Sometimes Stuff Is the Most Important Part of Your Estate Plan

Cari Rincker Estate Planning, General Leave a Comment

Most people usually think about who will receive their retirement and bank accounts, life insurance proceeds, real estate, and other valuable possessions upon their death. However, a person’s personal property (their stuff) can also be a source of value that needs to be addressed. When looking to start or continue your estate planning journey, ask yourself the following questions about …

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Should You Share Your Estate Planning Details With Loved Ones?

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When you decide to create a comprehensive estate plan, there are many things to consider. One is whether to tell your loved ones about your plan and how much information to share with them. Estate planning can be a complex and sensitive matter, so your choice may depend on your unique relationships with loved ones and your family dynamics. Sharing …

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3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can—and Should—Be Modified

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Did you know that irrevocable trusts can be modified? If you did not, you are not alone. The name lends itself to that very misconception. However, the truth is that changes in laws, family, trustees, and finances can frustrate the trustmaker’s original intent when the trust was created. Or, sometimes, an error in the trust document is identified. When this …

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Do Not Leave Your Trust Unprotected: 6 Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You

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Trust protectors are commonly used in the United States. Essentially, a trust protector is someone who serves as an appointed authority over a trust that will be in effect for a long period of time. Trust protectors ensure that trustees maintain the integrity of the trust, make solid distribution and investment decisions, and adapt the trust to changes in law …

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Testamentary Trusts: The Best of Both Worlds

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You have several different options when it comes to creating the right estate plan. Some people believe that a revocable living trust is the best way to go, while others think that a last will and testament (commonly known as a will) is best under certain circumstances. Others may find that a combination of both—through the use of a testamentary …

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Nonjudicial Settlement Agreements: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Some trusts are irrevocable as soon as they are created, which means that, in general, the trustmaker (the person who created and funded the trust) cannot terminate or modify it and take back the money or property that it holds. You may wonder why anyone would want an irrevocable trust, but irrevocable trusts can provide some very important benefits, particularly …

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What You Need to Know About Beneficiary-Controlled Trust

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Would you like to provide your children or loved ones with an inheritance but protect them from the risks that may accompany a large windfall? If so, you can create a beneficiary-controlled trust in which the person you name as the trust’s primary beneficiary has rights, benefits, and control over the property held by the trust, but with important protections. …

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Have You Chosen the Right Trustee?

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Whether you are reviewing your existing trust or creating a new trust, you should understand the important role that a trustee plays not only in handling trust matters but also in providing for and protecting your loved ones. What is a trust? A trust is an agreement between an owner of accounts and property (trustmaker) and another person (trustee) who …

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How Much Authority Does a Trustee Have Over the Stuff in My Trust?

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A trustee is a person or entity responsible for managing and administering your trust according to your instructions and in accordance with state law. They are considered a fiduciary (meaning they are held to a higher standard of care and owe certain duties to the beneficiaries). As a fiduciary, a trustee must protect the trust’s investments and act in the …

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Watch Out for Stolen Items in Your Loved One’s Estate

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Your family member went through a meticulous estate planning process to organize and distribute money and property for the benefit of their loved ones, including you. But you may suspect that some of the high-value items in their estate originated as stolen property. The possibility of discovering stolen items within an estate is often overlooked, but it can have legal, …

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I’m a Survivor . . . and Now I Have My Own Trust?

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Many married couples share almost everything, including finances. This may be reflected in their estate plan by using one joint living trust instead of two separate trusts. Separate trusts can provide greater flexibility, but a joint trust can be structured so that when one spouse passes away, the trust is split into two subtrusts: a survivor’s trust and a decedent’s …

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Can Artificial Intelligence Programs Write Basic Estate Planning Documents?

Cari Rincker Estate Planning, General Leave a Comment

With the increased coverage of artificial intelligence (AI) and all of the applications it can have in our everyday lives, some people may wonder whether an AI program can create an estate plan for them. While AI may be able to generate basic estate planning documents, including wills and trusts, there is no guarantee that they will be valid and …

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