Have you made preparations? It’s a question I’ve asked clients more times than I can count, but I was reminded of the significance of the question and the possible consequences when I recently asked the same thing of a family member. Bill (not his real name) is 70 years old...
You’ve done all the planning. Your trust is set up. You’re comfortable that your estate will be distributed exactly as you want. There’s just one more decision to make—an important one. Who should be the trustee? James J. Ferraro, JD is vice president and legal counsel at Argent Trust Company....
It’s called the survivor trap or widow’s penalty. It’s a financial monster that eats away retirement income after one spouse dies, often leaving the surviving spouse with no hope of the retirement they expected. Here are some of the pitfalls of the Survivor Trap. Loss of Social Security One of the...
No matter your belief structure, or whether you’re reluctant to admit your own mortality, it’s a fact that none of us will live forever. And since no one knows if their demise will happen quickly or be proceeded by a lengthy illness, it’s good to be as prepared as...
You’ve worked hard to get your estate plan in place. The appropriate documents have been created and signed. You’ve named the person who’ll carry out your final wishes. But have you completed the final piece of the estate planning puzzle? If this last piece is in place, it will...
Death tax, inheritance tax, estate tax—call it what you will, they all mean that some government entity wants to put its hand in your pocket or your heirs’ pockets, after your demise. On the federal level, the estate tax issue is not as big a deal as it was back...
Revocable Living Trusts have become a very common estate planning technique. A Trust can replace a Will because it outlines how your assets are to be distributed. But a Trust can also protect your assets while you’re living and provide a process of caring for you if you become...
Do I need a will or a trust? That’s the most basic question to begin creating an estate plan. And, let’s face it, you really do want a say in who gets what after your gone. That’s just human nature. Without some kind of legal instructions, you can’t guarantee...