It's no secret that divorce has an impact on estate planning. When your marriage ends, you need to make sure your estate plan does not still leave assets to your ex. You need to update your life insurance beneficiary designation. You need to consider who will make end-of-life care decisions for you. And these are just a few examples.
What type of end-of-life care do you really want? Now, everyone hopes that they will pass away peacefully, without complications, but that rarely happens. Planning for the medical care that you want at this time should be part of your estate planning as a whole.
You spend years building up your wealth. Maybe it takes decades. You put money and assets aside to pass on to your children.
As social trends continue to change, the typical age of a first-time mother keeps getting older. This can have a big impact on estate planning for those who have children later in life.
It seems like every generation should live a bit longer than the last, right? We invest so much time and money in technology, medicine and related fields. We understand the human body in ways people couldn't fathom not that long ago. Many medical technologies that seemed like science fiction to our grandparents are now very real.
Estate planning involves, among other things, determining how to leave your money to your children. When you pass away, your wealth goes to them. You simply need to figure out the best way to do it.
While both men and women need to do proper estate planning, it is especially important for women because they tend to live longer than men. This means that the odds are higher that the last surviving spouse in an opposite-sex marriage is going to be the woman. Even if she simply gets her husband's assets when he passes away, it is then up to her to pass those on to the rest of the family.
Your estate plan probably starts with a will. It's the most basic document expressing what you want to happen with your estate after you pass away.
Sometimes, you can use a joint tenancy to bypass the need for real estate property to go through the probate process after you've passed away. You might buy a piece of property together with another person -- like your spouse -- and set up the ownership as joint tenants. Or, you might simply sign part ownership of your home to a joint tenant as a part of your estate planning strategy.
There are so many varieties of trusts that it's difficult to keep track of them all. These trusts can also drafted in a number of ways, which makes it tricky to know exactly what to do for an inexperienced trust planning attorney, and especially for a layperson who doesn't have any legal training. A Totten trust, for example, is a type of legal document that many people have never heard of.