Questions About Estate Planning On Your Mind?
No question is off limits at Duffy North when it comes to estates, estate planning or probate. Our lawyers and staff are here to respond to your concerns, which may include some of the questions below.
My spouse and I intend to avoid legal issues about estates altogether by sharing ownership of everything. When one of us dies, the other will automatically own everything, right? So why do we need estate planning?
To confirm that you and your spouse are positioning your assets according to your wishes, you should understand legal concepts that apply to the way your property is titled. For example, you may title your home jointly in one of these ways:
- Tenancy by the entireties
- Joint tenants with rights of survivorships
- Tenancy in common
Don’t make serious mistakes by remaining unaware of important elements of a mutually protective estate plan. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Have the conversations that you know you need to have with an attorney – the sooner, the better.
I want to provide for close family members after I die, but I also want to keep my estate plan simple. What do you advise?
Estate planning can be as simple as the existence of a will, or it can be complex with trusts, a family business and detailed succession plans spelled out. We advise you to start your estate planning with the level of simplicity or complexity with which you are comfortable and build on it as you move through life stages, such as when:
- You marry and/or become a parent
- You acquire real estate
- An adult child marries or divorces
- You form or dissolve one or more businesses
- You acquire complex investment assets
- You own multiple homes or expensive property of any kind
- You have a blended family
- Someone close to you is disabled
The important thing is to start.
My husband and I need to take care of ourselves as we age, prepare for our quadriplegic son’s future needs when we are gone and still include our able-bodied daughter and grandchildren in our plan. What kind of estate planning should we be doing now?
Special needs trusts may be key elements of your estate plan. It would be wise for your daughter to be involved in your consultations with an estate planning attorney. You are on the right track. Let us help you put the best protections in place that you can for each member of the family.