Have you ever said or overheard someone else say I do not need a Will, Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive? By not engaging in estate planning you are allowing laws enacted by the legislature to make your decisions.
Because “the talk” involves not one but two things we’re often uncomfortable discussing – money and death – many of us put it off or never have it at all, and that’s a mistake. Making your expectations clear can help your heirs to avert a good deal of discord, or even litigation, after you’re gone.
According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse, and of the nearly 5 million cases each year, only 7% are ever even reported to the police.
This article specifically addresses the Pros and Cons of accounts that are titled ‘Joint Tenant with Rights of Survivorship’, (JTWROS). An account, titled in two or more persons’ names that have rights of survivorship, is jointly owned by those individuals.
There is a common misconception that all real and personal property will pass through an individual’s estate upon his or her death. Though, some assets avoid the probate process altogether depending on how the property is titled.
With no family to provide for, many singles may feel that having a plan isn’t a necessity. However, the truth is that estate planning for single individuals is just as important, and sometimes more complex, than planning for married couples.
Estate and “death tax” planning must be undertaken in a way that also educates the client. In this way, the client understands the applicable laws, how those laws will impact their ultimate goals or how they may lower or increase the potential taxes occasioned at death.