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Pre-Retirement Checklist for Married Couples

We all have our retirement dreams. Some couples dream about retiring early, rich, and in a tropical location, while others just want an RV and a ticket to ride. When couples start planning for retirement, the big question is always whether their goal is actually achievable? This isn't just a financial question, but also a question of pragmatism.

After you have settled on the basic idea, you need to figure out the who, what, when, where, and most importantly, the how.

Checklist: Legal Steps to Take After a Death

The death of a close friend or family member is often very difficult emotionally. You would probably like to retreat and deal with your grief immediately. But someone has to make sure that everything is organized.

That is why it's a good idea to know about what needs to be done before the unfortunate but inevitable occasion actually arises. There are important practicalities to address immediately after a person close to you passes away. Let's go over a checklist, compiled by Consumer Reports, that outlines the first steps you should take.

Let's face it, estate planning is not exactly exciting or uplifting. Pondering what will happen after you die can feel pretty morbid. But here's something we all know: dying with a will in place is better than dying without, for both your family and your assets.

So how do you get past all the unpleasantness and get yourself a plan? By answering the hard questions. Here are five of the toughest estate planning questions and why you need to answer them anyway:

When Should I Change My Will?

A will is meant to make the lives of those you love easier after your life has ended. It lays out your intentions for the inheritance and disposal of your belongings, whether that includes money, property, stamp collections, or sewing machines. Whatever you cannot take with you can be passed on to the living. Whenever circumstances change such that inheritance will be impacted, you should revise your will.

What is a circumstance that demands a change? That depends. Let's look at some examples.

Benefits to Setting Up Grandchildren's Trusts

You love your kids, but let's face it -- they have already done the greatest thing they will do for you, which is give you grandkids. Now you're over the next generation but very excited about the one following, your youngest family members with all their potential.

You hope to live long enough to see them fulfill it and you want to ensure that you will be able to help even after you are gone. Do it with a grandchildren's trust, which is great for your grandkids and for you, too. Grandchildren's trusts are advantageous to grandparents as they have certain tax benefits. So let's consider these grandchildren's trusts and how to set one up.

Can a Will Be Used to Escape Taxes?

When you are writing a will and planning an estate, there are many considerations to keep in mind. In addition to making sure your assets are passed on according to your wishes, you'll also likely want to make sure your estate doesn't pay any unnecessary taxes.

However, a will is not the best legal instrument for escaping taxes because wills are subject to estate taxes. So, if you are concerned about your estate paying too much on taxes, you may want to consider alternate means of transferring property, such as a trust.

Estate planning is a complex topic, though, so let's look at the basic notions, giving you an idea of what might be possible and where to start.

By the time you're a grandparent, the hard work should be over. Your kids are (hopefully) grown and self-sufficient, and you're either enjoying retirement or looking forward to doing so.

But the life of a grandparents isn't entirely carefree -- there are still some legal issues that can arise and are particular to grandparents. Here are five of the most important:

What You Need to Know as a Will Executor

You have been named the executor of a will, which sounds very serious and a little scary to you. What do you have to do and can you get help if you need it?

Although you are supposed to be in charge should anything happen, you have more questions than answers at this point. So let's go over an executor's role.

You can leave assets to your grandchildren just as you can leave them to your children. But just because it's legally allowed doesn't mean the legal process is exactly the same, or that such a transfer is without its legal quirks.

Because there is a greater likelihood that your grandchildren will be minors when you create your estate plan, you may have additional concerns as well as additional options when creating trusts and gifts. Here are a few things to consider when leaving assets to grandchildren.

Why You Need a Life Care Plan and a Lawyer to Help

When we are healthy and everything is going well, we don't like to dwell on the possibility of disaster, illness, or misfortune. But by addressing the issues that could cause us trouble later in life, we minimize the likelihood that a catastrophic event will thwart all our plans.

Even if you are convinced that you need a plan, you may not know what you need and how to ensure that everything is in place, legally speaking, so that your plan is carried out. Enter the attorney, also known as a life care planner.