Special Reports are written on topics that affect various aspects of estate planning and the laws that govern it.
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These reports are published by the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and cover a wide-variety of subjects relating to estate planning. Click on a report title to read more or to order a complimentary copy.
A Special Child Needs Special Planning
While planning for the care of a special needs child certainly tops the list of emotionally-charged topics, the peace of mind parents gain from a well-designed estate plan is immeasurable.
Aid & Attendance: Special Care Pensions for Wartime Veterans
If you or your loved one is a wartime Veteran in need of daily assistance due to any disabling medical condition you may qualify for monetary benefits from the Veterans Administration’s Aid & Attendance Special Pension.
Are Your Bank Accounts Safe? FDIC Insurance Can Cover You – With the Right Planning
This report informs the reader of what FDIC actually is and explains the basic coverage FDIC offers. The report focuses on how to maximize your FDIC coverage, with the right planning. Any concerns the reader might feel regarding the safety of their bank accounts, due to the large prediction of bank failures, are addressed.
Asset Protection: Reducing Risk, Promoting Peace of Mind
Every American adult shares a dubious characteristic—each is a walking litigation target. Part of your birthright is that you may be sued at any time, for any reason, and for any amount.
Beware of Living Trust Scare Tactics!
There is so much conflicting information regarding estate planning options, it’s difficult to know whom to trust. Don't be fooled by the most common myths that have been used to scare the public.
Charity Begins at Home: The Charitable Remainder Trust
Americans are some of the most generous givers on the face of the planet. They reach into their pockets and take out their checkbooks on behalf of others more often than any other industrialized nation. The Charitable Remainder Trust is one of the most popular ways Americans can donate to their favorite cause while doing good for themselves and their families.
Creating a Lasting Legacy: The Best Things in Life Aren't Things
Traditional Estate Planning can certainly address legal technicalities and basic financial concerns, but most people want to pass on much more than just financial assets. Legacy Wealth Planning is a revolutionary approach that helps to plan for the monetary and emotional aspects of death. In other words, it helps to minimize the effects of your death on your family, and ensures your legacy lives on through those you love.
Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Wills and Living Trusts
Estate planning is an essential part of life and death. In planning for our future and our family’s future, we must take stock of who we are, what our goals are, and how we want our estate distributed. With the easy availability of do-it-yourself Wills and Living Trusts, it can be all too tempting to take care of your estate plan-ning needs yourself, rather than pay, what may seem like high fees, to an estate planning attorney.
Estate Planning Basics for Families with Young Children
Problems often arise when a parent with minor children passes away with no estate plan in place, leaving behind potential hardship on the emotional and financial future of their minor children. This report examines how custody and inheritance of minor children is often handled and it explains what you need to consider when choosing a guardian. It also reviews the options and protections offered through planning with a Will and a Living Trust.
Estate Planning with Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA's)
At first glance, the concept of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) seems simple enough: a structured way to save for your golden years while deferring taxes on your growing nest egg. Unfortunately, that simple idea becomes one of the most complex areas of estate planning once IRS rules are applied.
Family Farm: The Next Generation
A humorous take on how families pass on businesses, such as family farms, is reflected in this quip: Avenge your children; give them equal shares in your business. Certainly, what can seem like a generous, wonderful thing can be rife with conflict and imbalance, if you don't take steps to implement the appropriate legal framework.
Family Wealth Trust: Calculating the Benefits
Our firm has found that looking after these financial assets is only a part of planning for passing on your legacy. Typically speaking, non-financial assets are more valued and often omitted when passing an estate to future generations. Focusing on complete “legacy planning” causes something more than a simple or bare bones Living Trust to be needed by most families. We put this special report together to further delve into what a Family Wealth Trust can do for you and your family.
Fifteen Common Reasons To Do Estate Planning
Find out the most common reasons why it is important to do estate planning such as avoiding probate, protecting your assets and designating someone who will manage your affairs after your pass away. These are all important matters that should not be ignored.
Funeral Planning: Options for You and Your Family
For surviving family members, the hours and days following a loved one’s death is no time for weighty decisions. For many Americans, however, this will be the first time they think about the preparations for their loved one’s funeral. This report will help you begin this important process in advance and reveal options available for planning.
Gay & Lesbian Couples Face Special Challenges in Estate Planning
In this report, you'll learn why the right to privacy and personal control over health care issues and distribution of assets are key reasons for gay and lesbian couples to consider a Living Trust as their estate planning vehicle of choice.
Getting The Most Out of Your Life Insurance: The Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
If you own life insurance, congratulations. Sadly, most of us put off this critical element in our family's financial planning, which may have devastating consequences on the loved ones left behind.
Grandparent's Guide to Second Generation Planning
Even though your children are now grown, a real concern may be for your grandchildren and what might happen to them should something happen to one of your adult children. This report discusses the numerous issues that may come up if they don’t have an estate plan in place, such as: custody, the emotional and financial welfare of your grandchildren, as well as the possibility that the assets you envision passing on to them can easily be lost to divorces, remarriages, lawsuits, and/or simple poor money management.
Keeping Up with the Ever Changing Estate Tax
Taking into account the estate tax when completing your estate plan can be difficult amid all of the estate tax uncertainty. Understanding the most recent and potential changes in the estate tax can help you create an estate plan that will bring stability and certainty to your loved ones when the time comes.
Living Trusts: Calculating the Benefits
Chances are, you've already heard a lot about the attributes of Living Trusts: avoiding probate and legal quagmires, sometimes lowering estate and/or income taxes and protecting privacy. Yet it's also important to receive solid estate planning guidance before making final decisions, and to carefully weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks.
Peace Of Mind: Planning For All Of Life's Contingencies
As citizens of a culture that worships youth, most of us find it nearly impossible to admit our own mortality, much less make plans for that eventuality. Denial, however, offers no protection from the inevitable. And, as it turns out, we have far more to gain than to lose by sitting down in advance to plan for every contingency life may throw at us. To help you begin this important process, here are the essential items that should be on your list of basic estate planning objectives.
Planning It Right the Second Time Around
One thing should be clear by now: we do our families and ourselves a great disservice when we fail to plan for every contingency. That's why a crucial first step in this entire process should be a consultation with an estate planning attorney.
Probate: A Process, Not a Problem
While often maligned as a headache, in reality probate offers a solid legal framework with advantages for those who have properly prepared prior to death and who have retained skilled legal counsel. Court oversight at every step, complete control of creditor claims, and the provision of a legal forum for complaints are important features of probate that are often overlooked. At its heart, probate is a process, and like any process, if one steps back, takes an overview of the procedures involved, breaks the whole into manageable parts, and works with qualified legal assistance, the end can usually be reached quickly, efficiently and economically.
Probate: An Executor's Role and Responsibilities
The passing of someone close to you is an emotionally draining time. The last thing you likely want to deal with is settling your loved one's final affairs in probate. But, if you are a potential executor, it's not as horrible as you may have feared, especially with the help of an experienced attorney. This report was created to define the probate process and answer important questions about it.
Protecting Your Assets with the Family Limited Partnership
Are you worried about being sued? Well, you should be. It is reported that there are 18 million lawsuits in the United States each year. However, that isn't the whole story. Have you ever heard of the "deep pocket" syndrome? The deep pocket syndrome means that the person claiming to have been harmed files a suit against anyone even marginally connected with the incident.
Protecting Your Assets with the Limited Liability Company
Are you worried about being sued? Well, you should be. There are 18 million lawsuits in the United States each year. But that isn't the whole story. Have you heard of the "deep pocket" syndrome? The deep pocket syndrome is where the person who claims to have been harmed files suit against anyone who is even marginally connected with the incident.
Set The Stage for Medicaid Eligibility
Incapacity planning is a broad area of law that covers how you are cared for if you become physically or mentally unable to care for yourself. The type of care could range from simple tasks like buying groceries, paying bills, and handling financial matters to more important decisions such as selling real estate or gifting assets to your children.
Special Valuation Benefits for Farms and Other Business Real Property
This report describes the estate tax valuation benefits available to owners of farms or other business real property.
The Impact of Divorce on Your Estate Plan
This report can help familiarize you with some important concepts about being prepared for divorce, should it come your way.
The Nightmare of Living Probate
For most of our lives the greatest risk to our well-being isn't death. It's the ever-growing likelihood of becoming seriously ill or injured.
The Trouble with Joint Tenancy
Joint tenancy ownership of property is sometimes used as a substitute for an effective estate plan. Is this a good idea? Read this article to find out.
To My Dog Lucky, I Leave $10,000
Who will care for your pets if you can no longer do so? If you have a dog, cat or other pet, you know that the unconditional love and affection our pets devote to us improve the quality of our lives in ways nothing else can. Unfortunately, if a pet owner becomes unable to care for his or her pets they often end up living on the street. Thousands of pets are orphaned every year in the United States. To prevent your pets from adding to this sad statistic, you need to plan now for their care in the future.
Trust Administration: Prior Planning Prevents Problems
Trust Administration is the process people often find themselves in unexpectedly, after the death of a spouse or parent who created the trust prior to passing on. It comes during a very emotional time, and often brings with it difficult and complex financial and family issues. The task of reviewing the trust and finding and valuing the assets of a recently deceased family member can be daunting, as can be the complexities of estate tax law. What is important to remember for anyone administering a trust is that there is a definite process to follow, and resources to assist you as you assume this new role.
What Every Senior Should Know About Probate
For Seniors, the debate over Wills versus Probate holds special meaning, because the vast majority of Probate cases revolve around the affairs of those Americans ages 60 and over.
Where There's a Will, There's Probate
Some people mistakenly believe that drafting a will avoids the costly, time-consuming legal process called probate. Read this article to find out about wills, probate and Living Trusts.
Your Life, Your Final Say
Terri Schiavo’s voice can still be heard, just in a different manner than before. Want to make sure you have the final say in your life? This report will tell you how the proper estate planning tools can guarantee that your end-of-life decisions are carried out.
This Report is Compliments of
Byrd Garrett PLLC