Estate Planning News - Law and Daily Life

Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Recently in Estate Planning Category

Living in the 21st century has its perks, including the wealth of information on the internet. But what happens to your digital accounts and online assets upon the end of life? To answer this question, you need to set up a digital estate plan.

Digital assets don't simply include your email accounts, social media profiles and blogs. They also include any websites you've published (and potentially monetized), and most importantly any e-commerce websites, or digital wallets, where you may actually have real dollars invested. Also, don't forget about your digital music, photo, and video libraries.

Below are a few tips to help you develop your digital estate plan.

Millennials are just getting to that point in their lives where retirement and estate planning are critical. While those born in the early 80s are right in the thick of it, the Millennials born in the 90s still have time to get ahead of the pack.

Generally, estate planning includes not only retirement planning, but also planning for death and/or incapacity. While the latter may not be something a person in their twenties or thirties wants to think about, it's time for Millennials to realize estate planning is part of #adulting. Below are some basic tips to help Millennials get started on their long-term life plans.

For parents, they promise to love their adopted children as if they were their biological own. And many children feel a stronger bond with their adoptive parents than with their birth parents. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the legal system sees the relationship in the same way.

Do adopted children have the same rights as natural birth children? What about when it comes to wills and inheritance? Here's what you need to know.

Obtaining disability benefits can be a confusing process. Whether a person needs a lawyer to file for disability benefits really depends on the person, their individual circumstances, and their ability to complete the mountain of paperwork within the allotted time frames.

While getting the process started is simple enough to do without an attorney, once a claim is denied, strict deadlines are triggered and an appeal must be filed in a timely fashion. If you are concerned that meeting the deadline to file an appeal may be difficult, hiring an attorney before filing your initial claim might be the right choice for you. Also, you may simply want to get your paperwork professionally reviewed to insure it's completed correctly.

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.