When you write a will, your general goal is to list what you own — cash, investments, homes, cars, art collections, etc — and leave those assets to specific people. Some people use a will to give certain assets to specific heirs, such as leaving a painting that a child loved to that child so that they can hang it in their own home.
If you’re a young parent, part of making your estate plan is picking a guardian for your child. If you pass away, this is the person who will take over raising that child.
People often don’t stop to think about whether they could qualify for Medicaid or not until they realize that they will soon need benefits. For older adults, who make up one of the primary populations served by Medicaid, a lifetime of savings might make it harder to qualify for benefits.
Many people are under the impression that estate planning isn’t important until later in life. While it’s your hope that your estate plan never comes into play when you’re young, there’s no way to predict the future.
When creating a will, you’re staffed with the responsibility of naming an executor. It’s easy to name the first person who comes to mind and then move on, but that won’t give you the peace of mind you deserve.
As more and more people move on to second and subsequent marriages — often with children from previous marriages — qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts have become increasingly popular. They allow people to leave assets to their surviving spouse while ensuring that any children and other beneficiaries will eventually receive an inheritance as well.
Your life is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to estate planning that is going to encompass all of that perfectly. Your estate plan needs to be equally unique
When you serve as an executor, it is your job to resolve the legal and financial issues of the deceased person. You must settle their debts and distribute their property to their family members. You may need to pay bills on their behalf, close bank accounts, and physically secure property against vagrants or thieves.
You have no spouse, and the only relative you have now is your adult child. As a single parent, you’ve always wondered if you needed an estate plan because your child would be the only potential beneficiary or heir to your estate.
You’ve probably heard of most of the major kinds of trusts, like revocable or irrevocable trusts. One that is a little less common is the asset protection trust.