Yearly Archives: 2015

Jun 2015

Toss It or Keep It: When Can I Throw Away Documents?

Estate Planning Tips: Which Paperwork to Save

Whether you’re spring cleaning or just trying to declutter, you probably wonder how long you need to hang on to estate planning paperwork, legal documents, and receipts. If you’re like most people, you have thrown something away, only to realize down the road that you should have kept it. When it comes to estate planning, the question of what to save and what to toss becomes vitally important. Here are some general tips for what to keep and for how long.

Personal Records

You should keep estate planning documents like birth certificates, social security records, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and adoption records forever. Store them in a bank deposit box or at home in a fireproof safe whenever possible. You should also make copies of these important personal records in case the originals...
May 2015

I Want a Will, But I’m Short on Cash

The Importance of a Will and a Living Will

A living will and a will serve two different functions in the practice of law. A living will is an estate planning document that specifies what type of medical care you would like to receive if you are unable to make your wishes clear. A will serves as a way to distribute property and settles any debt that may still be current.

Finances can Affect Who Makes a Will or Living Will

Lack of funds is one of the most common reasons people give for not making a will or living will. They assume they will never be able to afford the attorney’s fees. Others claim that they don’t really need a will because they don’t own anything anyway. The reality is that foregoing a living will or will...
May 2015

What Are POD and TOD Accounts?

Estate Planning with POD and TOD Accounts

A comprehensive estate planning process can accomplish several different goals. You can safeguard your family’s future, ensure you have enough assets to retire comfortably, plan for incapacity, and arrange it so your estate does not have to pass through probate. Just as no two people are alike, every estate is different and made up of a variety of legal documents. Whether you want to avoid taxes, make your estate more liquid, or avoid probate, payable on death (POD) and transfer on death (TOD) accounts can help you achieve your goals.

Payable on Death Accounts

In most cases, POD accounts are used to transfer money, such as funds in a bank account. When you designate a financial account as POD, you direct the funds to be paid directly to a named beneficiary...
Apr 2015

When Is a Person Legally Incapacitated?

Find an answer to this common estate planning question.

Most people don’t like to think about the possibility of becoming incapacitated. This is normal and understandable, but failing to have an incapacity plan in place with your estate planning could leave you and your loved ones at the mercy of the court. (more…)