Monthly Archives November 2018

Tricks to Avoid Probate

If you have been reading this column you should realize that I am not a fan of probate. It is unnecessary and expensive, and can be avoided. Some of the ways to avoid probate are to add POD,  payable upon death, or TOD, transfer on death, to all of your accounts at the bank. Many times you can also attach those designations to real estate or even savings bonds. Problems, however, can arise depending on how complex your estate planning needs are. If you want to hold money in trust for minor children or for spendthrift beneficiaries, or if you
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Through the Generations

Does your family have that up north getaway that has been so special to your family? Wouldn’t it be a great idea to pass that vacation legacy to your children and your children’s children? Such planning can be done through proper estate planning. Consider forming a family LLC, Limited Liability Company, to establish a means for your family to continue to own and operate the cabin after you are gone from this earth. Such planning can be detailed as to who the owners, or members, of the LLC should be. You can specify how the real estate taxes are paid
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Pay Attention to Details

Part of the crucial decision making involved in the estate planning process is contained in the details.  It is important to communicate your specific wishes in your documents as it pertains to your individual situation.  For example, some considerations could be: to provide spendthrift provisions to limit distributions to certain beneficiaries, identify specific bequests such as personal property items or amounts of cash to be distributed to individuals or charities, or to nominate a potential guardian to raise your children as well as a trustee to control the investments for the children. Retirement language could be added to allow the
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Acting on Your Behalf

If you are away or otherwise engaged and want someone to take care of your affairs, a “power of attorney” is a legal document that you can utilize to give someone else the authority to take specific actions on your behalf, such as signing your checks to pay your bills or selling a particular piece of real estate for you. If the power of attorney is “durable,” this power to act on your behalf extends to the point after which you become incapacitated. Otherwise, a power of attorney ends at the point of incapacitation unless there is a stop date
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