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Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process of determining how your wealth and assets should be transferred to the heirs of your choice: your children, grandchildren, friends, families, charitable causes, etc. and then deciding which legal tools and structures to use to best meet your estate planning goals.

Estate planning is not simply reducing or eliminating taxes and avoiding probate.  Only after establishing how you want your estate’s assets to be distributed should you consider ways to reduce taxes and avoid probate. From there, good estate plans deal with a host of other issues. Now, with all but a few estates exempt from the federal estate tax, those other issues are, or should be, at the forefront of estate planning.

An estate plan is to ensure that you are taken care of the rest of your life and that your wealth is transferred to the people you want to have it. A good estate plan ensures these goals are accomplished with as much efficiency and as little cost as possible. An estate plan addresses the management and distribution of an individual’s property and financial obligations after he or she dies with financial tools such as wills, revocable living trusts and power of attorney.

For a comprehensive overview of Estate Planning, please start with our article:

 

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What is a Probate Lawyer/Attorney and Why Do I Need One?

October 23, 2020

  A probate lawyer, or probate attorney, guides the executors of an estate through the probate process.   Usually, when a probate lawyer is hired, he or she handles all the paperwork and proceedings in court. A probate lawyer also can advise the executor on actions the executor must take and guide the executor through […]

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What is Probate Court and What Happens at a Probate Court Hearing?

October 23, 2020

  Probate is the legal process that ensures your debts are paid and legal title to your assets is transferred to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries. If you have a will, the probate process will determine whether the will is authentic and valid.    What is a Probate Court? A probate court is a judicial […]

beat-the-high-cost-of-investing

What is the Cost of Probate?

October 23, 2020

  Probate is the legal process that ensures your debts are paid and legal title of your assets is transferred to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries. If you have a will, the probate process determines whether the will is authentic and valid. Probate is required for all estates, whether or not you have a will, […]

Estate Planning

What is a Probate Estate?

October 23, 2020

  Probate is the legal process that ensures your debts are paid and legal title of the assets you owned at the time of your death are transferred to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries. If you have a will, the probate process also will determine whether the will is authentic and valid.   Not all […]

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Estate Planning

How to Make a Will Without a Lawyer

October 20, 2020

In a survey taken in 2019, 53% of people who did not have a will said the reason they didn’t have a will was the difficulty of finding an attorney they could trust. However, you don’t need a lawyer to prepare a will for you. You can prepare a will yourself, and there are plenty […]

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Make These Moves to Your Estate Plan Before the Election: Part II

October 13, 2020

In last week’s Retirement Watch Weekly, I presented Make These Moves to Your Estate Plan Before the Election. Let’s jump back in with one move that caught many of our readers by surprise: Adult children who may choose to disclaim their inheritance. Some who disclaim an IRA may not need the money now or are […]

Estate Planning

Make These Moves to Your Estate Plan Before the Election

October 6, 2020

Rarely has the estate planning environment been as uncertain as it is now. The current estate tax law is set to expire after 2025. After that, the lifetime exemption will be cut in half and other changes will be made if Congress doesn’t act. Key income tax breaks also will expire after 2025 without congressional […]

estate planning

What You Need To Know About the Probate Process

September 29, 2020

Probate is the legal process that ensures your debts are paid and the legal title of your assets is transferred to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries. If you have a will, the probate process will determine whether the will is authentic and valid. Each state sets its own probate process and rules in its probate […]

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