Nowadays, divorce is a common occurrence. In 2020, the National Center for Health Statistics reported 2.1 divorces per 1,000 in Texas. If you have gone through a divorce and remarried, it is crucial to update your estate planning documents to reflect your changed circumstances. Failure to do so can lead to a nightmare scenario for your family in case of an unexpected accident or illness. For example, suppose you become incapacitated, and your ex-spouse is listed as your agent under … [Read more...] about Your Ex-spouse May Get Most of Your Assets
Estate planning for single people is an important aspect of safeguarding your future, ensuring that your assets, healthcare wishes, and loved ones are well taken care of even when you’re no longer around. Planning for the future can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed, especially when you’re single and navigating life on your own. You may feel that estate planning is something that only concerns married people, people with children, or people with considerable wealth. The truth is, creating a … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Single People: 5 Reasons Why It’s Important
Before you head off on your next adventure ask yourself – Is everything handled and up-to-date? Your normal life seems a million miles away. This is the first time you have been able to go away together, just the two of you. It seems like just yesterday the kids were chasing fireflies in the back yard after the family barbeque. Time seems to have a way of accelerating. They are now grown and the loss of everyday contact has given you both newfound freedom and independence. As you … [Read more...] about Relax: Everything’s Handled
We look around us and we see the changing face of America. Americans are living longer now than ever before. According to the National Center for Heath Statistics, the average life expectancy at birth is now 77.2 years. The life expectancy has ratcheted up gradually from 59.7 years in 1930. This, combined with an increased rate of divorce, results in more marriages per individual and more blended families. Let’s look at a typical situation. Susan and Mike have … [Read more...] about Preserving Harmony with Blended Families
Each of us daydreams of an easy way to become rich. Maybe we will come into some unexpected money. We dream of winning the lottery, hitting a slot machine jackpot, or winning a game show. We wonder if there may be some lost relative ready to leave us their fortune. So, let’s say you do come into significant wealth. What do you do? Of course, you probably have some ideas on ways to spend the money. But, first you have to take care of business. If you acquired it from a game … [Read more...] about How to Handle a Windfall
Taking the time to update the charitable bequests in your trust or Will can seem tedious when compared to the constant, busy buzz of everyday life; however, the consequences of not making necessary changes can be severe. It is likely A.B. Branan did not foresee that the charitable bequest provisions would remain unresolved for years following his death. When Mr. Branan signed his Will in 1992, he left a charitable bequest to the Cordele Georgia Area Y.M.C.A. After experiencing financial … [Read more...] about Charitable Bequests: You Better Review Them
You and your spouse live your lives as one. You’ve been together for years. It seems the simple solution is to just leave everything to each other upon your deaths. Unfortunately, in this situation, the simplest solution may not be the best. First, if you leave everything to your spouse, they will be estate taxed on it at their death. If together you have more than $1 million, or expect to have that much by the time you both die, that could be a problem, depending upon the year you … [Read more...] about Should I Leave Everything to My Spouse?
As dawn breaks over the ranch, you think of the chores that await you: tending the cattle; repairing the equipment; buying feed and supplies. The life of a rancher is not easy, but it has its rewards: a life close to family and nature. But, as you age and nature takes its course, how will you protect your family and preserve the ranch? You try to plan to minimize the impact of adversities. Maybe you build ponds to assure adequate water. Maybe you hedge prices … [Read more...] about Preserving the Ranch for the Next Generation
You are a responsible person. You go to the physician and dentist periodically. You stay active and watch what you eat. You went to an attorney and did an estate plan. Unfortunately, professionals, like the rest of us, have changes in their lives. Perhaps they moved. Perhaps they fell ill or became disabled. Perhaps they died. So, what do you do when a professional is no longer available to assist you? First, find out what has become of your … [Read more...] about My Attorney Does Not Practice Law Anymore: Now What?
Anyone who may die or become incapacitated (in other words all of us) needs to plan their affairs. But, who actually does it? The American Association of Retired Persons conducted a survey of people aged fifty and over on that very topic. It found that sixty percent had at least a will, forty-five percent had durable powers of attorney for financial matters, twenty-three percent had a trust, and only seventeen percent had all three. What do you think is the factor … [Read more...] about Smart People Do Estate Planning