Browse Estate Planning Basics Articles

When you sign up for a life insurance policy or a retirement account, you name a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of the policy when the policyholder dies. But what happens if you forget to change your beneficiary as your life changes? You might be surprised by the answer. more...

- - Estate Planning Basics

If you’ve never heard of a trust mill, consider yourself lucky, but also be wary. There’s a growing segment of trust “advisors” trying to convince unsuspecting Americans to transfer their investments into riskier ventures. Here’s what you need to know and what to do about it. more...

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The Sopranos star's will and its provisions, particularly those invoking the so-called death tax, have sparked a discussion about estate planning that no wise guy or gal—celebrity or not—can afford to ignore. more...

- - Living Trusts

Most people have feelings—often strong ones—about who should receive their assets after they’re gone. But many put off making a will until it’s too late. The good news is that making a will is much simpler and more affordable than most people think. But first, you should know the pros and cons.

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- - Last Wills

The question of how, when—and whether—to tell your children your estate plans is a tricky one. Every family is unique, but these general guidelines should come in handy. And, who knows? You may be surprised to find the conversation you’ve been avoiding turns out to be a family bonding experience. more...

- - Last Wills

Estate planning can help your family make important decisions during difficult times. As our lives become more complex, preparing an estate plan is no longer reserved for older Americans. Here are some situations where certain documents, like a power of attorney, may make sense for young adults in your family.

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- - Estate Planning Basics

The dust’s settled—we know the country didn’t go over the fiscal cliff. Now it’s time to consider how the new tax laws may affect your estate plan. Spoiler alert: it’s not as bad as you might think.  more...

- - Estate Planning Basics

The role of executor is usually assigned to a close member of the family. Given the nature of the assignment itself, the role can be quite a challenge—both mentally and emotionally. What follows is a list of executor’s duties that hopefully will create the right expectations for the job. more...

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Talking to parents or loved ones about making a future plan can seem overwhelming. But not making a plan should not be an option. Here are 8 tips to help make the process easier. more...

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With many things in life, it’s difficult to plan ahead. But when it comes to making decisions that affect your family and your finances, why take chances? With a durable power of attorney, you can rest assured knowing that important matters can be taken care of without burdening loved ones. more...

- - Estate Planning Basics