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Estate Planning

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Key Reasons Why You Need to Update Your Estate Plan When You Move to a New State


 

Does your out of state move involve a to-do list a mile long? It often does. If you are moving out of state, does your checklist include updating your estate plan? It should. Let us discuss the key reasons why you need to update your estate plan when you move to a new state.


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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Estate Planning Tips to Consider When You Near the Proposed Tax Limits


Have you heard of the saying that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes? Did you know that not planning for death, or inheritance taxes, may leave your estate open to significant taxes, as high as forty percent of your estate? Let us review some estate planning tips to consider when you near the proposed tax limits.


Starting with a bit of good news, Alabama does not have an estate or death tax. This means that upon your passing, your estate will be subject to zero state estate tax.


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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Three Reasons To Consider Including A Pet Trust In Your Estate Plan


There may be many frequently discussed components of estate plans, including the division of assets from your home, to your bank accounts, to family heirlooms and of course, for the parents of minor children, designation of a guardian and assets for the children. Have you considered, however, how your four-legged or other beloved pets will be provided for? Let us discuss three reasons to consider a pet trust in your estate plan.


  1. A pet trust can help  prevent your pet from being placed in a shelter. Unfortunately, when the disposition of a pet is not provided for in the owner’s estate plan, the pet may end up in a shelter with an unknown future. By creating a pet trust, as the owner, you can provide that your pet’s care be entrusted to a friend or family member, who has agreed to become your pet’s new owner, or you can designate a caretaker to be overseen by the trustee of your estate.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

7 Questions to Ask Before Updating Your Estate Plan After Remarriage


 

 

 

 

Have you remarried after being widowed? If so, you may have special considerations for updating your estate plan that would not apply if your former spouse was still living and you had been through a divorce. Let us take a look at seven questions to ask your attorney before updating your estate plan after remarriage if you are a widow or widower. Have you remarried after being widowed? If so, you may have special considerations for updating your estate plan that would not apply if your former spouse was still living and you had been through a divorce. Let us take a look at seven questions to ask your attorney before updating your


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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Think You Are Able to Avoid Probate? 3 Common Mistakes We See


Do you have an estate plan and think that is enough to avoid probate? You might want to think again. Many people are under the impression that because they have a carefully written will, or because they do not have large investment accounts, their estates will not have to go through the probate process. This is not always true.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Using Your 529 Savings Plan as an Estate Planning Tool


Parents typically use a 529 savings plan to fund their child’s college education. Did you know, however, that there may be more ways to use a 529 savings plan? In fact, there can be many other ways to make the most of a 529 savings plan that can actually increase the amount of money available to spend on education. One of these is funding a 529 savings plan with the intent of making it part of your estate plan rather than using it in the near-term future.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Here are 3 Reasons Why You Need at Least a Last Will and Testament


Did you know that only about forty percent of Americans have an estate plan? This may be the result of the misconception that estate planning is only for the old or the wealthy. It may also be due to not making estate planning a priority on a to-do list. Did you know, however, that without an estate plan, your estate may be headed to probate court, a costly and time-consuming process? Let us discuss three reasons why you may need at least a Last Will and Testament.


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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Making Plans In the New Year? Consider a Trust in Your Estate Plan


An estate plan may not be the most exciting plan to be made in the New Year, but it can be one of the most important. Estate plans usually involve putting legal documents in place regarding how your assets will be handled and distributed in the event of your death. Did you know that a trust is a very common estate planning vehicle used to serve a variety of purposes? Trusts can be both versatile and customizable, therefore, it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you create a trust that will work best for you.


Depending on your assets and your goals, you may decide to create a trust in your will to go into effect upon your death, which is a testamentary trust.  On the other hand, you may create a trust to hold some or all of your assets now, which is a living trust or inter vivos trust.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Finding the Right Estate Planning Attorney


Are you married with children? Are you a solo parent? Due to any number of reasons, estate planning is likely a topic that weighs heavily on your mind. Choosing an estate planning attorney in your area to guide you through the process can be a good way to ensure that the burden is somewhat lightened. Your estate plan needs to reflect what you want for your children. Whether you are widowed, were never in a relationship with your child’s other parent, or pursued parenthood on your own by choice, take special care to find an estate planning attorney experienced in working with solo parents for the smoothest path forward.

 In a situation where you are your child’s only legally recognized parent, the right estate planning attorney can help you make contingency plans in the event that you unexpectedly pass on.


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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Are You Planning for Tangible Property in Your Estate Plan?


Did you know that there are three types of property that can transfer through a will? These include: real property (also called real estate), intangible personal property (like cash, bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, etc), and tangible personal property. Tangible, meaning “perceptible by touch,” refers to all the stuff we own, for example, jewelry, vehicles, clothing, furniture, art, dishes, electronics, musical instruments, and more.


Many people have specific wishes regarding how their tangible personal property will be distributed among beneficiaries. In some states, an itemized list will be included as specific bequests in the will. In most states, the law allows an individual to itemize some or all of their tangible personal property in a separate written list or statement, specifying who receives which item.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How To Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment


Are you prepared for Medicare open enrollment? If you or a loved one are enrolled in Medicare, now is the time to review your healthcare plan and your medical needs to see if you need to make changes to your current Medicare coverage. 

Every year in September, Medicare plans send out an Annual Notice of Change letter or an Evidence of Coverage letter outlining your plan benefits and notifying you of any changes to coverage.  It can be important to review these notices closely because Medicare insurance policies make changes every year.  Those changes may include changes in premium pricing, co-pay amounts and requirements, or even changes in coverage. 

It is also important to spend some time thinking about your own healthcare needs for the year as you prepare for Medicare open enrollment.


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