee. The Trustee is a very important responsibility, for one wrong decision could automatically disqualify the beneficiary from receiving public benefits.
People often confuse these two documents or think that they are both one in the same. The Last Will and Testament is not the same as the Living Will document, for the two documents serve two distinctly different purposes.
Many people do estate planning for reasons like avoiding probate, minimizing estate taxes, and bequeathing charitable gifts; however, another important reason is often overlooked. Doing estate planning for the purpose of making things easier on heirs is enough motivation for some people due to the legal battle that often ensues when a person dies before getting their affairs in order.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a video on its website titled "Four Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid" that summarizes some typical mistakes that people make when it comes to planning for a death or a disability. The first mistake is a common one that we hear many times in our practice, which is not planning due to fear. Believe it or not, many people are superstitious about planning for death. People fear that once they get the ball rolling on estate planning, inevitably something bad will happen.
We encourage people who don't have long term care insurance to develop a game plan years in advance for paying for long term care, a very costly expense that is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. This type of planning often involves transferring specific assets out of the name of the person who will be receiving the long term care so that, by the time that the care is needed, the recipient will be eligible for Medicaid to cover the costs of the care.
You've probably heard that one of the main reasons why people decide to get a revocable living trust as part of their estate plan is to avoid probate. Did you know that a huge benefit of avoiding probate is protecting your family's privacy?
One of the most frequent questions that we get asked at our office is whether or not a surviving spouse or beneficiaries are personally responsible for paying the outstanding debts of a decedent after his or her death.