A Trust for Fluffy or Fido? Why Every Pet Parent Needs to Consider a Pet Trust Today

Estate planning is about protecting what’s important to you. Although much of the traditional estate planning conversation focus on surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, many pet parents wonder about what could happen to their “furry children” after their death or if they become incapacitated and unable to care for the pets. Read on if you’ve ever

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Are Your Documents Following the Same Script? Basics of Beneficiary Forms and Estate Planning

In the event of your untimely death, the manner in which your beneficiaries — or those people who receive your assets from your estate — are determined is highly dependent on how your property is titled.   Generally, property with title includes vehicles, boats, airplanes, real estate, bank accounts, savings bonds, life insurance policies, retirement

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Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually, someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. Your successor trustee plays an important role

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Do It Now: Name a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)

  We know it’s hard. Thinking about someone else raising your children can stop you in your tracks. It feels crushing and too horrific to consider. But you must. If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you – your children’s guardian could be a relative you despise

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How to Choose a Trustee

When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee does what you do right now with your financial affairs – collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records, and generally keep things organized and

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How to Choose a Guardian for Yourself

Every day we make hundreds of decisions from what to eat for breakfast to where we go on vacation.  With each passing day, there are more choices to be made.  But, what will happen if you can’t make decisions for yourself?  Before that time comes, there is one important decision you need to make. Who

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Should your child’s guardian and trustee be the same person?

If you have overheard any discussion about estate planning, you have likely heard the words “guardian” or “trustee” tossed around in the conversation. When it comes to estate planning, who will be ultimately in charge of your minor child is an important decision that requires consideration of many factors. Although there is no substitute for

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How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney

While the term fiduciary is a legal term with a rich history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests. Trustees, executors, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries. When you pick trustees, executors, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to

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Cryptocurrency and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know

Cryptocurrencies have been making headlines as of late, with more and more investors wanting in on this digital currency. Cryptocurrencies are attractive because they are unregulated, decentralized, and anonymous. While secrecy is useful in some areas of life, when it comes to estate planning it can lead to disaster. Indeed, your entire cryptocurrency investment can

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Five Considerations When Selecting a Guardian for Your Children

There is no question that having children changes everything — and estate planning is no exception. If you and your spouse pass away or become legally incapacitated, and arrangements were never made in the event of such an emergency, your minor child or children will have to be placed with a new family. Not surprisingly,

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Retirement Planning for Business Owners

For many employees, saving for retirement is usually a matter of simply participating in their employer’s 401(k) plan and perhaps opening an IRA for some extra savings.   But, when you’re the owner of a business, planning for retirement requires proactivity and strategy. It’s not just the dizzying array of choices for retirement accounts, there’s

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Rewarding Your Employees By Giving Them the Business

Retiring from your business can a tough decision.  To ensure that what you have built continues on, there needs to be a plan for succession.  For some people, they have spent years grooming a child or other family member to take over, wanting the business to stay in the family.  Others look to sell to

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How long should I keep old tax returns, estate plans, house closing papers, and other important documents?

How Long Should You Keep Important Documents? In a society dominated by paperwork, the question of how long to hold on to important documents has been baffling for most people. We especially worry about documents of a financial or personally identifying nature. People who worry about losing something important sometimes hoard everything; others who worry

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IRAs, Annuities, and Guardianship – Providing for your Minor Children after You Die

IRAs, Annuities and Guardianship: Providing for Your Minor Children after You Die Deciding on a guardian for your minor children may very well be the most vexing decision you’ll make regarding your estate planning. Not only must you trust the appointed guardian to raise your children as you’d want them raised, but you also need

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Planning for the Future without a Crystal Ball

Planning for the Future (Without a Crystal Ball) Creating a will, trust, or any type of estate plan has always involved dealing with an uncertain future. Consider that just 20 years ago in 1997, the estate tax had an astonishing 55% rate with only a $600,000 exemption. Back then, tax-driven estate planning was a mathematical

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How Does My Annuity Fit Into My Estate Plan?

How Does My Annuity Fit Into My Estate Plan? Selecting the right type of annuity for yourself is no small feat. Of course, you’ve put in the research and planned with your financial advisors. But, you might still be wondering what happens to those annuity payments upon your death. In addition to their benefits as

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Does My Estate Plan Need to Include My Vacation Property?

Does My Estate Plan Need to Include My Vacation Property? Yes! If you own a vacation home, timeshare, investment property, or any other asset outside of the state where you are domiciled you must make sure it’s included in your estate plan. If you fail to include these in your estate plan, or fail to

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Can You Bequeath Your Frequent Flyer Miles?

Can You Bequeath Your Frequent Flyer Miles? If you’re a frequent airline traveler, one of your estate planning concerns may be what will happen to your accumulated miles once you’re gone. They could be worth thousands of dollars, so you probably don’t want them to just disappear, but some airline policies say that’s exactly what

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Do you own rental property? How proactive, comprehensive estate planning can help

Do You Own Rental Property? How Proactive, Comprehensive Estate Planning Can Help A comprehensive estate plan should address all of your assets. For most people, an estate plan must include three common categories: (1) your home; (2) financial accounts, like your checking and savings account; and (3) personal property. Other types of assets – such

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How to Share the Memories and History of Family Heirlooms with Your Estate Plan

How to Share Family History and Heirlooms with Your Estate Plan The best time to share your family history with loved ones is right now, before the memories are forgotten. The coming holiday season is a great opportunity to reminisce because you’ll probably have your loved ones nearby. While you can always pull aside children

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