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Mayfield Heights Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Some probate problems can be prevented with a family meeting

Talking with your loved ones about your estate plan may feel intimidating. Estate planning choices can be very personal, and most people do not enjoy talking about finances or death. However, calling a family meeting can be a beneficial conclusion to the estate planning process.

A family meeting can help prevent misunderstandings or hard feelings among your loved ones. Hearing you talk about your wishes may even prevent fights among family members. This may be especially important in blended families or situations when your estate plan treats your loved ones differently.

Prepare now for the care you may need in the future

You are getting older, and part of getting older is planning for what happens next. As you age, you may find that you aren't as agile as you used to be. You may be less healthy and have more medical concerns.

While no one can be sure if they will need long-term care, it's a good idea to plan for it anyway. Any kind of unexpected illness, injury or accident could change your needs suddenly and that's something you need to be prepared for.

Why set up a trust? Here are some good reasons

Trusts aren't just for those who have wealthy estates. In fact, they can be extremely helpful for anyone who is growing older who wants to protect their assets.

Most of the time, people create estate plans without trusts. However, if you have several people who you'd like to leave assets to upon your death, then it is smart to look into having at least one trust.

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.

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