Estate planning is the process of putting a legal plan in place so that in the event of your death or disability, your affairs will be managed in accordance with your wishes and will save your family headache and money.
What are digital assets?
Digital assets can be placed into four categories.
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- Electronic access to financial information: Logins for your banks, brokerage, investment and retirement accounts, credit cards, insurance, tax preparation software, financial software like Quickbooks.
- Digital assets with value: Web addresses, online accounts that hold cash like Ebay or Paypal,
Oftentimes, clients want to leave a retirement account to a minor child or grandchild (one who is under 18 years old). Sometimes a spouse is the primary beneficiary (would be first in line to receive the account upon the owner’s death) and minor children are the contingent beneficiaries (would be second in line to receive the account upon the owner’s death).
It is generally a good idea to have a named beneficiary of a retirement account, like a Traditional IRA or 401(k) or other tax deferred retirement account because a named beneficiary is able to stretch distributions more than an estate can, … Read the rest
A common question I receive from clients is whether a parent should make a child a joint owner of a bank account. Generally, the question comes from an elderly single or widowed client who either already needs the assistance of a child to ensure that bills are paid or is concerned that should she experience a debilitating health event, her child has the ability to pay bills.
Generally, I advise against this arrangement. There are two primary reasons for my position.
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- Making a child the joint owner of an account means that the child now has as much ownership of the account as you do. If the child is sued
You’ve done the right thing. You’ve gone to an estate planning or elder law lawyer and had your basic estate planning documents prepared, ie. your Last Will and Testament, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, etc. Now what do you do with these important documents?
Last Will and Testament
In Ohio, original Wills are very important. That is because if an original Will is lost, the law presumes that it was lost or destroyed on purpose. To admit a lost Will, the burden is on the individual seeking to admit the lost Will that it was executed in accordance with the law, what the contents… Read the rest
Making a gift to a charity in your estate plan is a wonderful way to give back. Today’s blog post will talk about the basics of charitable giving.
Before you leave money to any charity, it is wise to go to a website like https://www.charitynavigator.org/ and https://www.consumerreports.org/charities/best-charities-for-your-donations/ to make sure that the charity is worthy of your support. Unfortunately, there are many great sounding charities that spend most of their operating costs on administrative expenses or are scams.
How to Make the Gift
A gift to a charity… Read the rest