Are you planning to adopt a child? Or, are you about to have surgery? Maybe you already lost a home to fire or flood, and you now realize how difficult it can be to replace important papers. Some items, such as photographs, may be impossible to replace.
Have you ever been divorced? If you are married, you can pat yourself on the back, as you belong to the successful side of the “50 Percent Club,” or the half of all marriages that succeed.
One way many people use to try to avoid probate after death is joint tenancy, which is a way to own property with someone else. Joint tenancy – also known as survivorship – is a legal term that means, basically, co-ownership. If you and your spouse buy a house or automobile in both names and one of you dies, the property then automatically falls into the hands of the survivor who has the name on the property.
A living will is a written document that you can create that allows you to state your wishes in advance about the use of life-prolonging medical care if you become seriously ill or incapacitated. While many people think this document is about authorizing abandonment by the medical system, a living will also can be used to state a desire to receive medical treatment that will sustain life. In all cases, the living will comes into effect only when you would die without life-sustaining medical treatment.
If you are making a will, or if you made one so long ago that you don’t remember what it contains, you may want to change that will to reflect your current conditions both financially and in the growth or diminishing rate of your family. If your family has grown, you may have included what are known as “nontraditional” children. These children would include children from previous marriages, adopted children and even illegitimate children. How can you provide for them in your will if you desire?
Are you working on an estate plan or a will? You might have wondered about using a trust, but the types of trusts may seem confusing. Additionally, a trust involves at least three people – the grantor (the trust creator who also is known as the settlor or donor), the trustee (the person who holds and manages the property for the benefit of the grantor and others) and the beneficiary or beneficiaries, depending upon the type of trust you use.
Many topics about death care cover tangible items such as hospice, health, burials and funerals. And, almost everyone concerned with a death also is concerned with wills and asset management. Tangible assets include homes, property and other things you can touch and see. But, what happens to a person’s Web assets when they die?
No matter your age, at any time you may become mentally or physically incapacitated through an accident or sickness. Age, however, does play a role in incapacity, as does alcohol or drug abuse. If you or a family member becomes incapacitated, who would handle financial matters, answer questions about health, or conduct normal or everyday affairs?