It is usually best to be as comprehensive as possible when drafting legal documents related to estate planning or other areas of law. However, there are certain types of property or arrangements that should not or can not be in a will.
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.
It is common for wives to live longer than their husbands. According to a CNN report, the difference now averages five years, with men living to 76.1 years and women living to 81.1 years. So a wife will likely live for a time without their husband.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
Estate planning involves a wide variety of options. Of course, one starts with the basics of drafting a will with the help of an attorney with experience in handling estate law issues. During those initial consultations, it may come to light that a revocable trust is a good estate planning tool to address the needs of the client.
Assigning power of attorney duties in an estate plan is a wise decision to ensure someone you trust has authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. However, circumstances change over time, and there may be reason to reassess your power of attorney appointments.