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Estates

Name an Understudy for Yourself with a Power of Attorney

Few images are as scary as imagining yourself incapacitated. Still, you should consider the possibility that in your absence, someone else will have to take care of business and make important decisions. Enter the power of attorney. Here’s what you need to know about this important legal document. As the principal, you choose someone (often […]
Estates

Picking a Guardian for Your Children

If you have minor children, you’ve probably had a “plane crash” nightmare: You and your spouse are on an airliner, when it suddenly plunges from the sky, leaving your kids at home with Grandma and Grandpa — for the rest of their lives. Two Pieces of Advice Check with your estate planning attorney. Details for […]
Estates

Why You Need a Durable Power of Attorney For Finances

Incapacitation is a possibility for people as they grow older. A durable power of attorney assigned to a trustworthy and responsible individual can help alleviate worries that health problems will prevent you from handling financial matters at some point in the future. Unfortunately, incapacitation can happen to anyone at any time. How Durable Is a […]
Estates

What’s Involved in Being an Estate Executor?

If you’re asked to serve as the executor of an estate, think carefully about the decision before accepting the position. Acting as an executor or administrator of an estate can involve a great deal of work, depending on assets and the complexity of the estate. For example, an estate with a large investment portfolio, property […]
Estates

When a Will Is Challenged

When a will is contested, it usually means that one or more family members feel they have been unfairly cut out or shortchanged. The process varies from state to state and it must be done within certain time limits or the opportunity is lost. Court Upheld Will that Cut Out Relatives A Rhode Island court […]
Estates

What Does ‘Per Stirpes’ Mean?

Q. I noticed a provision in┬ámy will that divides┬ámy estate “per stirpes.” What does this mean? A. While the phrase “per stirpes” may sound complex, the concept is pretty simple. Per stirpes comes from Latin. It means by branch or by representation. The purpose of including a per stirpes provision in your will is to […]
Estates

Ten Reasons to Have a Will and Estate Plan

If you already have a last will and testament, then you are among the minority of the population. Great planning! However, for those of you who do not have a will, we understand some of the reasons why you hesitate to formally plan your estate. Here are some of the reasons people cite for not […]
Estates

Be Cautious If You Plan Your Own Funeral

Generally we don’t like to think about our mortality, but many people do just that when they include a prepaid funeral in their estate plan to take the burden off their loved ones. A Years-Long Scam The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cautions consumers about a scam involving prepaid funerals. In one case, six individuals […]
Estates

Protecting Assets When a Spouse Receives Medicaid

Many couples, in their golden years, find themselves wondering: What if one or both of them is admitted into a nursing home and needs Medicaid? After saving throughout their lives, they are fearful that if one of them enters a nursing home, they will have to dissipate their life savings to pay for the cost […]
Estates

Estate Planning for Singles: Current Rules May Dictate Changes

Legislation enacted a few years ago made permanent changes to the federal estate and gift tax rules. Specifically, here are the significant estate changes in the American Taxpayer Relief Act: What is Included In Your Taxable Estate? First, calculate the value of assets including: Cash, stocks and bonds; Intangible investments such as patents, trademarks and […]