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Mayfield Heights Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Should you create a conservatorship in your estate plan?

You have a child who is growing into an adult. You know that it's not safe for them to live alone or to try to care for themselves because their disability makes them unable to do so safely. As you've been working on your estate plan, this has been weighing heavily on your mind.

One thing you may want to look into creating is a conservatorship for your adult disabled child. While a conservatorship may also be used for you if you cannot take care of yourself any longer, you also have the ability to appoint someone to take over caring for your child if you cannot care for them or suddenly pass away.

Ademption can wipe out a beneficiary's gift: Here's why

A will is an important legal document since it is designed to distribute assets in a person's estate. The trouble with a will is that it isn't always going to be up to date. Sometimes, items are sold or taken from the estate, so they're not able to be distributed once the person passes away.

In those cases, a phrase you may want to get to know is will ademption. Ademption is a common law doctrine used to determine what happens if a person no longer owns an item that has been designated for distribution in their will. For example, if your mother leaves behind a residential property for your brother but had sold it prior to her death, that property would obviously be unable to be distributed to your brother. The gift would be considered adeemed, and it would not be distributed. Essentially, ademption wipes out the possibility of receiving that gift, because it's not the decedent's asset to give away.

What are the most important benefits of trusts?

You want to build an estate plan that helps you protect your assets and your heirs. You have been planning for some time, but one thing you haven't yet created is a trust. Is it worth it?

There are many benefits that trusts provide. Among them is the fact that many are flexible and that there are trusts for almost any situation.

Here are 3 ways that you can prevent a will contest

If there is anything that can make a loved one's death even more tragic, it's fighting with the people you care about over the person's estate. If there is a will contest, an entire family could end up in turmoil.

That's why it's a good idea to take steps to eliminate the possibility of a will contest. How can you do that? Here are a few tips.

Do you need to plan for your long-term care needs?

When you are older and in need of care, do you know what you'll want to see happen? If you want to plan for needing support as you age, then you'll want to talk to your attorney about your estate plan having long-term care planning documents included.

Long-term care planning is something everyone should do. It gives you an opportunity to decide on how you'll be cared for as you age and even how to set up funds to cover the cost of that care.

Major Changes in Ira and 401K Rules That May Impact Your Estate and Financial Planning

Congress passed the "Secure Act" which makes major changes in the rules as to distributions from 401k plans and IRAs, beginning January 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us to see how these new rules may impact your estate planning. Set forth below is a Q/A to explain some of the changes. We will refer to IRAs only, but unless noted below these rules apply to 401k plans or profit-sharing plans. The new rules do not apply to pension plans.

What are the benefits of avoiding probate?

When you place assets into a will, your estate must pass through the probate process. Probate involves the sorting and administration of your estate under court supervision. While probate isn’t meant to be a horrible and complicated process, in some cases it can be a stressful and chaotic time for your family.

If you are among those wanting to avoid probate, here are four benefits to doing just that.

Do you need to have a will?

As you begin the estate planning process, one thing you might be asking yourself is if it's necessary to have a will. A will is a legal document that you may want to have, because it tells your loved ones and the courts exactly how you'd like your assets distributed after your death.

Most people choose to have a will as the first document in their estate plan. A will isn't enough on its own, but it does create a wonderful starting point.

Spendthrift trusts could be a good answer for risky beneficiaries

A spendthrift trust is a unique trust that gives an independent trustee complete control over trust funds that are to be distributed to a beneficiary or used for their benefit. This is an excellent trust to give to those who may spend money quickly or on things you don't want them to buy, for example.

Spendthrift trusts don't give your beneficiaries direct access to funds. Usually, one or more trustees works to decide on how to distribute the funds to help care for the beneficiary. For example, a mother leaving behind a spendthrift trust may say that the trust can't be used on buying cars above a certain value but can be used in full to pay for schooling.

Get help with an estate plan: A will is not enough

Wills are interesting documents. They can tell you a lot about what someone wants to see happen after they pass away. However, a will isn't the only thing people need to complete their estate plans. Not having more than a will can still lead to trouble.

With a will, there is the ability to tell others who you want to receive which assets upon your death. You can even make your wishes known for how you'd like your funeral to be held or how you want to be remembered.

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