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Mayfield Heights Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Stop procrastinating, and get a will as soon as possible

If you have been procrastinating and not setting up a will, you should know that doing that could turn out badly for your family. No one knows when they will die, become impaired or unable to care for themselves. That's why it's essential that you set up your will right away.

If you've found that procrastinating is helping you avoid setting up your will, you may want to sit down and start thinking about how procrastinating could hurt your family.

Are you responsible for your loved one's debts after their death?

After a person dies, one of the things that has to happen is for their debts to be repaid. While some people will die without any major debts, the majority of people will have at least some, whether they're small credit cards or student loans.

The good news for relatives is that they are generally not responsible for the debts of the deceased, even if creditors try to convince them that they are. To be certain, though, it's important to remember that debts can be complex and may belong to more than one person. If the debt was shared between you and the deceased, for example, then you may still be responsible for paying it.

Keep these 3 things in mind when choosing an executor

As you create your estate plan, one thing you'll have to decide on is who you want to have as the administrator of your estate. Choosing an administrator, also called the executor, is one of the most important decisions you'll make.

To make this decision, there are a few things you should think about. Here's more about what you should expect in an executor.

Where to store estate planning documents

You gave a lot of thought, time and money into the estate planning process. Your plan is unique to you and the life that you’ve lived. What you leave behind to relatives and loved ones is personal and meaningful to you and your family.

While you may have given great thought to what happens after your death, you may not have considered where to keep those documents. Storing your estate plan documents in a safe but accessible location is important to your assets distributed in the way you want.

Should you invest in long-term care insurance?

If you're looking into preparing for long-term care, you may have started considering long-term care insurance. Certainly, this can be a good way to make sure you have the funds you need as you age. However, it can be a pricey option.

Long-term care is unpredictable, but the likelihood is that you will need it at some point in your life. Here are some important pieces of information that may help you decide if long-term care insurance is a good choice for you.

What are 3 myths about wills I should know?

One thing that you should avoid doing is getting tricked by myths about estate planning. Myths make it hard to know what's true or false, and you may miss doing something that is legally important to protecting your estate.

There are dozens of myths about estate planning that you could fall for, but these three are among the most common. Here's some information that clears up these myths.

Get the right trust to protect your assets

Trusts are an important protective measure you can put into place to keep your assets safe. They may be used as part of your long-term care plan so that you won't have to exhaust your assets prior to qualifying for Medicaid or other benefits.

Trusts come in two primary forms -- revocable and irrevocable. Revocable trusts can be revoked at any time, whereas irrevocable trusts cannot be revoked once they're in place.

Planning for long-term care can keep you in your home

It isn't always easy to plan for long-term care. As a younger person, you may not have imagined needing long-term care. After all, you were healthy and fit.

Life changes, though, and there is a chance that you'll need care for many years as you age. Planning for long-term care is an essential part of your estate plan that will protect you and your beneficiaries.

What is probate and how can you avoid it?

For baby boomers, many of whom are reaching their retirement years, estate planning has moved to the forefront of their minds. Once you are into your mid-60s, you start to realize many of your friends or older relatives are passing away and you want to make sure your affairs are in order sooner rather than later. In the estate planning process, the term probate comes up a lot, leaving many confused as to what exactly probate is and why you might want to avoid it.

What makes a will legal and valid?

Wills are an important part of any estate plan, even if you don't have many assets or beneficiaries to protect. A will lets you choose how to distribute your assets upon death and can guarantee you that your wishes can't be ignored by those who you leave behind.

When you create a will, you need to choose an executor to carry out the will after you pass away. When you choose that person, make sure they are competent and able to be trusted. They should be willing to seek legal help when necessary to protect your estate.

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