What You Need to Know about a Life Estate


A comprehensive estate plan typically incorporates a wide variety of tools, documents, and strategies into the plan in order to accomplish the numerous goals you likely have. If you are part of a blended family, estate planning is usually even more complicated. Thankfully, there are a number of estate planning tools that work extremely well [ ] The post What You Need to Know about a Life Estate appeared first on Amen, Gantner & Capriano | Your Estate Matters, L.L.C..
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Why Co-Habitating Couples Need an Estate Plan


Not all that long ago in the United States society frowned on couples who lived together outside of the bonds of matrimony. In the 21st century though, more and more couples are choosing to put off marriage until later in life, or forego the formality of marriage altogether. If you have decided to postpone marriage but are living with a partner you need to know why estate planning is so important for co-habitating couples. The institution of marriage has both an emotional and a legal component. Historically, marriage preceded living together – and all of the perks that go along with co-habitating. Marriage was also the jumping off point for the start of a family unit. Today, however, changes in societal viewpoints have made it acceptable to live together and even start a family without getting married first. Unfortunately, the law is often not as quick to change when society changes. As a result, many of the legal benefits that go along with being legally married are simply not avai
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Life Events that Should Trigger an Estate Plan Update


In the United States it is estimated that less than half of all adults have an estate plan in place. If you are among that minority you are to be commended; however, do not make the mistake that people so often make of forgetting about your estate plan after it is created. Often, an outdated estate plan creates far more problems than it solves when the time comes to probate the estate. To ensure that your estate plan is accurate and current you should take the time to review your plan at regular intervals. In addition, there are several life events that should trigger an estate plan update. Although there is no “set in stone” rule regarding how frequently an estate plan should be reviewed, it is common practice to update a plan at closer intervals during your working years and less often after you retire. The reason for this is that important benchmarks in your life tend to occur earlier in your life, making it more likely that your estate plan will need to be revised with greater
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Top Five Estate Planning Mistakes


Your estate plan may very well be the most important set of documents you create during your lifetime. With that in mind it certainly makes sense to do everything possible to avoid making mistakes within the plan or during the planning stage. The best way to avoid making a mistake with your estate plan is to work closely with an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney. It may also help to keep the following top five estate planning mistakes in mind throughout the planning process and beyond. 1. Waiting too long to start your plan. The single biggest estate planning mistake people make is waiting too long to create an estate plan. Common excuses not creating a plan include “I’m too young to need an estate plan” and “I don’t have enough money to need an estate plan.” The reality is that every adult needs an estate plan. You cannot be too young for an estate plan because the reality is that death or incapacity can strike at any age. Moreover, while the usefulness of an
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Do You Need an Advanced Directive?


Your estate plan should do far more than simply provide a roadmap for the distribution of your assets when you die. Ideally, your estate plan will help protect and grow your assets while you are alive as well as protect you and your loved ones while you are still here. One way to do that is to include an Advanced Directive in your plan. If your current estate plan does not include one, you may be wondering “Do you need an Advanced Directive in your estate plan?” The simple answer is that everyone can benefit from including one, or more, Advanced Directive in their estate plan. Advanced Directives are legal documents that allow you to make important healthcare related decisions now in case you are unable to make them at some point in the future. They can also permit you to appoint someone who will have the authority to make decisions for you. Each state decides which Advanced Directives it will recognize and honor as well as what language must be included in the document for the Ad
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Do You Need an Incapacity Plan?

Hopefully, you realize the need to have a comprehensive estate plan in place; however, do you also know that you need to include an incapacity plan in your estate plan? Like many people, you may think of old age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s when you think of the possibility of becoming incapacitated. While Alzheimer’s, or another similar condition, could render you incapacitated later on in life you could also suffer a period of temporary or permanent incapacity at any time during your life before you reach old age. Therefore, you should include incapacity planning in your overall estate plan to ensure that you and your assets are protected should incapacity strike. Statistically speaking you stand a one in five chance of becoming incapacitated, at least temporarily, before you reach retirement age. A catastrophic motor vehicle accident, a debilitating disease or illness, or even a workplace injury could all lead to incapacity at any time. Should that happen, who will take
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