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Estate planning for single parents requires special considerations

Here’s a fast fact: The percentage of U.S. children who live with an unmarried parent has jumped from 13% in 1968 to 32% in 2017, according to Pew Research Center’s most recent poll. While estate planning for single parents is similar to estate planning for families with two parents, when…

Properly funding your revocable trust is the key to unlocking its benefits

If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you…

Companion piece: Create a “road map” for your estate plan

No matter how much effort you’ve invested in designing your estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents may not be enough. Consider creating a “road map” — an informal letter or other document that guides your family in understanding and executing your plan and ensuring that your wishes…

Hastily Choosing an Executor Can Lead to Problems After Your Death

Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection. Job description An…

Estate Planning Lite: College-aged Children Need a Basic Estate Plan

If your son or daughter are currently in college, encourage them to consider a setting up a basic estate plan so that you understand what their wishes are at this stage of his or her life. Let’s take a closer look at three such documents: Advance Health Care Directive. With…

Your Original Will: Does your Family Know Where to Locate it?

In a world that’s increasingly paperless, you’re likely becoming accustomed to conducting a variety of transactions digitally. But when it comes to your last will and testament, only an original, signed document will do. A photocopy isn’t good enough Many people mistakenly believe that a photocopy of a signed will…

Review and Revise your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes During the Past Year

Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that affect your estate plan. And the plan should be reviewed periodically…

For unmarried couples, estate planning is indispensable

When married couples neglect to prepare an estate plan, state intestacy laws step in to help provide financial security for the surviving spouse. It may not be the plan they would have designed, but at least it offers some measure of financial security. Unmarried couples, however, have no such backup…

Have you Made your Burial Wishes Clear?

It may be difficult to consider, but funeral arrangements are a critical component of your estate plan. Failure to clearly communicate your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains can lead to tension, disputes and even litigation among your family members during what is already a difficult time. Address these…

Provide for Family Members with Special Needs using an SNT

If you have a child or other family member with a disabling condition that requires long-term care or prevents (or will prevent) him or her from being able to support him- or herself, consider establishing a special needs trust (SNT). Also known as a supplemental needs trust, an SNT allows…