The planet that we inhabit seems to grow more chaotic with the passing of time. Our reality is a dangerous one, with global pandemics like the coronavirus outbreak recording exponential death rates, and tragic domestic and international terrorist attacks happening on an all to frequent basis. The only certainty in life is that some day our lives will end. We like to avoid dwelling on such unpleasant thoughts, but that does not make it any less true. Another uncomfortable truth is that we … [Read more...] about Planning for the Unexpected in Chaotic Times
Does COVID-19 Have a Silver Lining for Estate Plans?
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in thousands of lives lost, halted the global economy, and plunged markets into recession levels. There is not an abundance of good news right now, but there are some silver linings if you are wise in your estate planning. Certain opportunities arise under circumstances when investments lose a significant value over a relatively short period of time. Here we will discuss why now is a good time to make gifts in the form of stock market assets. In addition, … [Read more...] about Does COVID-19 Have a Silver Lining for Estate Plans?
Can My Non-Citizen Spouse Inherit from My Estate?
Over the last several decades, however, national borders have all but disappeared, leading to a dramatic increase in cross-border marriages in the United States. In fact, the United States Census Bureau reports that one in five marriages in the U.S. today includes a spouse born outside the U.S. Of those marriages, about 60 percent of the foreign-born spouses have become naturalized citizens, leaving the remaining 40 percent as non-citizens. If you are married to a non-citizen, estate planning … [Read more...] about Can My Non-Citizen Spouse Inherit from My Estate?
Planning for Step-Children
Planning for Blended Families Many of our clients are blended, with children of the husband, children of the wife and/or children from both spouses. Estate planning for blended families can require special planning. You may consider your step children to be your own. But, if you haven’t adopted them, they have no inheritance rights. Below is a link to an excellent article from the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys about estate planning involving step children. Planning for … [Read more...] about Planning for Step-Children
Hello Dennis, My father in law appears to be getting dementia and his son needs to make decision. He lease an apartment and he wants his son to be able to make decision regarding rental, handling his bank accounts and medical issues. Will a Durable power of attorney be enough. Or does he need to be a Conservator? Thank you for your time. L. B. Dear L.B.: If your father-in-law has sufficient mental capacity at this time to execute a financial power of attorney, that would be an … [Read more...] about Ask Dennis
What Happens to Your Retirement Account When You Die?
Most workers in the U.S. no longer count on employer-sponsored pensions to fund their retirement. Instead, many of them rely on self-funded retirement options such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, and other tax-deferred retirement accounts. An IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that you own and control. Earnings generated can compound on a tax-deferred basis until withdrawal. In essence, an IRA is like having your own personal pension that you and/or your employer may … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your Retirement Account When You Die?
Don’t Forget to Update Your Estate Plan after a Divorce
Creating a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to both your loved ones and yourself over the course of your lifetime. Don’t make the mistake of stopping there though. Once that plan is in place, it needs to be reviewed and updated on a routine basis. It may also need to be updated when certain events call for a revision. For example, a Riverside estate planning lawyer explains the importance of updating your estate plan following a divorce. Routine Reviews … [Read more...] about Don’t Forget to Update Your Estate Plan after a Divorce
5 Documents that Should Be in Every Estate Plan
A well thought out estate plan can accomplish a variety of inter-connected goals. Along with ensuring that your estate assets are distributed according to your wishes after you are gone, your estate plan can also do things such as plan for the possibility of incapacity, provide for minor children in your absence, and protect assets from all kinds of potential threats. Given the unique nature of estate planning, no two estate plans will be exactly the same. Nevertheless, there are some common … [Read more...] about 5 Documents that Should Be in Every Estate Plan
Tips for Preventing Estate Disputes between Siblings
For most people, one of the primary reasons to create an estate plan is to ensure that their estate is distributed according to their wishes after they are gone. Another reason is to reduce the likelihood of confusion and conflict after they are gone. If you have adult children, you undoubtedly want to do all you can to prevent disputes between them after you are gone. While there is no way to accomplish that goal with 100 percent certainty, the following tips will help prevent estate disputes … [Read more...] about Tips for Preventing Estate Disputes between Siblings
What Are 529 Plans and What Are Their Advantages?
What are 529 plans? Can they be held in trusts? Read on to learn more about these plans and why to consider them. What Are 529 Plans and What Are Their Advantages? … [Read more...] about What Are 529 Plans and What Are Their Advantages?