Many people in Brooklyn do not give much consideration to who they choose to act as their estate executors. They choose family members and friends because they do not believe they will ever need them to fulfill those roles, and they are not aware of what is involved. Executor designations are not decisions that should be made lightly. It is important for you to choose someone you know and believe will act in good faith on your behalf. Here are some things you should consider when choosing an executor for your estate.
It is no surprise that the cost of caring for ourselves and our loved ones as we age is expensive. We expect there to be certain costs tied to nursing care, medical care and other needs as we age. We plan, we save and we do our best to make the right choices for our family's future financial stability.
Unfortunately, our estimates about these costs may be understated. A recent report by Forbes notes that the cost of caring for an older adult are more than originally thought. In fact, these costs can exceed the cost of raising a child.
While an estate plan is important for parents, people without children might find an estate plan even more essential. If you do not have any kids then the result of your savings, house and wellbeing is up in the air without a written plan.
Make sure your money gets into the right hands
There are three options for your money after you are gone:
- The government
- Family and friends
If you do not have any kids and you don't plan on them, then establishing a will early in life can prevent your money from getting dumped down the governmental drain. You can create a will as early as your 30s or 40s to make sure that your money and belongings go to someone you care about. Even if you are in tip top physical shape you never know when an accident could happen.
Planning for retirement is an important step towards financial security. Finding the right plan for your family can be an intimidating feat, especially for families with a special needs child. In addition to planning for the future financial needs of two adults who are no longer receiving an income from an employer, these families also need to take into account the needs of another individual.
A recent piece in Financial Advisor discussed some of the challenges that can come with retirement planning in this situation. Three of the biggest issues noted include attempting to estimate the cost of the child's care needs, determining the best cash flow options and deciding the right way to allocate investments.
Those who are starting to consider long-term care needs may want to take steps to qualify for Medicaid.
Three tips that can help better ensure you make the most of your hard earned assets include:
- Gifting. If you are building your estate with the hopes of passing on assets to future generations, consider starting the process early. It helps out those who may need it when they need it most while giving you the opportunity to enjoy the gift getting put to use.
The vast majority of U.S. businesses are closely held. While there are many legal and financial advantages to various types of closely held business entities, interest in a closely held business can increase the complexity of estate planning. If you are in the process of estate planning and you own a closely held business, here is some information you should consider.
Succession planning should be a top priority for any entrepreneur who wishes to transfer a business to a family member at some point in the future. One way to do this is to ensure that the company has been sufficiently developed so that it can be operated by another person. This means researching economic trends and other issues that may influence how the company can be run in the future.
Having a succession plan is only part of ensuring a company's future success. It is also important to implement that plan in a timely manner. At some point, a divorce or a health problem could make it harder to transfer ownership in a manner that is in the company's best interest. Even if a lawsuit or divorce doesn't mean the end of a business, it could significantly lower its value or make it less likely that anyone would want to run it in the current owner's absence.
Many people choose to leave property to their loved ones or favorite charitable causes. But what starts as a kindly act can go terribly wrong if the land turns out to be contaminated. Unfortunately, estate plans involving environmentally contaminated property happen more than you might think. In many cases, the individual or couple gifting the property may not even aware the land is contaminated or is in violation of environmental regulations.
Some now refer to this type of inheritance as "toxic succession," or the passing on of contaminated property that ends up costing the new owner more than it's worth. This can happen if the property used to be an auto shop, a Laundromat or even a farm. Many businesses can leave contamination behind, even if they have not been operating for years.
That is why it is important to take a few precautionary steps when gifting or bequeathing property if contamination is a possibility.
Putting together an estate plan is likely on your to-do list. You know that list. The one that also includes other fun projects like putting together a budget, double checking the health insurance policy and cleaning out the basement. This list likely gets brushed aside on a regular basis.
The good news: getting an estate plan does not have to be that hard. The bad news: not getting an estate plan can lead to headaches. Three of the top headaches that come with failing to put together a plan include:
- Excess and unnecessary expense
- Time commitment required from intended beneficiaries
- A lack of control over your estate
Prenatal classes, baby showers and birthing classes - oh my! Preparing for a baby is enough to leave your head spinning. Just when you think you have everything figured out and that hospital bag packed, you read the latest data on the cost of raising a child.
The cost is enough to give any parent a moment of panic, even without factoring in the Ivy League education (your child will definitely get a scholarship anyway). According to the latest information from the United States Department of Agriculture, the average child in the average middle-class family will cost close to a quarter of a million dollars: $245,000 per child from birth until the age of 18, to be precise.