Clarity counts when it comes to estate planning documents

Precise language is critical in wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. A lack of clarity may be an invitation to litigation. An example of this is the dispute that arose after Tom Petty’s death, between his widow and his two daughters from a previous marriage. (The two parties have since resolved their differences and […]

Avoiding undue influence claims

A primary purpose of estate planning is to ensure that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes after you die. But if a family member challenges the plan, that purpose may be defeated. If the challenge is successful, a judge will decide who’ll inherit your property. Will contests and similar challenges often occur when […]

Can a charitable remainder trust achieve similar results as the formerly available “stretch” IRA?

The “stretch” IRA generally no longer exists. But if you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA, a properly designed charitable remainder trust (CRT) can allow you to replicate many of its benefits. SECURE Act’s effects on stretch IRAs For years, a stretch IRA was an effective tool that allowed your children or other […]

Have you named contingent beneficiaries?

Although your will or revocable trust governs the distribution of many or most of your assets, certain assets — such as retirement plans, insurance policies, and bank or brokerage accounts — require you to name a beneficiary (or beneficiaries). This can be an advantage, because when you die, the funds can pass directly to your […]

What are your options to pay for long-term care?

Too often, people planning their estates focus on tax and asset-protection issues and overlook long-term health care needs. But the high cost of long-term care (LTC) can quickly devour resources you need to maintain your lifestyle during retirement and provide for your children or other heirs after your death. Here are a few insurance options […]