As you spend time with family over the holidays, you may start to think about what you want your children, grandchildren and others to inherit after you're gone. Even though that time may be a long way off, you realize it's best to be prepared.
If a person dies without an estate plan (at least a will), state probate laws determine which relatives inherit their estate, what portion of it and under what circumstances. These people are called "heirs-at-law."
Married couples who don't have children often put off their estate planning longer than those who are parents. They don't have to worry about the issue of child guardianship if anything were to happen to them. There's also no need to determine how their assets will be divided among offspring. However, child-free couples should have some estate planning documents in place. Let's look at a few key ones and why they're important.
Most people would be quick to say that they have nothing in common with Jeffrey Epstein. The 66-year-old financier was facing multiple federal sex trafficking charges involving minors when he died last month -- reportedly by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
You've completed your estate plan. That's a tremendous accomplishment -- and one that too many people never get around to. You've got some peace of mind.
Good estate planning is about more than designating what will happen after you're gone. A well-drafted estate plan can and should designate who will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. This could happen suddenly -- perhaps through a catastrophic accident that leaves you in a coma. It could happen more gradually -- perhaps through dementia.
If you decide to divorce your spouse, it'll change your life in many ways. It's critical to alter your estate plan as soon as possible, as there's a good chance you want to remove your ex-spouse entirely.
When you create an estate plan, you do so with the idea that it'll provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind. While this is sure to happen, don't overlook the fact that you may need to review and update your estate plan every so often.
Even if you're serious about estate planning and making sure you have everything in order, there's no guarantee that a mistake won't creep into view at some point. It's important that you do your best to avoid potential mistakes, as this will give both you and your family greater peace of mind.
Art collectors generally put a lot of thought into what artwork to bring into their collection. It can also be very important for them to give careful thought as to what will happen with their collection when they pass away.