There are many myths and misconceptions about estate planning. Some of these lead to estate planning mistakes. Being able to protect your assets and the future of your family is something that should be taken very seriously. Mistakes are not really something that can be afforded in creating an estate plan.
When a loved one dies, there will be a lot of questions about what his or her estate says, and what legal processes will be in place to transfer his or her assets and properties to their heirs and beneficiaries. We focus a lot of our attention on the person who makes the estate -- but what about the people who stand to benefit from the estate? What are there rights when an estate is executed?
Many people may not even think about the topic of appointing a guardian when they get older. But actually, this is a critical part of an estate plan, especially for those who have difficulties performing daily tasks, may that be due to a physical disability or just old age.
It is an uncomfortable thought to have, but it is one that we all must confront at some point in our life: the end. When we die, we want to know that our estate -- our legacy -- is ready and that it is properly handed off to the people that we designate. In order to make this happen, you will need a will to make your final wishes clear and to ensure that, legally, you are covered.
As we have written about before, trusts are a critical piece to any estate plan. There are many different kinds of trusts that can be utilized, depending on the situation. One important scenario for many families all across the country is helping their special needs child when their estate is passed on to them. This is where a special needs trusts can come into play, and it has many benefits for the parties involved.
Suppose you actually have an estate plan in place. This already puts you ahead of the game, as you are in the minority amongst most Americans. According to a recently released survey, 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 to 64 do not even have a will. However, even if you did get that will or trust in place ten, four or even two years ago, this does not mean estate planning is finished for you. It is very important to maintain and revise your estate plan after certain life events.
The debate and ongoing negotiations over data transfer laws both in the U.S. and internationally should be something businesses should be taking careful note of. With laws constantly changing and the way we view data and privacy a continual conversation, seeking ongoing business counsel should be at the top of the list.
Estate planning isn't just about your wealth and assets. Your health and your legacy are a huge part of having an estate plan. Without such a plan in place, your medical wishes may not be properly conveyed to the right people, and the elements of your life that you want to be passed on to others may be lost without it being on paper.
Parents and grandparents with a special needs child are unfortunately faced with the ultimate realization they are not always going to be around to care for their child. As independent as there their child may be, there is often a need for ongoing special care. A trust can be a very helpful tool in ensuring that at the very least, your child will be financially secure even after you are gone.
Millennials and young professionals are more wealth management savvy than people may think. According to Wealthfront, an investment management group, millennials (roughly all young people born in the 1980s) have control over an estimated $2 billion in liquid assets. While television, film and the media may portray millennials as college grads living in their parent's basements, this is far from the truth for many young professionals.
If you have your own business, you will obviously want to protect it -- and this doesn't just apply to when you are living. You will also want to ensure that your business is in good hands and properly organized when you pass away. It is in this way that preparing your estate plan to protect your business (and your family and business partners' interests) is vital.