2017 is almost over, which means it’s time to take another look at your estate plan. It might be the last thing you want to think about, but it’s important.
You may have drafted your last will and testament or living trust awhile ago, but that’s not the end of it. Estate planning is a process, not a one-time event. This means that you need to take another look at your documents.
This post will give you five things you should review when you’re bringing in the new year. Chances are, you will need help from an estate planning lawyer that can advise you the right way.
Look At Your Beneficiaries
You may have already outlined the beneficiaries you want to receive your property when you pass away. But things may have changed since you first drafted your documents.
You could have had another child, or grandchild. Or you could have decided that there is a charity that you would like to support. Remember, if you pass away without updating your will or trust, your intended gift will not go to the person you intended.
Do Any Of Your Beneficiaries Have Other Needs?
Sometimes you may not have new beneficiaries, the existing ones have new needs. In some cases, one of your loved ones could have developed an illness, or perhaps they have new needs.
If you have a beneficiary whose needs may have changed, you might want to address that in your estate planning documents. You have to ensure that your documents are executed before you pass away for the changes to take effect. Did you know that a beneficiary receiving government assistance may lose those benefits if they inherit money? A properly drafted trust can allow the beneficiary to keep those benefits and still allow you to carry out your gifting objectives.
Did You Receive An Inheritance?
If you have received an inheritance from a deceased relative, it’s easy to forget about it when it comes to your estate planning. If you have obtained unexpected assets, you need to update your estate plan.
Make sure you outline who you want these funds to go to. You should also make sure that you’re taking estate taxes into account. Try to minimize your tax liability as much as you can. Consult with your estate planning attorney or financial planner to make sure that you’re making the right choices.
What About Your Living Documents?
When you’re reviewing your estate plan, don’t just focus on the documents that will take effect when you pass away. You should also take another look at your power of attorney and health care directive.
Consider whether you want someone else to serve as your representative for your health and financial needs. If so, you must revoke your previous documents and draft new ones. The last thing you need is for the wrong person to be in charge of your finances or health care.
If you’re making your new year’s resolutions, now is the time to make sure that your estate planning documents are up to date. If you need help, call the Markey Law Office, the premier Merritt Island estate planning attorney.
3 Common Estate Planning Mistakes
If you’re concerned about what will happen to your property when you pass away, it might be time to consider creating an estate plan. It’s not a process many enjoy going through, but it is important if you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
If you are considering planning for your family’s future, it’s important to avoid many of the mistakes others make when drafting their estate planning documents. This post will show you some of the most common missteps made when people have created their estate plan. Of course, engaging with an experienced estate planning lawyer is also a must when you’re laying out your plan.
Mistake #1: Not Having An Estate Plan
This might seem obvious, but the majority of people in the United States have not created an estate plan. This is a massive mistake, especially if you have accumulated significant wealth.
If you fail to create an estate plan, you will not be able to determine where your assets go when you pass away. Instead, your local probate court will distribute your property in the way they deem appropriate. Don’t let this happen.
Mistake #2: Failing To Update Your Documents
Many people make the mistake of drafting their estate planning documents, locking them in a drawer, and then forgetting about them. Do not make this mistake, or it could cause a myriad of problems for your beneficiaries.
As life goes on, things change. You might have other children. Then, you may have grandchildren. You might acquire new properties, or sell existing real estate. Perhaps some of the beneficiaries you named previously have passed away.
There are so many changes that can occur throughout the course of a life that it is necessary to periodically take a look at your documents and make sure they are up to date. If you don’t, you run the risk of allowing the courts to decide where part of your estate ends up.
Mistake #3: Coordinating Your Beneficiary DesignationsRemember that even if your Will says “everything to Joan upon my death” if you have put your brother Bob’s name on your bank account Bob will get the account proceeds upon your death because Bob is the surviving co-owner. You should have instead appointed Bob as your attorney-in-fact by using a power of attorney. That way he could access your bank account (write checks) but Joan would get the proceeds when you die.
If you do your estate planning the right way, you can avoid many of the pitfalls into which many people fall. You will be able to ensure that your loved ones receive exactly what you want them to receive. If you’re looking for a Merritt Island estate planning attorney, contact Markey Law Office. They can help you create the right estate plan for your family.
Oops! Your legal options after estate plan errors have occurred.
Estate plan errors can have catastrophic consequences for you and your loved ones. Here are some of the most common ones and their solutions.
Not Having an Estate Plan At All
There are many reasons why estate owners do not yet have a plan for their estate. One is that they feel they are “too young” or “don’t need one.” We can all pray that they are right. However, in life, we must prepare for all possibilities and ensure that our loved ones ones are taken care of even in the most tragic ones.
Solution: Create an estate plan. However, do know that the easier solution isn’t always the best. Nowadays, there are even websites that promise you wills and trusts with just a few clicks. Don’t be fooled! Go to a reputable estate plan attorney that can assess your personal situation better than a drop-down menu can.
Not Updating the Plan Regularly
Many assume that working on an estate plan is a one-and-done deal. This thinking has led to many disastrous situations, such as the main benefactor in a will being the ex-spouse of the deceased.
Solution: Make sure to consult with an attorney anytime there has been an event that has affected your intentions, such as a divorce or death. It is important to be wary of other events that may affect your estate, such as alterations in your local estate law and tax provisions. Your estate lawyer has likely kept track of these better than you, so it is important to meet with him/her on a consistent basis to make sure your estate is updated.
Planning out an estate is one of the most important things to do yet can also be one of the most awkward and uncomfortable. Thinking and planning out certain “what-ifs” is never easy, but entrusting many matters onto a trustworthy estate planning lawyer can alleviate much of the technical and emotional burden off your shoulders and help you avoid some of these potentially perilous estate planning mistakes. For over two decades, clients have entrusted the Markey Law Office with writing, administering, and updating wills, trusts, and probates. Our clients range from middle-class families to multi-millionaires, but we balance the professional technicalities of such duties with the emotional sensibilities for all our clients. After all, everyone deserves peace of mind.
You Got the Bill: Now Who Pays for Your Expenses?
No one likes to think about it, but everyday thousands of people are injured because of the negligence of other people. Some common causes of personal injuries are car accidents, slip and falls, faulty products and medical malpractice. Unfortunately, these negligent acts often result in an innocent person receiving serious injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. These injuries can be both physically and financially devastating. If you have been injured, taking care of your medical issues should be your first priority. Next, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer to get you compensation for your things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses incurred. Personal injury attorneys are trial lawyers who are experts at fighting to get injured people fair compensation for the injuries inflicted upon them. Personal injury cases can be complicated to litigate. Usually, testimony from medical professionals and other experts is needed to prove your case and get a fair settlement or judgment. If you have been injured, don’t try to handle negotiations on your own. Any mistakes that you make can be very costly. Immediately, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your case is handled properly.
What About My Bills?
When you are injured and unable to work, your bills can pile up very quickly. This financial burden can cause you a great deal of stress. Often, you may feel like you are in a hopeless situation. But this is not the case. Depending on the nature of the bill, you may have several options. For example, if you were in a car accident, either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company may be responsible for paying certain bills. Often, a personal injury lawyer can negotiate a deal with some of your creditors where they agree to wait for payment until your case is settled.
Markey Law Office
Kevin P. Markey works with personal injury lawyers who have over 50 years combined experience at helping accident victims recover fair compensation for the injuries that they have sustained. He understands the intricacies involved in litigating a personal injury case. Don’t take any chances with your case. Call the Markey Law Office today for a free and confidential case evaluation