Finding love in life is a great feeling, no matter your age. However, just like there are considerations for a 25-year-old to make prior to marriage, there are also important decisions someone 50 or older also needs to consider before walking down the aisle. In this blog post, we hope to provide some basic information on the importance of having a prenuptial agreement and finalizing estate plans before getting married.
You have worked hard for everything you have and you no doubt want to leave your children with your assets when you pass. While this sounds simple enough, the truth is that estate tax laws are downright confusing, and one small mistake or oversight can have serious financial implications for your heirs.
D.C.'s New Estate Tax Exemption Amount
In a perfect world, people are able to handle their own affairs and stay in control of their own lives. However, no matter how healthy you are, the future is uncertain. There is always a possibility you could fall ill, or be incapacitated for one reason or another. Sometimes the best way to truly maintain control over one's life is to be ready to relinquish it - at least to some extent. This is done by designating a person or persons to fill the role of Power of Attorney.
Entrusting Your Pet's Care
Is your pet a part of your family? Pets are a great source of comfort, stress relief, and joy. Just as you want to provide for your friends and family if you are disabled or after you pass away, it is natural that you wish to do the same for your beloved pet. So, how do you go about doing it?
Getting Comfortable With Powers Of Appointment.
Does your will contain power of appointment? Does it waive powers of appointment? Do you know? Can you check? A power of appointment can provide flexibility for transferring property to legatees and heirs, usually children and grandchildren. A will or trust may allow beneficiaries powers of appointment, enabling them to direct where their share of the estate or trust goes at their death
For many family owned businesses the creation of a Family Limited Partnership ("FLP") is a great way to achieve succession planning. When it works well, a founding member of the business can enjoy peace of mind knowing that his hard-earned business can stay within the family, with a long term plan in place to better insure its success.
I am often asked: What is the probate process and how can I avoid it? Simply put, probate is the government supervised process of transferring assets titled in an individual's name according to the terms of that individual's last will and testament, or if the individual didn't have a will, pursuant to Maryland's laws of intestacy. While Maryland's probate process is not unduly complicated, it often takes at least nine months or more to complete. The process can sometimes bring avoidable stress and hardship to surviving family members.
Access To Digital Assets
Many of us are using online accounts to some degree: to manage finances, correspondence, or social interactions, all with the storage of their personal information. Sometimes the information is stored on our own personal devices, such as a laptop or smart phone. Other times, the information may be stored in the cloud or on the social network's own servers. While the concept of digital assets is constantly growing as technology advances, the most common forms of digital assets are our digital photographs, emails, and social media accounts. The inability to access such records could be a huge sentimental loss for a family. For those of us who own a business, the inability to access digital access could have a severe financial impact if a trusted family member or agent cannot open or use work email or other important records in the event of the disability or death of the person holding the passwords.
The news and media are loaded with stories about messy celebrity divorces involving prenuptial agreements. While it may seem that only extremely wealthy individuals - or superstars - enter into prenuptial agreements before tying the knot, that simply is not true.