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Estate Planning Archives

An essential estate planning checklist

Planning your estate can be an overwhelming process. There are many aspects to ensuring that you have everything in order, and you will want to feel confident that there will be no complications in passing on your wealth over to your heirs. In planning your estate effectively, you should also prepare for any imaginable scenario, including becoming incapacitated during your lifetime due to ill health.

How a disinherited widow can still live a comfortable life

Widows of publishing magnates mostly enjoy a comfortable life during both the life and following the death of their spouse. Marrying someone who has built a print and digital empire over several decades has its benefits in the form of a significant inheritance.

Are some long term care premium payments tax deductible?

While next year’s tax season is several months away, it tends to brings out the chance to save money in everyone. Savings, in this regard, means figuring out ways to reduce one’s taxable income so that a chance at an income tax refund can be realized. Having a refund check is especially important for the elderly, because it is likely the largest individual check to be received all year.

When to adjust an estate plan

When people think about a “fair” division of assets in the context of an estate plan, they may believe that each beneficiary must receive an equal, proportionate share of what is left. However, this may not always be the case. More importantly, it may not be appropriate for the respective beneficiaries.

When and why you should update your will

Having a will is just the beginning of what makes a will important. Many people go without a will -- it's true. But these grantors often lack the legal protections that they would actually want, and their beneficiaries (and their entire estate) can suffer as a result of it. Dying intestate (which means to die without a will) leaves your estate up to state laws and the normal probate process. Having a will is crucial.

How do you avoid probate?

When it comes to the topic of estate planning, there is inevitably one thing that grantors and beneficiaries will worry about: probate. This is the legal process of actually handling and executing the estate in court. That may sound safe and proper -- but it is also costly and time-consuming. It can leave beneficiaries with less than they desired and it can even cause personal divisions between family members.

Could a trust in your estate plan protect heirs from taxes?

When you acquire assets over the course of a lifetime, you pay taxes at the time you earn or purchase those assets. However, when you die, if you have a substantial amount to leave to your heirs, they could face additional taxes on your assets.

Another confusing tax form for executors

Who thinks about tax season in July? The answer is likely no one outside of an accountant’s or tax attorney’s office. But the confusion over how to complete tax forms may not go away for executors tasked with administering an estate. Obscure and dense tax forms can be vexing; especially for those who do not regularly deal with them.

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