Like most people, you likely think estate planning is just one more task to check off your life’s endless “to-do” list.
You can shop around and find a lawyer to create planning documents for you or create your own DIY plan using online documents. Then, you’ll put those documents into a drawer, mentally check estate planning off your to-do list, and forget about them.
The problem is, estate planning is more than just a one-and-done type of deal.
It will be worthless if your plan is not regularly updated when your assets, family situation, and laws change. Failing to update your plan can create problems that can leave your family worse off than if you’ve never created a plan.
The following story illustrates the consequences of not updating your plan, which happened to the founder and CEO of New Law Business Model, Ali Katz. Indeed, this experience was one of the leading catalysts for her to create the new, family-centered model of estate planning we use...
You’ve probably heard you need a trust to keep your family out of court and maybe out of conflict in the event of your death or incapacity. And, if you haven’t, you are hearing it now. If you own any “probatable” assets in your name at the time of your incapacity or death, your family must go to court to access them. If you aren’t sure if your assets are “probatable” contact us to discuss.
But you may need clarification about whether you need a revocable living or irrevocable trust. More and more, we are seeing people come our way asking for a irrevocable trust, and so this article is designed to help you learn the difference and then get into an “eyes wide open” conversation about the right kind of trust for you and your loved ones.
A trust is an agreement between the grantor of the trust (that’s you) with a trustee (someone named by you) to hold title to assets for the benefit of your...
What Happens To Your Debt When You Die?
Maybe you’ve wondered about your own debt or perhaps your parent’s debt—what happens to that debt when you (or they) die? Well, it depends, and that’s part of the reason you want to ensure your estate plan is well prepared. How you handle your debt can greatly impact the people you love.
In some cases, you could inadvertently leave a reality in which your surviving heirs—your kids, parents, or others—are responsible for your debt. Alternatively, if you structure your affairs properly, your debt could die right along with you.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, an individual’s debt does not disappear once that person dies. Rather, the debt must either be paid out of the deceased’s estate or by a co-creditor. And that could be bad news for you or the people you love.
What exactly happens to this debt can vary. One of the purposes of the court process known as probate is to...
This week, before the year ends, consider these 5 financial, retirement and tax actions you may need to take before it’s either too late or very costly for your family. And if you have living parents in their 70s, make sure you cover these considerations with them this week.
If you have investments in a taxable account (including cryptocurrency investments), you may want to consider selling off any losers to offset any gains you have made. Selling losses can help reduce your tax liability for the year, if you have any capital gains, and then you can carry forward investment losses to offset capital gains in the future.
If you are sitting with cryptocurrency losses that you haven’t recognized yet because you haven’t sold your cryptocurrency due to wanting to stay in the market for when crypto goes back up, you can have the best of both worlds. Sell your cryptocurrency now before...
Whether it’s called “The Great Wealth Transfer,” “The Silver Tsunami,” or some other catchy sounding name, it’s a fact that a tremendous amount of wealth will pass from Baby Boomers to younger generations in the next few decades. In fact, it’s said to be the largest transfer of intergenerational wealth in history.
Because no one knows exactly how long aging Boomers will live or how much money they’ll spend before they pass on, it’s impossible to accurately predict just how much wealth will be transferred. However, studies suggest it’s somewhere between $30 and $90 trillion. Yes, that’s “trillion” with a “t.”
While most are talking about the many benefits the wealth transfer might have for younger generations and the economy, fewer are talking about the potential negative ramifications. Yet there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that many people, especially...
As you’ve surely heard by now, we’re in the midst of great economic shifts. The collapse of the crypto market, the roller coaster that is the stock market, rising interest rates, dropping home values, and inflation through the roof—it’s enough to make you sick. And it can make you sick, unless you take the actions we are sharing here.
During every economic shift, whether it’s the Great Depression, the last Great Recession, or even during the pandemic, some people get rich, while others lose everything. Whether your family got rich, lost it all, or just hung on by their toes, you can learn from what happened and create the exact future reality you want for yourself and the people you love.
But to do that, you need to get into action now. In service to that, here are 4 steps you can take right away to change your family’s future and ensure you have the stability you need to sail through the economic shifts in the best way possible.
Can I tap into my retirement savings to pay for my child’s college education?
A: Dear Pondering:
If your kids will need financial assistance, beyond student loans, to pay for their college education, it’s vital that the way in which you choose to save will not negatively impact their qualification for such assistance. To this end, while you can use your retirement funds to pay for college expenses, this can affect your child’s eligibility for various need-based financial aid programs.
Retirement funds withdrawn to pay college expenses are reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as additional income. Consequently, when using retirement funds, the expected family contribution used from FAFSA will be higher, which will therefore reduce your child’s chances of qualifying for financial assistance.
Consult with us as your Personal Family Lawyer if you choose to tap into your retirement...
Following the death of a loved one, close family members are sometimes surprised to learn that they didn’t receive the inheritance they were expecting, and that the deceased instead left most of their estate to an individual they only recently met, who wasn’t even a relative. While it’s not always the case, in some situations this can mean your loved one was taken advantage of by a bad actor, who manipulated them into cutting out close family members from their plan and leaving assets to the bad actor instead.
This is called "undue influence," and it’s not only unethical, it’s illegal and considered a form of elder abuse. Given the growing number of seniors, the prevalence of diminished capacity associated with aging, and the concentration of wealth among elderly Baby Boomers, we’re likely to see a serious surge in the number of cases involving undue influence in the coming years.
Undue influence can have a disastrous effect on your...
Many business owners structure their business as a limited liability company (LLC) because like corporations, LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners. But unlike corporations, LLCs are not required to adhere to many of the same burdensome corporate formalities required of corporations.
Since LLCs offer the liability protection of a corporation, without all of the administrative hassles, this entity might seem like the best of both worlds—and in many ways, it can be. But things aren’t nearly as cut and dry as they might seem when it comes to abiding by an LLC’s administrative formalities.
Although the administrative requirements for an LLC are far less complex than those for a corporation, you’ll still need to abide by some operational guidelines if you want to maintain your personal liability protection. If you fail to adhere to these formalities, a court could remove the protective barrier shielding your personal assets, known as ...