There is little doubt that estate planning can be a difficult and complex endeavor, which is why people put off creating an estate plan for many reasons. Some do so because they don’t want to face their own mortality while others simply find the prospect intimidating and confusing. Unfortunately, a recent Caring.com study shows that even fewer people are engaging in estate planning than were a few short years ago.
A couple should create an appropriate estate plan. If they truly want inheritance rights, they need to execute testamentary documents, such as wills.
For unmarried couples, having an estate plan might be even more important than for married couples, especially if there are children in the family. The unmarried couple does not enjoy the legal protection afforded by marriage, but many of these protections can be had through a well-prepared estate plan.
Every state has laws controlling what happens to your assets if you die and don’t leave instructions indicating what you want to happen to those assets. Those laws are called “intestate succession” laws. While they are designed to cover what people will want generally, they typically don’t come close to being what most people want to happen.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions. If one of your resolutions was to make sure your affairs and finances are in order, then you are going to need to review your estate plan – or create one. How do you know if it needs to be changed or updated, or whether you even need one in the first place? Below are a few scenarios that you may want to consider.
Some people get scared off by the term "estate planning" because they think it sounds like something only the wealthy need to do. When in truth, one of the greatest gifts you can make for your loved ones is leaving instructions regarding your wishes. Not only for after you die, but in case you can't make health or financial decisions while you're alive.
Remember, it's not always about money, it's about planning to make things easier, for the transfer of your assets and if anything should happen to you.
In the past few weeks, an escalating number of clients have hurried to meet by videoconference and phone with their legal advisers.
Mortality is on everyone’s minds. Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, clients who I haven't touched their legal documents in years as well as prospective new clients, have been reaching out to update their existing estate planning documents, or write new ones.
COVID-19 has caused scores of people to write Wills and make critical estate planning decisions about who will oversee their medical care and finances if they become ill or incapacitated. Yet, more than 50 percent of people age 55-plus do not have a Will or the other key estate planning documents they might need during the pandemic, according to Caring.com.