Many people take a "set it and forget it" approach to estate planning. This is, they think their work is done once they make a will and other important estate documents. What few people realize is that an executor isn't just tasked with locating your will when you die. Your executor must also gather all your financial documents, including bank statements, retirement account information, life insurance documents, and other paperwork. Depending on the decedent's level of organization, this can be a daunting and sometimes even an impossible task.
These days, smartphone applications do a lot more than just tell you the weather or let you know when you've received an email. Mobile apps have become versatile tools that make life easier - and safer.
In cases involving vulnerable individuals who cannot care for themselves, courts in Minnesota have the authority to appoint a person to represent these individuals and make sound decisions on their behalf. Known as a guardian or conservator, these people are responsible for looking after the physical (guardian) and financial (conservator) well-being and important interests of impaired adults, including seniors who have been declared incompetent by the probate court.
No one wants to be the one to step in and tell mom or dad that it's time to stop driving. Driving is an activity that symbolizes independence and mobility. Because of this, some seniors tend to drive far longer than they should. On the other hand, you want your parent to be safe. You also want to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road.
When an elderly loved one requires ongoing care and assistance, it's common for family members to disagree about caregivers, the type and frequency of care, and whether the older loved one should remain at home or live in a residential care facility. Additionally, many families delay making these important decisions until an aging loved one is critically ill or unable to live independently. In these stressful times, family conflicts are far too frequent. The following disagreements are among the most common.
According to a 2014 survey cited by Forbes, fifty-one percent of Americans between the ages of 55 to 64 don't have an estate plan. In many cases, people scramble to put together an estate plan in the face of a sudden health crisis. Other times, they wait until they are seriously ill or debilitated to plan. Both scenarios can lead to problems.
When a trustee becomes incapacitated or dies, a successor trustee must take over. This makes the successor trustee responsible for fulfilling all of the trustee's obligations, including maintaining records of any income the trust receives and keeping records of any expenses paid. In certain cases, a successor trustee must also file income tax returns and open a bank account on behalf of the trust.
Today, many comprehensive estate plans include living trusts. Prepared properly, a living trust is a powerful estate planning document that allows you to change it throughout your lifetime. If you neglect to fund your trust, however, the trust may actually be completely ineffective. For your trust to work the way you intended, you need to "fund" it.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans report having been married more than once. Whether you're remarrying for the first or the fifth time, it's important to create an estate plan that protects your assets and your loved ones. Here are a few things to consider:
Placing an aging parent in a nursing home or long-term care facility is one of the most difficult decisions an adult child will make. Although the parent may need medical care and assistance, realizing the parent is incapacitated can be heartbreaking to the children. This situation is even worse when the parent resists the move.