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Estate Planning Blog

News & Tips From The Law Office Of Libby Banks.

Estate Planning during the pandemic

The need for Estate planning has become more apparent than ever due to COVID-19. People who have not considered what might happen if they become seriously ill or incapacitated are appreciating the benefits of an estate plan. An estate plan can provide significant peace of mind by ensuring someone can take care of you – and your finances – if you become ill. It also ensures your assets are protected and passed on according to your wishes. Estate planning is often a difficult topic to broach, as it brings the unpleasant topics of illness and death to the forefront of our minds....

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Estate Planning for Incapacity

When my clients think about estate planning, they tend to think about the end of life, about what’s going to happen to their assets, and who will handle the estate and make distributions to their beneficiaries. Often, they don’t realize that an equally (or maybe more) important aspect of planning is all about who will manage your assets and take care of you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. With proper planning, you decide; without proper planning a court may get to make the choice, and at great expense and rarely expeditiously. What do we mean by “incapacitated?” In...

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Different Trusts Meet Different Needs in Your Estate Plan

There are a number of different types of trusts we may use when doing an estate plan. Here is a bit about a few or the most common. The Revocable Living Trust The primary trust we use in estate planning is the Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”). It is the foundation of most plans and offers many benefits. Not only does it contain instructions for managing the assets in the trust if you become incapacitated, but it will also avoid the need for a probate court proceeding on your death. The person(s) you select will be able to step in quickly to gather,...

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The Importance of Estate Planning with a Professional

By Michelle Talsma Everson Attorney Libby Banks is passionate about a unique area of law—so passionate in fact, it’s what she focuses on exclusively. Banks’ area of expertise is estate planning, probate and trust administration. Essentially, she helps clients of all ages plan for what happens to their estates if they are incapacitated or after they pass away. It’s an important topic that many may not realize impacts not only them but their loved ones as well. “I’ve been an attorney for many years, and about 10 years ago, I began working with another attorney who specialized in the big probate fights...

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Estate Planning in This Time of Uncertainty

I am writing this in mid-March, for publication in April, not knowing what the next thirty days may bring. COVID-19 is an uncertain virus that our scientists are still figuring out. Many of you are sheltering in place, avoiding any public meetings and keeping social distance even from family to protect those who are vulnerable. Many are also thinking about estate planning, but not wanting to proceed because they don’t want to leave home. Because of that, we are offering online meetings through Zoom or via Facetime. This system allows us to talk with you face-to-face to begin an estate plan...

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Benefits of the Revocable Living Trust for Your Estate Planning

There are many benefits to a Revocable Living Trust, but often people think that only the wealthy need a Trust for their estate planning. The truth is, there is no magic net worth number that tells us when a trust provides the best planning for your assets. The two key factors that tell us a trust may be the best option are the family situation and what type of property you own. I like to tell clients that if I know the what we are planning for (your assets) and the who we are planning for (your beneficiaries) I can...

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What’s the Best Valentine’s Gift for Your Family?

Best Valentine’s Gift for Your Family

With Valentine’s Day here, I’ve been wondering how to show my family I love them. Of course, estate planning was one of my first thoughts (right after chocolate)! Estate planning truly is a gift to your family and loved ones. A proper estate plan makes it easier on your loved ones if you become incapacitated and when you are no longer here. Without a cohesive and thoughtful estate plan, you may leave a gigantic mess that your family may have to spend huge sums of money and lots of time and effort to clean up. If you are incapacitated, they will have...

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The SECURE Act and Planning for Your Retirement Accounts

How you plan for your retirement accounts may have changed due to the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act became effective January 1, 2020. While it has changed several aspects of retirement planning, perhaps the most significant change will affect the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts. Why? Because the SECURE Act requires most designated beneficiaries (other than spouses) to withdraw the entire balance of an inherited retirement account within ten years of inheriting the retirement account. What changed with the SECURE ACT? Under the old law, all beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts could...

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When to Review And Renew Your Estate Plan

Change is inevitable. With estate planning, you put in place the best plan you can at the time. However, as changes come in your life and in the law, your plan may need some changes too. So when should you review – and possibly renew – your estate plan? Here are some specific times you need to call for a review. Changes in Your Life Have you had any major changes in your life? Has your spouse died? Did you get a divorce? Have you gotten married? All of these require an update in your plan, even if you are keeping your...

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Who Will Be in Charge of Your Estate?

Someone is going to step in to take charge of your estate. If you are incapacitated, that person will step in to manage it to care for you (hopefully), and on your death they will be the one to wrap up your estate and distribute it. If you put an estate plan in place, via a Will or Trust, you decide who that person will be. If you don’t, the State of Arizona, via the legislature, has decided who that will be. Will the State’s choice be one you are happy with? When you establish a Revocable Living Trust, the person...

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