Trust Review | Estate Plan Pros

Is Your Trust Brittle Iron or Forged Steel?

Archeologists have long been aware of the Viking “+ULFBERH+T” swords. Recently, after conducting a metallurgical analysis of thousands of swords, a surprising fact was uncovered. European swords of that era were of poor quality steel that on the whole was very brittle and full of impurities. However, the rare “+ULFBERH+T” swords were made of high quality steel. Whoever made the swords possessed...

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Five Key Things To Do After You Finish Your Estate Plan

Congratulations, you have a shiny new trust. There is definitely a sense of relief to have that done and accomplished, knowing that the people you care about are going to be protected, and prepared. Here are five things that you, and not your attorney, need to do going forward after completing your estate plan. 1. Keep the right things under the trusts “umbrella” Your attorney should have...

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Vacation Estate Planning Checklist

With school letting out for the summer, it is time to review the vacation checklists.  Growing up, my family did a lot of cross-country travel.  We’d spend an enormous amount of time (it seemed to us kids) just packing and getting ready.  We just wanted to go already!  But of course when we got on the road we appreciated our parents’ careful preparation. Before you take off on that summer trip,...

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Top Ten Myths About Revocable Trusts

Trusts are often misunderstood beasts, either underappreciated, or greatly feared. This post should put your mind at ease, and reveal the soft warm lovable creatures revocable trusts actually are. Revocable or living trusts is the most common type of trust. There are many other kinds of trusts that meet special and unique goals. Today though, we’re going to look at the revocable trusts, and...

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When Should I Prepare My Estate Plan?

It’s a fact, plans change over time as life situations change.  So when is the best time to prepare an estate plan?  A similar question is, when should you put on your seatbelt?  Just before the accident, or when you get in the car?  It doesn’t really matter if you’re driving a ten year old sedan or the just released Italian sports car, basic safety always applies. Basic Safety: Incapacity...

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Estate Planning Checklist

The start of a new year is always a great time to review your big picture goals.  Here are three quick items to review for your own personal protection, and your family’s protection.  Start by clarifying your goals. Goal 1. Protect yourself In the event of incapacity, you want the people you know and trust making important decisions on your behalf.  By executing a Durable Power...

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How do I change my trust?

Remember that dusty estate plan you have sitting in your drawer?  The binder with your will naming Uncle Henry as executor, except that he’s not around anymore?  Time for an update on your estate planning documents.  What are your options? You have three choices: amend, restate, or start over. 1. Amend The first step to deciding whether you can amend or restate is determine whether your trust...

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Top Four Reasons Estate Plans Fail

Estate plans fail when there is additional cost and delay to the loved one receiving their inheritance.  Catastrophic failure is when the loved one receives none of the intended benefit.  You need to know why some plans fail, so you can avoid these pitfalls. 1. No assets transferred to the trust Trusts avoid probate because the trust owns the assets.  People understand the desirability of...

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Does your estate plan cover the three essential “c”s of estate planning? Clear Communication

A good estate plan covers contingencies, takes control of the future, and involves clear communication.  This post is the final in a three-part series that discusses these three “c”s of estate planning. Recently there was a report about a father who had a one million dollar life insurance policy.  When he had a massive stroke, his children made arrangements for his care.  Because they had no...

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What is the Right IRA Beneficiary Designation?

Ordinarily, you can just name the beneficiary directly.  In some cases however, naming a beneficiary directly could be a recipe for disaster.  For example you could be leaving a well-funded IRA to a minor who will withdraw every penny as soon as they are able ignoring all negative tax consequences.  You could be leaving your IRA to someone is receiving public benefits, immediately...

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