The one thing in life that you should not put off is your estate planning. We all think we have at least one more day, but if you listen to the news, you should know that accidents happen every day. Not only should you prepare for your family's well-being after your death, but you should also be prepared for an unseen event that could leave you incapacitated. In the latter instance, others may end up making decisions for you if you have not made them in advance.
David Bowie, legend and rock star, might live on in more than just his music or his colorful performances. Bowie passed away from a bout with liver cancer just two days after turning 69. Well known across the world for being one of the great pop artists, he had just finished releasing "Blackstar," his latest album.
There are different reasons why people create trusts instead of just having a will. Some people create a living trust so they can still control their assets and property while they are living, but can also take advantage of tax breaks or to avoid having their assets go into probate. Many people see wills and trusts as something only for the wealthy or those with a high net-worth. However, trusts are not just for the wealthy. There are many other reasons why you might have a trust, other than to transfer high-value property or assets.
One of the most common things that you and your spouse may want to avoid doing when creating a will is selecting a guardian for your children. But it is also the most important thing you can do. Do you really want a judge who doesn't know your children to be the one to appoint a guardian if something happens to you?
Many people who may not have a wealth of money, property or assets rely on insurance policies to take care of their loved ones if something happens to them. While relying on an insurance policy to take care of your family is a great idea, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Financial advisers, who are entrusted to give the best advice possible to their investors, have gotten a bad name. Just like in any business, there are good and bad. Because some financial advisers have overstepped the bounds of good faith and given poor advice in an effort to make their own commission larger, it has facilitated tarnishing the reputations of good advisers also, who are working hard for their investors.
Most people who are planning their estates know that a will is the foundational document in the plan. When you create a will, you clarify your wishes regarding the distribution of assets, and an estate planning attorney can help you draft a will with enforceable language that leaves nothing to chance.
A commonly overlooked estate planning document is the health care directive, otherwise known as a living will or an advance directive. Most people who think seriously about estate planning draft a will to address matters of property distribution, but often the planning stops there.
The estate, probate and will contest attorneys of Landrum & Shouse LLP handle a wide variety of estate-related matters, including the preparation of wills and trusts, disputes over inheritances, and creditors' claims against estates. We know that, with the right planning, estate assets can be preserved and protected; loved ones can be provided for; and confusion and litigation can be prevented.