Many people discover too late that they need some essential legal documents to deal with common health and end of life issues. Failing to prepare these documents ahead of time can create major legal headaches that often require expensive trips to court to resolve. Written by expert attorneys, "5@55" is a slim, easy-to-read guide to the five most important legal documents you should have by age 55: Healthcare Advance Directive, Living Will, Power of Attorney, Last Will and Testament, and Authorization to Access Electronic Records and Media Sites. These are the documents that everyone says they'll get to "eventually." But "eventually" all too often turns to "never." Setting a deadline of age 55 to draft these essential documents ensures that they'll be ready before you need them--and avoid nasty and costly surprises. With full descriptions of each document, explanations of why you need it, and sample documents you can adapt to your own needs, "5@55" is a must-have manual for the second half of life.
This expert, one-of-a-kind handbook shows you how to
- ensure that your inheritance instructions will be carried out the way you want them to be;
- protect your children's inheritance from creditors, ex-spouses, addictions, tax troubles, mismanagement, squandering, and other risks of loss;
- prevent family conflict that can arise when parents die and children divide the "family money";
- leave more money to your children and grandchildren, and less to the IRS;
- avoid creating inheritance problems in your family with "cautionary tales" of inheritance planning gone bad;
- understand why you still have to deal with estate tax issues even if your net worth falls below the new death-tax-exemption.
A practical guide to advise Baby Boomers how to deal with the daunting task of facing a parents' eventual passing as it relates to residential contents, heirlooms, and the often difficult family interactions and feuds that accompany them.
With fascinating stories and comprehensive checklists, professional estate liquidator Julie Hall walks Baby Boomers through the often painful challenge of dividing the wealth and property of their parents' lifetime accumulation of stuff. From preparation while the parent is still living through compassionately helping them empty the family home, The Estate Lady(R) gives invaluable tips on negotiating the inevitable disputes, avoiding exploitation from scam artists, and eventually closing the chapter of their lives in a way that preserves relationships and maximizes value of assets.
The best legal guide to wills and estates--with more than 80,000 copies sold--now updated to cover the current asset protection options and estate laws
Whether grappling with modest or extensive assets, The Complete Book of Wills, Estates, and Trusts has long been the indispensable guide for protecting an estate for loved ones. In this completely revised third edition, updated to cover the latest changes in estate law, attorney Alexander A. Bove, Jr., clearly explains
- how to use a will to avoid probate and legal complications
- how trusts work and how to use trusts to save taxes
- how to contest a will and how to avoid a contest
- how to settle an estate or make a claim against one
- how to establish a durable power of attorney
- how to protect assets from creditors
In his straightforward and humorous style, Bove shares easy-to-understand legal definitions, savvy advice on taxes, and pragmatic and simple sample forms, all illustrated with entertaining examples and actual cases. The Complete Book of Wills, Estates, and Trusts is the best guide available for defending your financial legacy
Many of you, regardless of your feelings on the matter, will eventually be appointed as executor of your parents', spouse's, or another's estate.Just calling an attorney isn't enough. Settling a decedent's estate may require the combined expertise of accountants, appraisers, auctioneers, realtors, bankers, brokers, insurance companies, a myriad of bureaucrats, and, yes, even lawyers. Where do you start? How do you empty a house crammed with a lifetime's worth of knick-knacks, bad art, and unopened mail? How do you deal with long-lost relatives who think you're taking too long or charging too much? And how do you oversee those professionals who know so much more than you about the process? The Essential Executor's Handbook not only explains the steps involved in settling an estate, but it shows you how to get all these professionals to do the work for you. You will learn everything you need to know about the basic laws and procedures involved; all the legal definitions you could possibly want; and why each professional is necessary, what they do, what they charge, and where to find them. No matter how little you know about law, accounting, and the rest, The Essential Executor's Handbook will lead you by the hand through the settlement process.
- making a will or living trust
- naming a guardian for your children
- avoiding probate
- choosing an executor
- using durable powers of attorney, and
- preparing a health care directive.
If you're like most people, you want to be sure that, once you've passed on, no more of your property and money will be lost to the government than is absolutely necessary. You want to know that you'll be leaving your heirs your assets and not your debts. You want to be absolutely certain that your will is ship-shape, your insurance policies are structured properly, and that every conceivable hole in your estate plan has been filled. And most of all, you'd like to do all of this without driving yourself crazy trying to make sense of the complicated jargon, jumble of paperwork, and welter of state and federal laws involved in the estate planning process.
Written by two estate planning pros, this simple, easy-to-use guide takes the pain out of planning for your ultimate financial future. In plain English, the authors walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to:
- Put your estate into order
- Minimize estate taxes
- Write a proper will
- Deal with probate
- Set up trusts
- Make sure your insurance policies are structured properly
- Plan for special situations, like becoming incompetent and pet care
- Craft a solid estate plan and keep it up-to-date
Don't leave the final disposition of your estate up to chance and the whims of bureaucrats. Estate Planning For Dummies gives you the complete lowdown on:
- Figuring out what you're really worth
- Mastering the basics of wills and probate
- Using will substitutes and dodging probate taxes
- Setting up protective trusts, charitable trusts, living trusts and more
- Making sense of state and federal inheritance taxes
- Avoiding the generation skipping transfer tax
- Minimizing all your estate-related taxes
- Estate planning for family businesses
- Creating a comprehensive estate plan
Straightforward, reader-friendly, easy-to-use, Estate Planning For Dummies is the ultimate guide to planning your family's future.
As evidenced in the Terri Schiavo case that made national headlines, having a living will is an essential element in ensuring that the way in which you would like to spend your last days will be respected. It informs both family and doctors of your medical treatment preferences in specific situations. An ethical will is a complementary text that communicates personal values, beliefs, blessings, and advice to relatives and to future generations. It can be more meaningful to friends and family than any material possession you could bequeath to them. Together, living and ethical wills ensure that your wishes and hopes are "on the record," not to be lost, ignored, or forgotten. Offering practical and inspirational advice for people at any stage of life, Ethical and Living Wills includes: --Three recommended writing approaches to capturing our feelings for posterity --Expert information for understanding the legal and practical issues involved in documenting your medical care and treatment preferences in commonly occurring situations --Advice on when to distribute both ethical and living wills -- Tips to protect the legacy you leave in an ethical will-preparing and caring for the document you create
If you need to wrap up the affairs of a loved one who has died, you may feel overwhelmed--especially when you're grieving. But you can do it, and this book will show you how.A roadmap to follow. The Executor's Guide will lead you through an unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology. You'll learn what to do right away and what can wait. Find help on:
- preparing for the job of executor or trustee
- claiming life insurance, Social Security, and other benefits
- making sense of a will (and what to do if there is no will)
- how to determine whether probate is necessary
- filing taxes
- probate court proceedings
- dealing with family members
- handling simple trusts, and
- working with lawyers, appraisers, accountants, and other experts.