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estate planning Archives

The benefits of an irrevocable trust

A grantor can design a trust in many different ways to fit the needs of a family. One common estate planning tool is the irrevocable trust. As the name indicates, irrevocable trusts generally cannot be modified once it is finalized, at least not without the permission of the trust's beneficiaries.

What makes a will valid?

Creating and executing a valid last will and testament is a vitally important act with far-reaching consequences. It is a final gift to loved ones, or it can be a tremendous benefit for a worthwhile charity. More than exercising good intentions, it is essential to draft a will that is legal, proper and thoughtful. The way to ensure that there are fewer or no issues in probate is to execute the will properly.

Managing family dynamics when estate planning

Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, even when it is with family members. So, it makes sense that a recent survey determined that 80% of a polled 130 financial advisers stated that navigating family dynamics or relationships was the most complicated part of estate planning. The report added that common mitigating factors included multiple marriages and blended families.

Is Aretha Franklin’s handwritten will valid?

The legendary Aretha Franklin died last August, leaving an estate worth an estimated $80 million. At the time, her lawyer said that there was no will, which prompted the singer’s four sons to battle over money and control of an estate that will continue to generate millions of dollars well into the foreseeable future.

Transferring digital assets to loved ones

People are starting to hear the phrase “digital assets” more often, but many do not know what they are. Digital assets can be anything in the digital format, but these are usually things of sentimental value (photos, social media accounts, or email accounts) or assets that have financial worth (Bitcoins or digital currency, intellectual property, reward points on credit cards or airlines, or web sites that generate income).

Estate plans for blended families

The divorce rate here in the United States has gone down in recent years, but still hovers above 40%. So, it should be no surprise that many out there drafting or updating estate plans will need to consider second or third spouses, stepchildren and other circumstances unique to a blended family.

More common mistakes involving estate planning

It is important to plan for the ideal future, but to also have contingencies in place if (and when) the story deviates from the desired narrative. This is where estate planning comes in – it enables individuals and couples to plan for such eventualities as death as well as such potential issues as illness and incapacitation. While many assume that estate planning is for families with complex estates, it can be useful to nearly every family for avoiding potential legal issues, unnecessary expenses and other important matters.

Tom Petty's estate caught up in litigation

Tom Petty famously got his start here in Florida, so many here have avidly followed his career and took great pride in his successes. We also mourned when he died in 2017. While some time has passed, the Petty estate is now in the news because the rocker's second wife, Dana Petty, is involved in a dispute with Petty's daughters Adria Petty and Annakim Violette from a previous marriage.

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