For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

Can I use estate planning to provide for my pet’s care after my death?

Q: Can I use estate planning to provide for my pet’s care after my death? -Dog Lover A: Dear Lover: Yes, you most certainly can use estate planning to make sure your pets are taken care of when you die or in the event of your incapacity. And the best way to do so is […]

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What does an executor do?

Q: What does an executor do? -Will writer A: Dear Will:  An executor is the person named in your will to administer your estate upon your death. The executor’s primary responsibility is to carry out the wishes spelled out in your will, ensuring that your assets are distributed to the intended beneficiaries.  An executor’s duties […]

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What does “funding” a trust mean?

Q: What does “funding” a trust mean? -Curious planner A: Dear Curious: For a living trust to function properly, it’s not enough to simply list the assets you want the trust to cover. When you create your trust, you must also transfer the legal title of certain assets—real estate, bank accounts, securities—you want covered from […]

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If I die with no estate plan at all, what happens to my property?

Q: If I die with no estate plan at all, what happens to my property? -No Plan Stan A: Dear Stan: If you die without an estate plan, your assets pass to your surviving family members according to your state’s intestate succession laws. Laws vary by state and depend largely on whether you were married […]

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Can I change my estate plan while my divorce is still ongoing?

Q: Can I change my estate plan while my divorce is still ongoing? -Speculative spouse A: Dear Speculative: Updating your estate plan for divorce is essential, but once the divorce is filed with the court, your ability to amend your plan is limited by state law. This is why you should update your plan as […]

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Are non-biological parents in same-gender marriage granted parental rights?

Q: Are non-biological parents in a same-gender marriage automatically granted legal parental rights? -Pondering Parent A: Dear Pondering: While same-gender marriage is now legal nationwide, the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the parental rights of a non-biological spouse/parent in a same-gender marriage. This means your parental rights are still governed by state laws, […]

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We are expecting. What should be our top priority in terms of estate planning?

Q: My husband and I are expecting our first child in 7 months. What should be our top priority in terms of estate planning? -Prudent parent A: Dear Prudent: When it comes to estate planning, the single-most important planning task for parents is to select and legally document guardians to care for your minor children […]

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Could my family benefit from a dynasty trust?

Q: Could my family benefit from a dynasty trust? -Frugal Father A: Dear Frugal: A dynasty trust is a special type of trust that passes wealth for multiple generations in the most tax-efficient manner possible. By creating a dynasty trust, your assets will be available to your children, grandchildren, and other heirs, with minimal tax […]

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Can a spendthrift trust protect my child’s inheritance?

Q: Can a spendthrift trust protect my child’s inheritance? -Concerned Dad A: Dear Concerned: Yes, a so-called spendthrift trust can be quite effective at protecting your child’s inheritance. But the term “spendthrift trust” is a bit of a misnomer. A spendthrift trust isn’t a specific type of trust; it’s simply any trust that contains a […]

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Can I disinherit my husband to ensure my adult children will inherit all of my assets?

Q: Can I disinherit my husband with estate planning to ensure my adult children will inherit all of my assets when I die? -Wondering Woman A: Dear Wondering: It’s fairly simple to disinherit family members like siblings, parents, and even adult children using estate planning. However, many states prevent you from completely disinheriting your spouse, […]

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What is a charitable remainder trust?

Q: What is a charitable remainder trust? -Curious Dear Curious: A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a unique estate planning tool that allows you to avoid taxes when you sell highly appreciated assets like stock and real estate. Moreover, a CRT can create a valuable income stream for yourself or your family AND support your […]

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