GP Schoemakers Blog

GP Schoemakers Blog2019-04-10T17:20:19+00:00

Do you really need a trust?

Although many people equate “estate planning” with having a will, there are many advantages to having a trust rather than a will as the centerpiece of your estate plan. While there are other estate planning tools (such as joint tenancy, transfer on death, beneficiary designations, to name a few), only a trust provides comprehensive management of your property in the event you can’t make financial decisions for yourself (commonly called legal incapacity) or after your death. One of the primary advantages of having a trust is that it provides the ability to bypass the publicity, time, and expense of probate. [...]

By |October 8th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Do you really need a will?

You May Not Think You Need a Will, But You Really Do.  Most Americans do not have a simple will as part of their estate plan. You might believe that a will is only for the rich and famous, and not the average person who has a far smaller net worth. On the other hand, you may think that a will is entirely unnecessary since you have a trust, jointly owned property, or have named beneficiaries on your insurance. So, do you really need a will? The short answer to this question is “yes.” In fact, everyone who owns anything [...]

By |October 1st, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Murphy’s Law and Estate Planning

 As the old adage goes “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Referred to as Murphy’s law, this well-known saying has no mercy. Sadly, estate planning is no exception to its wrath. There is hope! Below are five-estate planning mistakes and how to fix them: Incorrect guardian for your children: A will is a way for you to control what happens to your estate and your minor or disabled children from the grave. If you fail to put together a will, the state will decide who cares for them at a court hearing. If you do have a will, [...]

By |September 24th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Trusts – The Swiss Army Knife of Estate Planning

 To the general public, a trust may seem like an advanced tool only for the wealthiest among us. But, the reality is that trusts are a foundational estate planning tool with a solid history for being highly effective in ensuring a person’s wishes are carried out. The process begins with the maker of a trust – commonly referred to as the trust maker, grantor, settlor, or trustor – transferring his or her ownership of certain assets to the trust. A trustee is then appointed to manage these assets for the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) of the trust. In a “standard” revocable [...]

By |September 17th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Avoid Living Probate: How to Keep Guardians and Conservators Out of Your Estate

While most proactive individuals know the importance of having a well-rounded estate plan, it is typically considered as something that will take effect after they have passed away. But there are in fact many ways in which comprehensive estate planning can have a positive impact on your life while you are still around to reap the benefits. Planning for Incapacity Most people who reach old age come to a point at which they are no longer in a position to handle all of their affairs on their own. In many cases this incapacity is due to dementia or other cognitive [...]

By |September 10th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

As Ambrose Bierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” Obviously, ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in peace. In fact, the whole business of estate planning – or at least a significant piece of it – is concerned with ease. How can assets and legacies be transferred to the next generation in a harmonious, stress-free, fair process? To that end, one primary [...]

By |September 3rd, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

How to Build Freedom From Court Interference Into Your Estate Plan

It’s clear why you might want to avoid court involvement in your estate for financial reasons, knowing that probate can quickly get costly and time consuming for those involved. But there is an emotional component to it as well. Your assets are just that: yours. And the idea of them being discussed and deliberated on in a public forum might not be such an appealing one. If you feel that the matters of your estate should be kept private and that your assets should be distributed to your loved ones rather than eroded by court fees, you’re not alone. And [...]

By |August 27th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Money Isn’t Everything in Estate Planning

How to Pass Your Stories and Values to the Future Generations Money may be the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, but the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even more to family members down the line. Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding your money, property, and belongings. After all, what really makes a family a family is its values and traditions — not the way its finances read on paper. It's an excellent idea to hold a family meeting in which you discuss the sorts [...]

By |August 20th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

3 Decidedly Dumb Ways to Leave an Inheritance for Your Children

Estate planning offers many ways to leave your wealth to your children, but it’s just as important to know what not to do. Here are some things that are all-too-common, but textbook examples of what not to do or try.... “Oral Wills” If you feel you have a good rapport with your family or don't have many assets, you might be tempted simply to tell your children or loved ones how to handle your estate when you’re gone. However, even if your family members wanted to follow your directions, it may not be entirely up to them. Without a written [...]

By |August 13th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

The Tragic Loss of Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin: Lessons for Estate and Legacy Planning

On June 19, 2016, when successful actor Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the recent Star Trek movies) failed to show for rehearsal, his friends became worried and drove to his house. Sadly, they found Yelchin pinned between his security fence, brick mailbox, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. According to investigators, the 27-year-old star exited the vehicle before it allegedly rolled backwards down his steep driveway, pinning, and ultimately killing the Star Trek actor. Los Angeles County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter stated the cause of death as “accidental blunt traumatic asphyxia.” Two days later, Fiat Chrysler released a statement informing the public [...]

By |August 6th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments