When designated as the Successor Trustee in a Trust belonging to your parent, sibling, or another significant individual, you're entrusted with both a distinguished honor and significant responsibility. This role is prestigious as it means your loved one has confidence in your ability to execute their most intimate wishes. However, it also demands meticulous attention and action as your decisions can lead to crucial legal and fiscal repercussions. Stepping into the Role of a Trustee As … [Read more...] about Being a Trustee: A Privilege with Significant Duties
In recent years, pet ownership has skyrocketed, and our furry loved ones have increasingly been considered integral members of the family. However, few pet owners consider what will happen to their pets should they pass away or become incapacitated. This is where estate planning comes into play, particularly the often-overlooked element of establishing a pet trust. What is a Pet Trust? A pet trust is a legal instrument that can provide for the care and maintenance of one or more pets in … [Read more...] about Protecting Your Furry Loved Ones: The Importance of Pet Trusts in Estate Planning
Few figures in the music industry have left as indelible a mark as the iconic Tina Turner. Known for her electrifying performances and ground-breaking music, Turner passed away leaving a lasting legacy. While her estate details are mainly private, there are some key points that all can learn from regarding estate planning. Celebrity Estates and Privacy In many high-profile celebrity deaths, the details of their estates often become public, leading to speculation and, sometimes, … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Lessons from the passing of Tina Turner
A testamentary trust is a legal arrangement created through a last will and testament, designed to manage and distribute a person's assets upon their passing. This type of trust serves as an essential estate planning tool, enabling the testator (the person creating the trust) to retain control over their assets and ensure the financial security of their beneficiaries. This article delves into the nature of testamentary trusts, their advantages, and how they function. A testamentary trust … [Read more...] about Testamentary Trusts: What They Are and How They Work
When you visit a savings institution in the United States, you'll often see a "Member FDIC" seal on the door. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established in 1933 as a response to the Great Depression's bank runs. The FDIC provides each person with up to $250,000 of insurance for funds in that bank in case of bank failure. However, applying this limit to trusts has been complicated until recently, as trust beneficiaries' names had to appear in the bank's records, and … [Read more...] about Trusts Can Help Protect from Bank Failure
A complete list of your assets is an essential starting point in making any decisions about those assets, whether financial portfolio decisions, or estate planning decisions. Without a complete list of your financial assets, a financial planner cannot know how to change your assets to achieve the proper asset allocation to meet your risk, return, and diversification objectives. Without a complete list of all of your assets, your estate planning attorney cannot advise … [Read more...] about Complete Asset List is the Starting Point
The death of someone near and dear can be a stressful and confusing time. Your life is disrupted emotionally and logistically by the loss and your grief. Who will take care of everything? Who has what responsibilities? Let’s look at the different roles involved after someone’s death: Executor—The Executor or Executrix, also known as the Personal Representative, has the duty of safeguarding and collecting and managing assets which the decedent owned at death, in accordance … [Read more...] about What to Do after a Loved One Dies
The most commonly utilized estate planning device other than a last will is the revocable living trust. If you have always assumed that you will be using a will, you should understand the benefits that living trusts provide so you can make an informed decision. Consolidation of Assets When a will is used, the executor is the estate administrator. Imagine the situation that the executor will step into after the passing of the testator. Everything that the deceased party owned will be … [Read more...] about Why Do So Many People Use Living Trusts?
“Probate” is one of those words that we all have heard, yet few of us really know what it means. We know it has something to do with dying, but that’s about it. When an individual dies owning assets, there is a process to change the title from the (now deceased) owner, to the new owner. This process is called “probate.” The new owner to whom the assets are passed might be a creditor, a beneficiary under a Will, or (if the decedent dies without a Will) a beneficiary from a slate of “intestate … [Read more...] about What’s Probate and Should I Care?
Facing difficulties in life sharpens our focus. When tragedy strikes, we recognize what’s important in our lives: Our family, our friends, and our values. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the famous 19th century American poet, said “Into each life some rain must fall.” We have all had “rain” in our lives. Our tragedies typically are quite personal: the death of someone close to us, a life-threatening illness, or a violent crime. Sometimes our tragedies are shared by countless others: … [Read more...] about What’s Important in Your Life?