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Estate Planning

The Law Office of Libby Banks > Estate Planning (Page 3)

Valentine’s Day and Planning for Those You Love

Valentine’s Day is February 14. It started long ago as a Roman festival and was later converted to St. Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius around the end of the 5th century. Much later, in the 14 th Century, it came to be celebrated as a day of romance. These days, we also give gifts to other family members we love to let them know just how dear they are to us. One way to show our family we love them is to get a Will or Trust in place. A proper estate plan makes it much easier on your loved ones if...

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Out With the Old, In With the New

As we start the New Year, I wanted to talk about older methods of estate planning versus newer, more efficient and cost-effective means of planning. Your estate is simply what you own. For most reading this article, that at least includes a home, a retirement account, bank accounts and maybe a brokerage account. In the not-so-distant past, planning for your estate at death meant preparing a Last Will and Testament. Today, we use the Revocable Living Trust more often. There are many benefits to using the Revocable Living Trust, but often people think that only the wealthy need a Trust. I think...

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New Year, New You?

If it’s one thing we might all agree on, it is that we are ready to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome a New Year! With the new year comes resolutions: goals for weight loss, for personal improvement, for career advancement, maybe even to put an estate plan in place. Often, though, our New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside before Groundhog Day. If we want this to be different, we must take a different approach. One way is to think of the resolution not as an ultimate goal to be achieved, but as habits to put in place that will lead...

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Talking to Your Executor (or Trustee)

The holidays are just around the corner, and when the family gathers, it can be a great time to talk to the person or persons you have chosen as your executor, personal representative, and/or Trustee. Is Your Executor Willing to Serve? If you are just beginning your planning, now is a good time to ask your chosen trustee if they are willing to serve. This is very important! You don’t want a situation to arise where the people you counted on to serve are saying they won’t. It is one of many ways to end up in an expensive court proceeding to get...

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How the Revocable Trust Works for You

The Revocable Living Trust is valuable for many estate planning needs, but one of the most obvious is the avoidance of all the time and expense of probate. I like to think of your Trust as your treasure chest. Your assets, the things you worked and saved hard to have – go into your Trust – into your treasure chest. While you are alive and able, you are taking care of the treasure chest as the trustee. If you can’t take care of your treasure chest anymore, either because of your death or because you are incapacitated, you have named a...

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Asset Protection for Your Heirs

The revocable living trust is a great estate planning tool, but it does not protect your assets from your creditors. The assets in your trust are still considered your assets because you continue to have complete control over them. On the other hand, you can use your trust to provide asset protection for your beneficiaries after your death. When you pass your assets on to your beneficiaries, instead of giving them of all the assets outright, where they put it in their own bank account or in their own name, at death, your trust directs the trustee to create an irrevocable...

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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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