Here are the highlights from my daily blog for last week. If you’d like to read any blog in its entirety, just click on the link provided. Enjoy!!
We have entered a digital age but are living in a paper world when it comes to estate planning.
So as we are reviewing our own estate planning documents for the looming changes ahead on January 1, 2013, we simply can’t ignore that the way we get, use and store our information has fundamentally changed.
Technology has made the world we live in largely digital. So it should be said that our “online lives” need to be included in our estate plans. We have to remember that we aren’t only protecting our tangible assets, but also our digital ones. So, have you planned your estate to account for your “digital assets”? Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
Reference: Forbes (October 18, 2012) “You Just Locked Out Your Executor And Made Your Estate Planning A Monumental Hassle”
Wealthy families frequently confront the same question: how to leave millions to your kid without ruining her life?
The intention of giving an inheritance to your kids or loved ones is to help their future, not to hinder them. Unfortunately a large inheritance can sometimes hurt more than help, depending on how the distribution is set up. This is a common issue with the wealthy and successful celebrities, as is the case with Whitney Houston’s Estate. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
Reference: CNBC (October 19, 2012) “When $20 Million Is Too Much to Leave the Kids”
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Most individuals do not give the necessary attention to how they designate their beneficiaries.
In many cases, the very professionals you rely on to provide proper advice are either not aware of how to do it or do not make it a priority. Unfortunately, in either case, the potential consequences include loss of control, loss of significant money, and the incalculable effect it can have on family harmony. Naming beneficiaries seems pretty straight forward, but there may come a time when you forget who you’ve selected on various accounts. Thankfully there are shortcuts around this issue, you just have to know when and where to take them. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
Reference: Fox Business (October 1, 2012) “Bulletproofing Your Beneficiaries”
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
In software terms the “defect” is a feature, not a bug. The 'Intentionally Defective Trust" will have but one defect and that is in a power held by the grantor or the fiduciary that produces an income tax effect that can be desirable.
If you are not schooled in estate planning or up to speed on the latest estate law jokes, you may be scratching your head when it comes to so-called “defective” trust planning. Did you say “defective” trusts? Why yes, yes I did. And as a recent Forbes article says, “Don't Freak Out If You Hear Your Trust Is Defective.”
The defective grantor trust, and more specifically the Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT), is more often than not the source of confusion estate planning greenhorns face. That’s unfortunate. Why? Because so-called “defective” trusts usually work pretty well, and they work well precisely because they are defective. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
Reference: Forbes (October 15, 2012) “Don't Freak Out If You Hear Your Trust Is Defective”
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Under the agreement, which amounts to a significant change in Medicare coverage rules, Medicare will pay for such services if they are needed to “maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration,” regardless of whether the patient’s condition is expected to improve.
The result of a nationwide class-action suit and an agreement from the administration may change the course of Medicare qualifications, which is hopeful news for those who previously had been left without coverage. As it stands, beneficiaries must show a probability of improvement before Medicare will approve therapy and skilled nursing care. Ditching this age-old practice could mean huge relief to those with chronic or long-term conditions. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
Reference: The New York Times (October 22, 2012) “Settlement Eases Rules for Some Medicare Patients”
Friday, November 2, 2012
One of the most difficult choices any parent faces is determining who would serve as your minor child’s guardian if you both were to die prematurely. Yet, this decision makes a tremendous difference in your child’s life.
Systematically compare your potential guardian against qualities and traits that are important to you. How do they rate? Consider: maturity; patience; stamina; age; child-rearing philosophy; current relationship with your children; integrity; religion; social and moral values; marital or family status and willingness to serve. Obviously, the perfect choice would score highly on every measure.
Don’t necessarily disregard potential guardians because they may lack the financial wherewithal to raise your child unless they are completely fiscally irresponsible. You can continue to ensure your children’s material well-being at your death with sufficient life insurance funded to a well-drafted Trust for their benefit. Click here if you'd like to read the entire blog.
You can read the article entitled “How to Chose a Guardian” in its entirety on our website where you may find additional articles of interest to you and your family on estate planning topics in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Join me every day as I bring you estate planning topics of interest to you and those you love from Williamsburg, Virginia.