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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Distinguishing Asset Preservation Planning from Elder Financial Abuse

Distinguishing Asset Preservation Planning from Elder Financial Abuse

We, as elder law attorneys, are often asked to explain the differences between a legitimate asset preservation plan and elder financial abuse. The key factors to look for are the intent of the elder adult and the intent of the recipient, usually an adult child or children, who are involved in transfer of assets.

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Preventing Beneficiary Designations from Wreaking Havoc on Special Needs Beneficiaries

Preventing Beneficiary Designations from Wreaking Havoc on Special Needs Beneficiaries

The main way most American families save for the future is through private retirement savings plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs.  These plans offer the opportunity to designate a beneficiary upon the death of the account holder.  These designations allow the account assets to bypass probate and pass directly to the named beneficiaries. Often, individuals make these decisions when initially setting up the account and never reconsider them.

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Free Legal and Financial Planning Seminar: April 25, 2017

Join Attorney Mary Patton and the Alzheimer's Association for a discussion about Legal and Financial Planning.  The seminar is free.  

When: April 25, 2017

Time: 6pm-7pm

Where: Scott County Senior Citizens Center (map)
800 Cincinnati Rd # 10, Georgetown, KY 40324

How: Register by calling 1-800-272-3900

Dealing with the Diagnosis:  Practical Legal Steps to Take when Planning for an Uncertain Future 

Dealing with the Diagnosis:  Practical Legal Steps to Take when Planning for an Uncertain Future 

  Whether it is Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Huntington’s, ALS, MS or another illness, when a family member has been dealt a life-altering diagnosis, it changes the way you must plan for the future. A family with a person who has received such a diagnosis should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Even if the individual with the diagnosis is cognitively impaired, it does not mean that they cannot be a part of the planning process. Many times, the impaired individual can be actively involved.

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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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Five Reasons Why Living Trusts are not for Everyone.

Five Reasons Why Living Trusts are not for Everyone.

One of the most common things I hear from my estate planning clients is that they want to “avoid probate.”  So, I’ve started asking them “why?”  They tell me one of two things: first, they have heard that probate is expensive, or secondly, they don’t know why.  In 1965, Norman F. Dacey published his well-known book How to Avoid Probate! Norman F. Dacey, while not an attorney himself, instructs the public to transfer everything they own into a Living Trust using one of the forms in the back of his book. 

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