According to the U.S. government’s Administration on Aging, there is a 70 percent likelihood that individuals age 65 and older will need some sort of long-term care. Despite this staggering statistic, many people fail to plan for long-term care needs.
People executing an estate plan have a lot of options to consider. One estate planning tool that many people in Virginia find useful is a revocable trust. A person (known as the grantor) can execute a revocable trust but, as the name implies, retains the ability to change the provisions of the trust during their lifetime if they wish. The grantor's assets will be placed in the trust during his or her lifetime. Then, when the grantor passes away, the trust becomes irrevocable and assets are distributed to the grantor's heirs per the terms of the trust.
According to the Census Bureau, approximately 17 percent of people in the U.S. will marry a second time after their first marriage ends. While many in Virginia may feel lucky to have found love again following a death or divorce, the legal issues surrounding second marriages can be more complex than those regarding a person's first marriage. This is especially true when it comes to estate planning.
Some married couples in Virginia may have executed an estate plan together, never anticipating that one day their union may end. However, divorce is reality for many couples in the U.S. When a couple divorces, in addition to resolving their divorce legal issues, they may also want to review their estate plan, and revise it when necessary.
As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 is upon us, it is a time of reflection. As a person takes stock of their life, what they've done and what they wish for the future and beyond, one thing that they may want to contemplate is executing an estate plan. A well-rounded estate plan can protect you and your loved ones should you become incapacitated, and it can ensure your assets will be handed down to your chosen heirs once you pass on.
No one really wants to think about their death. However, death will come to all of us sooner or later. Through estate planning, we can address issues such as inheritances, end-of-life care and more. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone in Virginia has executed an estate plan. But, they may want to consider doing so, for the benefit of themselves and their loved ones.
Many successful entrepreneurs in Virginia have spent years cultivating a business from the ground up. They may take great pride in their work, and they may have the intention of handing the reins of the business over to their children once they pass away. However, despite these good intentions, many do not have a business succession plan as part of their estate planning portfolio.
No one in Virginia really wants to think about their death, but it is a simple fact that one day we all will die. It may be of some comfort, then, to know that you can determine what kind of end-of-life care you want and who you want to act upon your behalf once you cannot do so on your own. This can be done through a health care directive and a living will.
It is important for people in Richmond to have an air-tight estate plan. This may include having a will or trust (or both), power of attorney for health care, a living will, financial power of attorney and more. An estate plan can be complex. To help ensure loved ones fully understand one's intentions for their estate plan, it may help to draft a letter of instruction. While this is not a legally-enforceable document, it can provide clarity.
People in Virginia may wonder, "Should I have an estate plan?" After all, thinking about one's death is unpleasant, and some people may want to avoid making the tough decisions that must be made in the estate planning process. Moreover, when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed, it increased the federal estate tax threshold two-fold to $11.8 million. As far as estate planning goes, this means that fewer people will be subject to the estate tax upon their death. Some people may think, then, that they do not need a will or trust, because the estate tax will not apply to them.