Planning for the future is something that many think about upon the turn of the New Year. Whatever your goals are for the New Year, and the future in general, an estate plan should be one of them. Estate planning can accomplish many goals that you may not necessarily be aware that it can accomplish. If you are business owner, an estate plan may be necessary in case something were to happen that would make you unavailable to run or make decisions for your business.
After a spouse's death, there is usually much attention paid to their estate and distributing their assets accordingly. However, when an individual loses a spouse, one needs to assess their financial needs moving forward, as there likely will be many changes. While a surviving spouse may have been left assets through their deceased loved one's estate plan, they usually have to adjust to going down to a single income.
Having a comprehensive estate plan is important for everyone. It can help ensure that the estate planner's wishes are honored and provide peace of mind to both the estate planner and family members during a difficult time.
As discussed previously on our Quincy legal issues blog, sometimes a deceased person's estate will need to go through the probate process to legally transfer the decedent's assets and work through any issues left unresolved at the time of death. Careful estate planning can usually help keep most (perhaps all) assets from having to be probated, but many will have to deal with probate to some degree.
Many Quincy residents will have one major question surrounding their estates or the estate of a loved one: how to avoid probate. Before delving into the subject of avoiding probate, we will spend some time making sure that our readers are clear on just when it is necessary to probate an estate.
Far too often, Quincy residents pass away without leaving any written indication of how their estate should be handled. Not only does this risk their assets being distributed in a manner against what their wishes might have been, but it exposes their estates to legal challenges and the potential for mismanagement. Fortunately, a basic will can be drafted with relative ease, as we began discussing previously on our Quincy legal issues blog.
Drafting a will is one of those things that far too many Quincy residents put off for later. Part of this is simply trying to find the time in a busy week to deal with issues that seem so far removed from day-to-day life. Another part is simply not knowing where to begin, and wondering: what should be included in a basic will?
A recent post here on our Quincy legal issues blog reviewed an unfortunate case in which family members became divided over their parents' estate after they had passed. One component of the parents' estate planning involved the use of a trust to protect their assets and divide them among their children.
Sometimes, it may seem like Quincy residents are doing everything right in setting up and protecting one's estate for the benefit of one's heirs. One may expect that a certain level of trust among family and community members will carry on after one has passed away. But if those relationships turn sour, will the estate plan hold up?
Adult Quincy residents in their forties and fifties today are part of what has been referred to as the "sandwich" generation. They are sandwiched, that is, between caring for their kids and caring for their own elderly parents.