One of the most important conversations to have as a family is how to handle the finances of aging loved ones. Naturally, most individuals wish to maintain personal control over their assets for as long as possible; however, incapacity at old age is a reality. If your loved one loses the ability to make decisions, somebody will need to make those decisions in their stead.
One of the quickest ways to start a family feud is to die without a Will in place, particularly if you have several adult children. While everybody would like to believe that cooler heads would prevail when it comes to disseminating your estate, this is rarely the case without the support an estate plan and a Will gives.
Thinking about the end of your life may be stressful, but the more you prepare, the better the situation will be for you and your loved ones. For instance, in the story of Cynthia McKennedy, having an advanced care directive was crucial to ensuring that her physician honored her end-of-life wishes when she was not lucid enough to advocate for herself. Not having one would have put an unbelievable amount of stress on her family during an already-difficult time.
Nobody likes to think about being medically incapacitated. However, when it comes to managing your estate, it is vital to plan for the worst case scenario. For instance, if you know that dementia runs in your family, creating a plan early is of paramount importance.
For the majority of Americans, the most expensive item they will ever buy is a home. Thus, it comes as no surprise that properties tend to be a linchpin concerning estate plans. It is important that you weave your estate throughout your home buying process to ensure that you are well-placed in terms of taxation and inheritance.
Nobody likes to think about needing a living will. For the majority of us, the idea of being medically incapacitated is terrifying. However, having a living will on hand is extremely important.
Estate planning is a vital piece of financial wellness, but many Americans overlook it. For example, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils says that well over half of Americans do not currently possess an up-to-date and valid estate plan. In fact, the majority of Americans who are over the age of 65 depend entirely on their Social Security payouts. This is not the most financially secure retirement. With proper estate planning, Americans can go into retirement with more confidence and security.
Choosing a beneficiary for your will or estate may seem like a daunting process, but it does not have to be. To be clear, a beneficiary is an individual (or organization) who receives a piece of your estate when you die. It is possible to have multiple beneficiaries of a will or estate. You can also make the beneficiary whomever you wish: a beneficiary does not have to be a relative.
Watching your child leave home for the first time can be difficult. Not only are there all of the emotional issues attached to dropping your child off at the dorms, there is also the reality of all the legal changes that are likely happening at the same time. You may always think of your children as your babies, but the law sees your children very differently once they turn 18. Namely, since your children are no longer legally minors, the HIPAA privacy rule now applies to your child's medical records. This amounts to a major legal change which could prevent you, as a parent, from knowing that your children are in the hospital in the event of a major medical issue.
There are few things more destructive to family relationships than dealing with disputes after a loved one’s death. Dealing with potential high-value assets along with grief can be overwhelming and ruin a family. Additionally, intense strife over a will or trust may result in some or all of your intended beneficiaries attempting to abandon your estate plan.