Thinking about death is not something anyone likes to do, but death is inevitable to us all. Without the proper planning, though, the time after someone dies can quickly turn into a mess of probate court, feuding family members and chaos.
If you live in Massachusetts and own out-of-state property, do you know how this can affect you estate planning? Out-of-state properties, such as a Florida snowbird retreat, must be considered in your estate plan. An expert weighs in on the subject and provides five things to consider before finalizing your estate plan.
When you start thinking about your estate, you've probably considered your home, long-term care planning, your retirement funds and your heirs. However, have you given any thought as to your pets? For many pet owners, these furry creatures are just as much a part of the family as any other relative.
While no one likes to think about their own demise, being prepared for it with a thorough estate plan can save your family members a lot of heartache. It is a way to plan for the inevitable, but also for the inevitable when it is least expected. An estate plan ensures your loved ones are protected and your wishes are fulfilled after you pass away.
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) conducted a survey recently about financial decision-making and families who have a loved one experiencing "cognitive decline." According to the results, 47 percent of those with some level of diminished capacity had either not paid their bills at all or were late paying them. Over a quarter of those surveyed said their savings accounts had been depleted and just over a third said they had made purchases that weren't rational.
James Gandolfini's recent death at the age of 51 was shocking; however, when the news broke about his will and estate, the debate began about how inefficient his estate planning was. While the whole picture is probably not known about his estate and family situations, there are some lessons to be learned.
The commune living arrangement certainly isn't a new idea, but it is growing in popularity again - especially for retired baby boomers. In Massachusetts, many of these 49- to 67-year-olds have decided that growing older alone or living with their children is not the choice for them. Instead, they have decided communal living - or co-housing as it is often called - provides them with the resources, help and social engagement they need.
Creating your ordinary will is hard enough. Deciding who will get your home, savings account and that treasured heirloom from a distant relative can be difficult. Once you have made the list as to who will get your worldly possession, it is time to consider who will get the virtual items, too. Those things might include all the pictures you have stored online, as well as your email, the contents of your Facebook account or even that very difficult to achieve gaming prize.
Estate planning is often complicated, even for situations that seem as though they should be quite simple. One of the ways to make sure your wishes are followed is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Another is to avoid the most common mistakes when it comes to ensuring your assets are protected.
Do you know if your parents are ready for retirement? It is often difficult to know whether your parents are financially prepared for this phase in their lives. After all, most people are simply trying to keep their own retirement plans on the right path. When it comes to things such as retirement spending, estate planning, living wills and other important care planning, you should have a general idea -- at the very least -- of how prepared your parents are for the future.