Estate planning is the process of planning how a person will divide their estate; including property and money assets, upon their death. The planning usually involves deciding who in the family will receive what piece of property and who in the family will receive what sum of money left in the will.
A will is a legal document that defines who in the family of a deceased person receives that person’s earthly possessions including their money and their property.
A beneficiary is the person that is named in a will and receives the money or property from the holder of the will or the recently deceased person. A beneficiary can be a sibling of the deceased, offspring of the deceased, a parent of the deceased, a cousin, aunt or uncle of the deceased or a friend of the deceased. A beneficiary can be anyone that is named in the will of a person.
A power of attorney is someone given legal power over another person’s estate if the holder of the estate ever becomes mentally or physically incapacitated and cannot make competent decisions on their own.
A living will is a legal document that defines what a person wants to have happen regarding their healthcare if they should become seriously ill during their lifetime and cannot make the decisions regarding their life following the illness on their own.
Joint tenancy is when two people share the ownership of a piece of property. When one of the owners dies, their share of the property is handed over to the other owner involved in joint tenancy and cannot be sold to another person without the second owner’s approval.
An attorney is a person that has gone through years of legal schooling, training, has passed their state’s legal bar, and has a license to practice law in a certain state or states. An attorney can help people planning their estate figure out who they want to leave their earthly possessions to upon their death.
Estate planning is legally binding. Terms of a will cannot be violated and if they are violated the beneficiaries named in the will might not be able to receive the property and money left in their name if they violate the will. All wills, after signed, are legally binding in a court of law.
An executor is the person who is put in charge of the will or estate of a deceased person and is responsible for carrying out the terms of the will upon the holder’s death. The executor’s responsibilities also include the distribution of the property, collection and paying debts of the will’s holder, filing necessary tax forms and making sure that the estate’ taxes are in proper order.
How Estate Planning Law Firms Can Help You Put Your Finances In Order
No one likes to think about his or her mortality, let alone plan for it. That’s why most of us procrastinate when it comes to all things funereal. We don’t want to confront our inevitable end. But if we pass away when we are financially unprepared, our friends and loved ones will pay for our inaction.
When you die without a will (intestate), the courts decide how your money and assets will be divided. How? Apportionment is always based on legal and blood relationships. In most states, when a married person dies intestate, one-half of the estate automatically goes to his spouse, and his living descendants share the other half. Friends and distant relatives are not entitled to anything no matter how close they were to the departed. For these reasons and more, prudent estate planning is necessary to ensure your family and loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. It also gives you the opportunity to set something aside for friends and relatives who are not provided for under state law. It should be noted that the state charges administrative fees when tasked with the disposition of personal assets.
When to Contact Law Firms
Because it is such a gloomy, uncomfortable subject, most people wait until the last minute to plan their estate. But the fact remains that accidents happen every day. Even if you are in the prime of your life, it is important to prepare for the inevitable as soon as possible. Furthermore, estate planning isn’t only about money and assets and who gets what. It also includes medical directives that explain how you want to be cared for if you are ever incapacitated and cannot care for yourself. We know that it’s not a pleasant subject. But family members and loved ones invariably feel a lot better if they know they’re following your wishes. Failure to get them down in writing could force people to make hard decisions they might come to regret. Worse yet, these decisions could cause friction in your family and lead to a rift. To avoid the unthinkable, a person must endure a little unpleasantness with the help of estate planning law firms.
The Dangers of Inaction
The number one mistake most people make is not doing anything. Dying without a will or getting sick without any medical directives in writing is a recipe for disaster for everyone who cares about you. Feuds over money and assets can and sometimes do destroy families, both socially and financially. It is not at all uncommon for siblings and even parents to sue each other when a patriarch or matriarch dies without a valid will.
Who to Contact
Because the laws are constantly changing, it is always a good idea to have an experienced estate lawyer draft your will and document your medical directives. As macabre as it may be, at least the process is cheap. A full estate planning package from most of the top law firms typically starts at only around one thousand dollars. That’s not much to ensure your family’s future!
Do I Need Estate Planning? – Preserving Your Children’s Inheritance
Estate Administration is the process by which, with or without court supervision, the assets of an estate are distributed among beneficiaries, heirs and creditors. Even if you don’t become incapacitated, you still have to pass your assets on after your death. Some of the issues that require decisions are the handling of Probate, why you should use an attorney, Joint Tenancy, Powers of Attorney for Asset Management and Health Care, Living Wills, Living Trusts, etc.. If these decisions are not made ahead of time and your heirs need help settling the estate, expenses may average 4% to 5% of the typical estate. Additionally, distribution of those assets can take 6 months and sometimes 2 years or more! So where do you go from here?
What you need is an Access Plan. An Access Plan is similar in concept to that of a medical plan. However, instead of having access to doctors for free and discounted rates, an Access Plan provides access to lawyers, financial planners and many valuable services for free and discounted rates. Knowing this, whenever you think there is a problem, you can talk to professionals without fear of the cost. There are many challenges families must face today; incapacity, nursing home and medical costs, safeguarding assets for the benefit of heirs, reducing financial risk and taxation, excessive legal fees, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Some of the major illnesses that affect the elderly today are Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer or a heart attack. Nursing home costs can exceed $70,000 per year and become a heavy financial burden to the well-spouse at home. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says that people who reach age 65 have a 40% chance of entering a nursing home. About 10% will stay there five years or more. If that wasn’t scary enough, Medicare does not pay for Long-Term Care. Some of the common excuses you hear for not planning for Long-Term Care are: my kids say they will take care of me or I’ll use my savings since it will happen at the end of my life, and the list goes on.
So what do you do? The answer is simple. Find a company that provides a membership giving you access to the experts in all of the areas discussed above and let them show you how it is done. A company that provides access to knowledgeable attorneys to discuss how loved ones may avoid stress and anxiety associated with Medicaid and incapacity. To show you techniques for reducing nursing home costs. A comprehensive legal plan to access attorneys at any time about any issue you may have. Attorneys who can help you decide what estate plan is best suited for your given situation. This type of Estate Planning is utilized by more than 10 million Americans nationwide, including 4,000 unions, corporations and organizations. Let the experts, with all of the appropriate forms and documents; take care of these issues for you all under one package.
An Attorney Represents Peace of Mind When Estate Planning
Estate planning can help ensure that your assets are secure after death. Living clients who become incapacitated due to illness or injury can also benefit from estate planning. The process prevents familial legal disputes, lowers taxes, ensures the payment of assets to any beneficiaries, and ensures the collection of money. A lawyer can protect assets by scheduling certain plans to be set in motion at an appointed time. These plans include a trust, a pour-over will, and a power of attorney.
A trust arranges for a third party, the trustee, to control assets on behalf of a beneficiary. A beneficiary inherits assets whether or not an asset is meant to go to a beneficiary. Another commonly used term is “heir,” which designates relatives who inherit in the absence of a will. The client chooses the third party for the beneficiary.
A Pour-Over Will
A pour-over will is often used in conjunction with a trust and ensures that all property that passes through the will upon death transfers to a trust, i.e. pours over into that trust. From there, the property is divided and distributed to the beneficiary as designated by the client.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that designates a third party to step in to make decisions for you, should you become mentally incapacitated. This third party is called an agent. A power of attorney is vital because, without it, your family members may have to go to court to obtain control of your estate.
Agents Appointed Time
Each state follows its own laws about when the appointed third party begins making decisions as a legal agent. Midway Utah law stipulates that a person can draft control that is enacted as soon as the agreement is signed or wait until incapacitation for it to go into effect. If the client arranges for the power to begin upon signing, the client must clarify that the agreement is durable. Otherwise, the agreement automatically ceases if the person suffers incapacitation. If a client doesn’t want the power to immediately transfer, a springing durable power of attorney must be enacted. This makes clear that the power remains untransferable until a doctor certifies incapacitation.
Duties of an Agent
The duties of the agent include paying ongoing fees or outstanding bills, depositing money into bank accounts, monitoring investments, collecting benefits from the government or insurance company, and handling other estate planning matters. The agent will know what to do because he or she will have a clear lawyer-assisted plan to follow that prevents having to guess about the timing of these important financial matters.
The Planning Process
There is a lot to digest in today’s marketplace, and investing can be confusing to anybody, especially considering the more than 15,000 mutual funds to choose from as well as options, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), fund of funds, closed end funds, fee-based or commission-based funds, managed money, hedge funds, bonds, annuities, and estate planning. So with all these choices, how do you become and stay a winner as an individual investor? How do you keep track of it all? You need a plan (in writing), knowledge, common sense, and research. You also need to define your goals and stay on top of your investments.
If you understand how an investment works, you can then figure out how to invest or make sure somebody else invests the right way for you. Developing your estate plan and understanding wills and trusts will help protect you and your family (self-employed individuals also need a succession plan). The reality is that it’s never too soon or too late to develop an estate plan, start an investment savings plan, set up a budget, and establish a retirement plan to help guide you and your family toward achieving your goals. You need to take the following steps:
• Identify your life goals.
• Review where you are in relation to meeting these goals.
• Set up a plan (we make it easy in the following chapters).
• Implement your plan.
• Review your plan annually.
The first step in meeting your life goals is to develop or review your personal budget. Most individuals (and companies) are surprised when they actually complete a budget. A budget allows you to identify areas that you can adjust in your spending habits, as outlined in step 3 (your personal/business budget) and step 6a (your retirement budget). By defining your normal expenses in relation to your current net income, you can develop a good foundation for your financial plan. Your plan should include provisions for savings, your children’s education, mortgage protection, charitable gifting plans, emergency funding, educational costs, income protection, asset protection, funds for retirement, and succession (death) and other expenses.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law St. George Utah Office
Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office
|• Total||5.55 sq mi (14.37 km2)|
|• Land||5.55 sq mi (14.37 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
||5,584 ft (1,702 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Density||951.35/sq mi (367.33/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1430310|
Midway is a city in northwestern Wasatch County, Utah, United States. It is located in the Heber Valley, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Heber City and 28 miles (45 km) southeast of Salt Lake City, on the opposite side of the Wasatch Mountains. The population was 3,845 at the 2010 census.