You Need a Will. Seriously!

You May Not Think You Need a Will, But You Really Do. Did you know every person who dies in this country has an estate plan? Either they prepared it themselves or they left it up to laws of the jurisdiction where they live. As you probably guessed, most Americans fall in the latter category and thus do not even have a simple will as part of their estate plan. You might believe, like most adults, a will is only for the rich and famous, and not the average person who has a far smaller net worth. On the other hand, you may think a will is entirely unnecessary since you have a trust, jointly owned property, or have named beneficiaries on your insurance. So, do you really need a will? The short a

Why Me, Why Now, and Is a Will Enough?

You have worked hard for years, have family members and friends you care about, and have approached a time in your life when “estate planning” sounds like something you should do, but you are not exactly sure why. You may feel you are not wealthy enough or old enough to bother or care. Or you may already have a Will and feel you are all set. Whatever your current position, consider these common misconceptions about estate planning: 1. Estate planning is for wealthy(ier) people. False. Anyone who has survived to age eighteen and beyond has likely accumulated a few possessions of some monetary or sentimental value. While things like your home, car, and financial accounts are self-evident a

Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Confused about the differences between wills and trusts? If so, you are not alone. While it is always wise to contact attorneys like us, whose primary practice area is estate planning, it is also important to understand the basics. Here is a quick and simple reference guide: What Revocable Living Trusts Can Do – That Wills Cannot Avoid a conservatorship and guardianship. A revocable living trust allows you to authorize your spouse, partner, child, or other trusted person to manage your assets should you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs. Wills only become effective when you die, so they are useless in avoiding conservatorship and guardianship proceedings during your

What Happens to Your Student Loan Debt When You Die?

With two daughters graduating this year, this post is extremely personal. Regrettably, some this did not apply when they began. There are two issues many people prefer to avoid thinking about: death and debt. Unfortunately, both of these seem to be inevitable. Student loan debt is a part of life nowadays, particular for students obtaining advanced or professional degrees. As of 2017, the total national student debt was over $1.4 trillion and the average student loan debt for the Class of 2017 graduates was $39,400, up six percent from the previous year. To put that figure in perspective, that was about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. And presently, many students who g

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