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Estate Planning Essentials for the Self-Employed

Estate planning is an uncomfortable subject for many. For the self-employed, the topic can be even more sensitive. Estate planning can be quite complicated when you own a business. There are business assets, business accounts, and the ever-looming threat of bankruptcy.

Health issues are another concern. Entrepreneurs are often unable to afford good health insurance or long-term care protection. Business assets are at risk if you become unable to work.

Business owners can also have a much larger estate tax burden. Minimizing these taxes requires thoughtful planning and expert guidance.

 

If you’re self-employed, consider these ideas regarding your estate planning:

 1. Power of Attorney. For the more conventionally employed, all that’s usually needed is someone you can trust. For the self-employed, remember that the person with power of attorney will be making business decisions if you become incapable.

  •  Can you find someone you trust with the...
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Making Joint Custody Work For Your Family

A growing body of research confirms that kids are usually better off with both parents in their lives as joint custody becomes the preferred solution to child rearing after divorce. Familiarizing yourself with the benefits of shared custody and learning these strategies can help you make the best arrangement for your family.

 

Basic Principles to Keep in Mind

1. Understand the difference between physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with. Legal custody refers to a parent's right and responsibility to make major decisions that affect their child on issues like education and health care.

 

2. Appreciate the benefits of joint custody. Shared custody is currently awarded in approximately 20% of divorces and that figure is likely to grow. Kids who spend substantial time with both parents appear to have fewer physical and emotional health issues. Their self-esteem is higher and they do better in school.

 

3. Put your children's...

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Trust 101

Trusts are important financial instruments in estate planning. Unlike a will, with a trust, you can legally arrange your estate in a way that saves your family a substantial amount of money on taxes, avoids probate and those expenses, and distributes your assets according to your wishes after you're gone.

 

What is a Trust?

The most common type of trust is a legal arrangement that someone sets up to designate what will happen to their assets upon their death. Typically, such trusts name a “trustee,” a person who’ll be responsible for carrying out the trust’s instructions.

The person setting up the trust, known as the “trustor” or “grantor,” also names beneficiaries of the trust funds. Beneficiaries are the people who’ll receive the assets when the trustor dies.

 

A trustee is legally appointed by the trustor to be responsible for managing the funds for the beneficiaries of the trust. You probably know that beneficiaries...

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Beware of These Top 7 Estate Planning Mistakes

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2021

Most people view estate planning in the same way they view a root canal: Put it off until the pain is too great to ignore any longer. Also, those with little income or net worth believe that estate planning doesn’t apply to their situation. But estate planning is much more than just the allocation of cash, real estate, and other assets. There are other things to consider, too.

 There are many errors that occur again and again in estate planning. Avoiding these mistakes is half the battle.

 

Steer clear of these mistakes for a successful estate plan:

 1. Estate planning is a little like completing a tax return. No one really wants to do it. But it’s so important to push your resistance aside and get it done!

 

2. Not paying attention to the conflicts that exist within your beneficiaries and estate plan. For example, if your will declares that your husband receive your retirement account, but your ex-husband’s name is still listed as the...

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A Foolproof Formula for Staying Healthy After Your Divorce

You may need to call a doctor, as well as a lawyer, when you’re going through a divorce. The end of your marriage can affect your mental and physical health.

Divorce increases the risk for mobility issues and chronic conditions including heart disease and diabetes for both men and women, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

On the other hand, the experience varies for each individual. You might feel overwhelmed by emotional and financial issues. You might find yourself thriving and enjoying life more.

 

Whatever your circumstances, the end of a marriage is a major transition. Try these suggestions for keeping your mind and body strong and fit.

 

Protecting Your Physical Health after a Divorce:

1. Schedule screenings. The stress of a divorce can affect your immune system and make you more vulnerable to many serious health conditions. Be proactive. Discuss your situation with your doctor and follow their recommendations...

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How to Create an Estate Plan

How to Create an Estate Plan

An estate plan is an important part of organizing your future. Legal forms used in estate planning let you stay in control of your care in the event of incapacitation and establish how your assets will be passed along when you pass on.

 

1. Find an estate planning attorney. You will need an experienced attorney to help you put together an estate plan. This can be a complicated matter that requires a great deal of legal paperwork.

 

2. Organize your files and examine your assets. Your attorney will need to see the details of your assets.

 

 3. Discuss potential issues with your attorney. Do you anticipate a big fight among your children once you're gone? Do you have extensive debts that need to be paid?

 

 4. Ensure you have a will. You may also want a living will so your wishes for your medical care are followed if you become incapacitated.

 

 5.File beneficiary forms and make final...

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Divorce and Financial Survival

Divorce and Financial Survival

No one gets married with the expectation of getting divorced someday. Regrettably, though, divorce rates are expected to continue climbing. Divorce affects all areas of your life, including your financial health, and can result in significant challenges.

If you're struggling through a divorce, there are several things you can do to minimize the negative effects on your finances.

Consider these options to help you financially survive a divorce:

1. Come to an agreement on how to divide your assets. A particularly difficult thing in any divorce is the decision of who gets what. You and your spouse both may have an economic and emotional investment in almost everything, from the house to the art collection you acquired together.

  • It really is beneficial to avoid having the lawyers get involved in the process. Once the legal system is formally involved, the process is much more expensive and financially and emotionally draining.

2. Try mediation....

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Signs that Bankruptcy Might Be Worth Consideration

Many people believe that bankruptcy ruins your life and should never be considered. But bankruptcy can be a reasonable solution for some and can offer a fresh start.  It does create challenges, but those considering bankruptcy already have challenges.

Your financial situation will only get worse for the foreseeable future. Your debt is increasing every month and you have no way of increasing your income.  Bankruptcy is worth consideration under these conditions. Check off the situations that apply to you:

  • You’re insolvent. Your assets and income are no match for your debts.
  • You’re forced to use credit to buy food. If you can’t meet your basic needs without resorting to credit, your financial situation is likely to only get worse.
  • You’ve sought professional help without any viable solutions. Credit counseling can help to determine if you’re a good candidate for bankruptcy. It can be challenging to find a trustworthy credit counselor, so do you...
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How the Changes in Credit Reporting Will Affect You

#credit #creditreport Jan 06, 2021

How the Changes in Credit Reporting Will Affect You

More than 200 million Americans have a credit score. A poor credit score can limit your ability to borrow money, obtain a credit card, or even acquire a job in some industries. Your credit score and report have the power to make your life easier or much more challenging.

Credit reports are known for containing many errors, and these errors can be challenging to remove. Credit reporting agencies have avoided spending the necessary time and resources to resolve consumer disputes.

Unpaid medical bills are a significant component of many credit reports. Fifty-three percent of the debt listed on credit reports is related to medical bills.

To address these issues, the major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, have agreed to alter the manner in which they report credit information. The major changes involve unpaid medical bills and errors.

 Some of these changes are: 

 1.  Consumer-reported errors...

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6 Tips to Avoid Trust Scams

Hello all,

I am attorney Margaret Webb of Legacy Legal & Business Services PLC. It is hard to believe that I just began working on my 16th year of practice. One of my main areas of practice is estate planning and I have seen my fair share of Estate Planning Fraud and Trust Mills. When thinking back over my experience, I have compiled some tips that I thought you would find helpful:

1) Do not be pressured into a trust on an in-home sales pitch; Now if you are or your loved one is not able to get out of the house it is certainly appropriate to invite an attorney to your house, but when the attorney or sales agent invites their self to your home then that should be a red flag.

2) The situation is suspect for trust scams if the person is selling annuities as well as trust packages as they are making money on both; Early in my career, I had an elderly woman fall for one of these type scenarios and we had to go to court to have an irrevocable trust revoked. This is no easy feat as you...

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