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Parma Estate Planning And Probate Blog

Blended families present estate planning complexities

According to the Pew Research Center, marriage in the U.S. is at its lowest rate since 1920. However, remarriage is trending up. In 1960, approximately 13% of all married people had been in a previous marriage; that jumped to 23% by 2013.

Remarriage creates blended families, and blended families produce important factors to consider regarding estate planning. Whether one or both parties in a marriage bring children into the new blended family, it is important to review an existing estate plan to make sure it accomplishes your objectives. If either spouse has no estate plan, it’s time to create one.

Do I need a will if I don’t have children?

You’ve spent your life working hard and buying assets. While you may be aware that you will have to leave them behind after you pass away, it is essential to think about what will happen to those assets, even if you do not have children.

Often when people talk about planning their estate or what is in their will, they are talking about a plan for who will take care of the kids and what they will pass down to their children. Even people who do not have many assets start to think about creating a will so that there is a plan for their children.

Most commonly overlooked issues in car maintenance

Car maintenance is a responsibility put upon a car owner during purchase. If you want to make your car last, you need to perform routine tasks such as changing the oil or adding windshield fluid to prevent faster deterioration.

However, even the most responsible car owners may miss specific car issues. If you let the problem fester for too long, it will have significant damage to your vehicle and leads to severe injuries.

Demystifying the probate process

It is easy to feel out of control when you are going through something unfamiliar. While there are certain parts to probate that follow a specific order, understanding probate can be an important piece to feeling confident about the process.

Even if you have experienced an estate going through probate, it can seem overwhelming. There are many pieces to the puzzle that can make it sound like an intimidating process, especially if you do not know what to expect.

Have a plan for collectibles before you die

In estate administration, a decedent’s assets are gathered, valued and disbursed according to the decedent’s wishes once all debts are paid. It can be a straightforward process if the estate consists of common assets such as bank accounts, routine investments and a home or other real estate.

Administering an estate becomes more complex when it includes art, stamps, antiques, sports memorabilia or another category of collectibles to which a person devotes time and money. Such a collection may have significant monetary value and great emotional value to family members or friends. It is also possible that no beneficiary shares the decedent’s interest in the category of collectible, and the will contained no specific directions to keep the collection intact.

What if something seems wrong about a relative’s will?

If a family member feels that he or she was improperly left out of a will, it can stack anger on top of the grief of losing a loved one. There are legal steps a person can take if it is felt the testator – the person whose will is in question – was “unduly influenced” by someone else.

What, exactly, is “undue influence,” and what does it take to prove it occurred? The term means that a testator was coerced into acting not of his or her own free will, but because of pressure from someone else. Successfully contesting a will by proving someone exerted undue influence is difficult, but possible.

What are 3 common estate planning mistakes?

Many people struggle with their estate plans. They may wait too long to start them and have trouble remembering all their assets, or they may find they haven't updated it regularly enough and have many changes to make at once.

If you are growing older, and all of us are, then there are plenty of reasons to have an estate plan. Once you have one, you need to make sure you don't make mistakes. Here are three common issues you could have with your estate.

Updated wills are strong wills

If you have had a major event in your life in the recent past, there could be something you have overlooked — updating your will. If you are like many people, you are more likely to focus on the problems right in front of you than to think about what could be a distant eventuality.

However, it is never too early to change your will when something important happens. After all, part of the reason you have this estate planning document is to prepare for anything.

Talk to your children about inheritance to prepare them

Parents want their children to have more than they did. It's a natural way of life. As a result, many create wills that grant their children inheritances. Some create trust funds and others begin to purchase bonds and assets for their children while they're young.

What's most important for someone like yourself is to make sure you're protecting the inheritance you want to leave to your children. You want to guarantee that the inheritance gets to the right people and that it doesn't get distributed to people such as ex-spouses or other family members who weren't intended to receive anything from your death.

3 facts about choosing your Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is an important person designated by your estate plan. This person is someone who can care for you when you're unable to do so yourself, making legal (and sometimes health care) decisions for you.

There are some things you need to know about appointing a Power of Attorney, though. If you don't do so correctly, you could end up seeing the court appointing its own preferred POA to help you through your elder years.

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