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Posts tagged "estate plan"

Why you should tell your estate planning lawyer about your prenup

Estate planning and family law are often closely intertwined. This is especially true when people have children, divorce and remarry -- creating complex blended families in the process. As the branches on a family tree continue to grow and overlap, the estate planning needs of that family are likely to follow suit and become increasingly nuanced.

Don't let out-of-date beneficiary names ruin your estate plan

Two weeks ago on this blog, we talked about the importance of going back to your estate plan now and then to make sure it is accurate and up to date with current laws and changing life circumstances. This week we will touch on a related issue that is easily overlooked, and can wreak havoc with an otherwise well-planned estate.

Philip Seymour Hoffman left everything to longtime girlfriend

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose earlier this year at the age of 46, reportedly did not leave any of his substantial estate to his children, electing instead to leave everything to his longtime girlfriend and mother of his three children. 

Review your estate plan regularly to keep it up to date

People often think of estate planning as a “set it and forget it” event, but the truth is that an estate plan usually must be revisited periodically to make sure that it is up to date. It is generally a good idea to work with your lawyer to review your estate plan at least once every few years, even if nothing significant has changed in your life or financial circumstances. By doing so, you can ensure that your estate plan is up to date with regard to the latest tax and estate planning laws

Lou Reed estate plan provides a lesson on privacy

When legendary musician Lou Reed passed away last year, he left an estate worth an estimated $30 million. However, he did so in a way that exposes his heirs to publicity that he may or may not have anticipated. The story draws attention to an important issue for anyone planning an estate in California -- even those of somewhat more modest means.

Does your estate plan include your online assets?

Do you use Facebook, Paypal or eBay? Do you store photographs, music or other personal files “in the cloud”? Do you receive paperless statements from your bank or investment accounts? These are just a few of the many ways that people use the Internet every day to store information and manage their affairs. Unfortunately, these online assets are often overlooked when it comes to estate planning. 

Plan for debts as well as assets to avoid unpleasant surprises

A big part of estate planning is deciding how to distribute assets such as real estate, savings accounts, personal possessions and other valuable property among the people and organizations you wish to benefit. In order to avoid cutting into those gifts, however, it is also important to consider how your debts and liabilities may affect your heirs.

Wide Age Disparities in Married Couples Create Unique Estate Planning Challenges

Estate planning for married couples can always yield a few surprising differences, but when a decade or more in age separates the couple, it can add a few more wrinkles into the mix, including:

Be Sure to Provide for Incapacity in Your Estate Plan

The conservatorship process can be an expensive and emotionally trying time for family, as proceedings are a matter of public record and are not kept private.  While going to court to appoint a conservator may become necessary to protect someone's assets or health, it can be one of the most unpleasant legal procedures.

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