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Estate Planning and Celebrities

Estate Planning Lessons Learned From Celebrities

One would think that celebrities would have all of their estate plans organized and updated, but even the rich and famous make mistakes.  We recently enjoyed reading the multiple examples of how even celebritites make legal errors on the blog Trials & Heirs. Authors, Danielle and Andy Mayoras, have explored this topic extensively and have even written a book.  It doesn't matter what types of assets you have as no one wants their family fighting after their death. Check out their latest post and let us know what you think:

Oscar Winners Teach Five Lessons on Estate Planning

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Start Your Estate Planning

Still don’t have an estate plan?

With the new year, it’s time to begin planning for your loved ones should something happen to you. We have reviewed why estate plans are for everyone in an earlier post

As a reminder, an estate plan may include one or all of the following depending on your needs:

- A will

In a will, you state who you want to inherit your property and name a guardian for your young children should something happen to both parents.

- Assignment of power of attorney

With a power of attorney, you can give a trust person authority to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs. 

- A living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney)

Writing out your wishes for health care can protect you if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. 

- A trust

If you hold your property in a living trust, then your survivors won’t have to go through probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Nobody enjoys estate planning, but it is necessary.  The first step is to make a list of all of your assets and goals before talking to an attorney.  Your assets include investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, business interests, real estate and more. 

Next decide what you want to achieve with those assets and who should inherit them.  This is also a great time to think about the person that would the best to handle your business affairs should something happen to you. Many people assign this duty to a spouse or an outside financial or legal advisor who can act as a neutral third party. 

Then it is time to meet with a trusted estate lawyer who can prepare all the necessary legal documents and help you think through the best scenarios for all of your assets including protecting you and your heirs from heavy tax fees. 

The most important step is to discuss your plans with your heirs. This is the best way for everyone to understand your goals and intentions so there will be less chance for confusion and arguing when you are gone. 

Finally, don’t forget to have your estate plan updated should there be a change in your financial situation, marital status, addition of children, etc.  Your lawyer will act as your legal partner to make sure all documents needed are also up to date with the latest state and federal laws. 

For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys.

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Estate Planning is for Everyone

Estate Planning is for Everyone

Do you think that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy?

Do you think you are not old enough to worry about what happens after you are gone?

Are you comfortable with the court managing the distribution of your assets?

You may not have given it much thought or are avoiding the topic altogether because it seems overwhelming, but - Estate planning is for everyone.

Basically, estate planning is making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. No matter what your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place.

An estate plan contains:

  • A will

    In a will, you state who you want to inherit your property and name a guardian for your young children should something happen to both parents.
  • Assignment of power of attorney

    With a power of attorney, you can give a trust person authority to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs.
  • A living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney)

    Writing out your wishes for health care can protect you if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
  • A trust

    If you hold your property in a living trust, then your survivors won’t have to go through probate court, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Discussing your estate plans with your family may also help prevent disputes or confusions. Inheritances can be a loaded issue. By being clear about your intentions, you help dispel potential conflicts after you are gone. The best benefit to the process is your peace of mind. Making sure you have a properly prepared plan in place will give you and your family piece of mind.

This is one of the best things you can do for those you love. For more in-depth information about estate planning, contact one of our experienced attorneys. You can also learn more at estateplanning.com.

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Nathan D. Painter founded Painter & Associates to provide legal services he believes every client deserves: access to large-firm experience and talent with a highly personalized approach that keeps each client’s individual legal needs top of mind.


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