Do you have a will? A durable power of attorney? A health care proxy? If so, no reason to read on. If not, why not? Failure to create an estate plan risks causing discord in your family for generations to come. The following are four often stated reasons for not having an estate plan: Just…

Inheriting a vacation home with your siblings can be a great thing or it can cause huge problems within the family. Planning ahead can help prevent sibling disagreements. When siblings co-own property and one sibling wants to sell, that sibling can demand to be bought out. If the other siblings can’t come up with the…

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (D) has introduced legislation that would require more estates to pay estate tax and that raises the amounts they would pay. Another proposed law would eliminate the step-up in basis that inherited assets currently enjoy. Taken together, the changes would “rock” the estate planning world, according to a leading attorney. Under Sanders’ For…

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your current goals. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself and consult estate planning lawyers if necessary.  But be aware that these only refer to revocable “living” trusts, not to irrevocable…

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available — even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” — to act in place of you – the “principal” — for financial purposes when and if you…

Congress sets the amount that an individual can transfer tax-free either during life or at death. The current estate tax exemption is so high that very few estates will have to pay an estate tax. In 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption and indexed it for inflation. In…

What are the estate planning and home ownership options when two more generations live together? Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, 64 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population, live in households containing two adult generations. These multi-generational living arrangements…

Long-term care involves not only a loss of personal autonomy; it also comes at a tremendous financial price. Proper estate planning can help your family prepare for the financial toll and protect assets for future generations. Long-term care can be very expensive, especially around-the-clock nursing home care. Most people end up paying for nursing home…

Many people believe that if they are single, they don’t need a will or other estate planning documents. But estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families. Estate planning allows you to ensure that your property will go to the people you want, in the way you want,…

As more and more people marry more than once, prenuptial agreements have become an important estate planning tool. Without a prenuptial agreement, your new spouse may be able to invalidate your existing estate plan. Such estate planning resources are especially helpful if you have children from a previous marriage or important heirlooms that you want…

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