Leaving your lover is a big focus of pop music. Michael Bublé sings "It's a Beautiful Day" now that his lover is gone away. Paul Simon offers that there's no "need to be coy, Roy. Just get yourself free." But what if the loved thing is something only a parent could love?
The family of Tim Conway--co-star of the Carol Burnett Show--has recently announced that he is suffering from dementia. Progression of the disease is advanced. Conway is no longer able to take care of his own daily needs, and he is largely unresponsive.
This is a midterm election year. Among accomplishments claimed by the Republican Party controlling national government is the passage late last year of major tax reform. As we noted in a previous post, the package contains a great many benefits, not the least of which is the passing of what is commonly called the death tax; the levy governments use to tax benefits transferred to a decedent's heirs and beneficiaries.
When people want to talk about their wills and trusts, they tend to turn to their spouses, friends, executors and attorneys. However, one potential group that people tend to put off discussing the estate with is their heirs, more specifically their children.
Is it impolite to turn down a gift? Do a search of this question online and you'll find that opinions differ. Some observers say you should always accept with gratitude. Others suggest you factor in the intention behind the gift, or consider what negative implications the gift might hold for the recipient.
We have noted often over the years that one of the biggest mistakes anyone makes regarding estate planning is failing to keep the living documents up to date. Every time we experience a life change, whether it be a marriage, divorce, death of a child, or some other divergence from the normal flow of things, updating the plan becomes a priority. Too often it doesn't even make it onto the radar and what results is unwanted pain and expense down the road.
There's a notable quote that goes, "No parent should have to bury a child." As the original source of that phrase also said, it's unnatural. The notion makes sense. The normal cycle of life calls for those of the older generations to pass before those in the younger, and most of the time that's how things work.
One of the most common questions that estate planning attorneys address in the initial stages of the process deals with identifying an executor or executors. These are the individuals who are named in your plan as having the responsibility of and authority for clearing up any of your outstanding financial obligations after your death and distributing assets according to your wishes. Failing to name an executor means one will be appointed by the court.
Perhaps the most important tip in response to the question posed in the title of this post is: Create one. It is unfortunate, but too many people make the mistake of thinking they don't need an estate plan.
It can be confusing to think about wills, trusts, health care directives and powers of attorney, but it is important to consider estate planning sooner rather than later. Do it for your family instead of leaving the state a portion of your estate when you die. Here are five common misunderstandings about estate planning to help you see the value in having a plan for your assets.