A comprehensive estate plan deals with multiple types of property; from probate assets that pass through your will, to non-probate assets that pass outside a will via a trust or beneficiary designation, to jointly held assets, which pass automatically at the time of the first death. One of the most common joint assets people hold is their home, which is most commonly held in “joint tenancy with right of survivorship.” In situations where two or more people own property simultaneously as they do in joint tenancy there are both pros and cons that need to be considered when weighing its place in an estate plan. Continue Reading →
No one really likes to talk about what is going to happen after they die, but knowing what could happen can help you plan for the loved ones you leave behind. Typically notification of a death to the Social Security Administration is handled by the funeral director. Any benefits received for the month of death or any months after that must be returned. If benefits are paid by direct deposit Continue Reading →
Americans tend to insure just about everything. You likely have an auto insurance policy and possibly health, homeowner’s, and life insurance. At some point you may consider adding long-term care insurance to your estate plan. Purchasing long-term care insurance is an excellent idea, if you can afford it and if you have a firm understanding of what you are purchasing. Many of the terms relating to long-term care insurance are unique to that type of insurance, so they may be new to you. Here are some of the more common terms you’ll hear when discussing long-term care insurance… Continue Reading →
For most of us, the primary goal of estate planning is to make sure that loved ones are taken care of after they we’re gone. We undoubtedly want to ensure that the full value of the assets we leave behind is passed on to our beneficiaries. Have you ever wondered though, “will my beneficiaries have to pay taxes on what I leave behind?” As a general rule, the simple answer to that question is “No”. It helps to understand when a simple “No” will do, and when you might encounter an exception to the general rule. Continue Reading →
Recent changes to Social Security brought about by the 2015 Federal Budget Bill have removed two very powerful, benefit maximizing strategies that have been available to Social Security claimants since 2000.
To better understand this recent change it is important to understand how Social Security benefit levels are determined. Continue Reading →