Fact or Fiction: Beneficiary Designations Trump Your Will

Fact or Fiction: Beneficiary Designations Trump Your Will

Most life insurance policies and retirement accounts allow (and even encourage) the account owners to designate a beneficiary.  The designated beneficiary becomes the owner of the account upon the death of the original owner. In many instances, these are some of the largest assets that are passed on to the next generation.  So, what happens when a will indicates a different beneficiary than the paperwork for the account/policy? 

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Disinheriting with a Dollar: Fact or Fiction

Disinheriting with a Dollar: Fact or Fiction

Occasionally, a client wants to disinherit a family member.  This could be for a variety of reasons: the family member does not need the money, the family member is a bad apple, or there is someone else who needs the inheritance more.  

There is a popular misconception that the client must leave these disinherited individuals an inheritance of $1.00.  Such a bequest is completely unnecessary and could actually cost your estate.

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The Reading of the Will: Fact or Fiction

The Reading of the Will: Fact or Fiction

The reading of the will as featured in movies and television is a common legal myth. Generally, after someone dies and the will is located, the executor will file to have the Will Probated. He or she will likely send copies to the beneficiaries or other family members. There will not be an official day where everyone goes to the attorney’s office and sits in fancy leather chairs while an attorney reads every clause in the will.

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Resource Assessments: The Unknown Step to Saving Money for Married Couples on the Way to Medicaid

Resource Assessments:  The Unknown Step to Saving Money for  Married Couples on the Way to Medicaid

Many married couples are unaware of an important element of asset preservation when faced with long term care expenses -- the Medicaid Resource Assessment.  A portion of the Medicaid rules is designed to protect the community spouse (spouse at home) from impoverishment and unnecessary dissipation of family assets. 

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Learn from Prince’s Mistakes: Don’t Let it (Purple) Rain on Your Estate Plans

Learn from Prince’s Mistakes: Don’t Let it (Purple) Rain on Your Estate Plans

When I read that Prince failed to leave a will or any known estate planning documents, I was shocked.  The musician, who was notoriously hands-on with his music and its management, failed to prepare a plan for what would happen after his death. Prince left behind an estate estimated to exceed $300 million.  While most of us will never accumulate that much money, we can still learn from Prince’s mistakes.

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