Articles written by Robert D. Schwartz
Most people dread the thought of estate planning. It's not hard to understand why. Thinking about where your assets should go after you die is an uncomfortable reminder of the inevitability of death. Many put it off until it's too late and end up leaving their heirs and family members with a financial and administrative mess. Those who you want to inherit your assets, those people you love most, may not receive them or may receive less because of expenses like court costs and taxes. This is why estate planning is so important, no matter what the size of your estate... READ MORE!
When the majority of people hear the word "probate," they can tell you with certainty that they definitely want to avoid that-but why? Many people don't even know what probate is and fortunately, have not had to experience it for themselves. In fact, probate is the name for the court proceeding through which a judge declares a Will to be valid and appoints an individual, sometimes called a Personal Representative, or Executor, to be responsible for carrying out the administration of an estate...READ MORE!
It is difficult to sort through all the confusion about estate planning documents and the probate process. You hear different and conflicting information from your neighbors, television programs and the internet. There are many frequently perpetuated myths about Will and Trusts circulating around. It is important to make sure you have your facts straight. If not, you may accidentally leave your family in a troublesome position...READ MORE!
As individuals get older, many decide to add their children's names to their homes or their brokerage and bank accounts. This is called owning something in "joint tenancy". It is a type of ownership with two or more owners who all have rights to an asset. People are told that by doing this, they will avoid probate and automatically pass to those assets to the persons named on the property or accounts. This is true, but doing this may have significant adverse consequences that most people are not aware of... READ MORE!
There may come a point in your life where you are no longer able to take care of your own affairs. It is one of those tough realities of life that no one ever wants to consider. The circumstances of incapacity can be unpredictable. If you do not take the proper precautions, incapacity can become a burden on those around you. Though you can never fully predict the possible ramifications of incapacity, there are many things you can do to be as prepared as possible... READ MORE!
Many people believe that if they have a Last Will and Testament, their estate planning goals have been accomplished. If their goal is solely to express their wishes onto where their assets go when they die, then they may be right. If their goal is to accomplish this while also making it as easy as possible for their family and friends, with the least amount of expense, then they might consider a Revocable Living Trust. A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that acts similarly to a Will, but does much more. There are many advantages to using a Trust... READ MORE!