Should you rely on “will power” to bequeath assets? The more complex your estate, the more ill-advised that choice becomes. Having only a will in place when you die may not be enough. As MarketWatch noted recently, research from the Williams Group (a major estate planning firm) indicates that estate fights reduce inherited wealth
TOD, JTWROS…what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of ownership – two designations that permit automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse.1 This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of survivorship
Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s accumulated assets. Think tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more.1 What do those fees pay for? In many
Living trusts are created with a clearly defined objective: to avoid probate. Misconceptions about living trusts have spread to the point where people think they can accomplish much more than they really do. Here is a realistic assessment of living trusts. If you fear probate, consider a living trust. If you worry about your will
A labor of love may come to involve money issues. Providing eldercare to a parent, grandparent or relative is one of the noblest things you can do. It is a great responsibility, and over time it may also lead you and your family to reflect on some financial responsibilities. Here are some questions
Every eighth American aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, and 43% of Americans aged 85 and older have it, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Consider those percentages in light of the Social Security Administration’s estimate that about 25% of today’s 65-year-olds will live past age 90. These shocking statistics have serious implications for family
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