Things to Never Overlook When Creating Your Estate Plan

Things to Never Overlook When Creating Your Estate Plan

Even young people should consider how to handle their assets after a life changing event. Your estate includes vehicles, homes, and anything of value. But it is also for life changing events.

Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for your family.

When you factor in a potential retirement account, life insurance, and bank accounts the importance of creating a proper plan is clear. Poor preparation leads to poor performance as the saying goes.

To say that real estate attorneys work hard is an understatement.

There are few things to accomplish before and when you meet with an estate attorney. This will expedite the process and ensure your investments are protected after serious injury or death.

Life insurance

  • This can provide an income replacement for loved ones, help expenses related to terminal illness, and pay for estate taxes.

Finances

  • You will need bank statements and brokerage statements. Make a list of insurance policies and debt.

Inventory

  • This is a list of everything of value. Figuring out how much stuff you have is step one in protecting it. This is the value of your home, cars, jewelry, and other material things of value.

Power of attorneys

  • Medical power attorney will make healthcare decisions. Financial power of attorneys decides what happens with retirement and bank accounts.

Living Will

  • This is where you decide how your assets are distributed to your loved ones. Provide instruction for debt, fees, family living expenses, and other affairs.

Trust

  • If you need to manage assets for a dependent, reduce estate tax, or reduce delay in distribution of assets and a trust can hold all your assets decide if you need a trust.

Update

  • Life changing events like marriage or childbirth, home buying, or other large purchase should be added into your plan.

 

An experienced and dedicated estate planning attorney can assist with the most important plan of your life. When you plan for your future you should plan for the whole thing. We understand what goes into planning. Call us at Bell & Shah Law, LLC today.

Redefining Your Estate Planning Following a Life-Changing Event

Redefining Your Estate Planning Following a Life-Changing Event

Your estate plan, which includes your will, any trusts you create, and other documents, is typically not something that is set in stone. This is because you may experience a number of life-changing events after you complete your estate planning that require you to make some updates to these documents. Here are a few of the life-changing events that could occur and how they could impact your estate plans.

You Get Married or Divorced

If you get married, you’re going to need to completely revamp your estate plans. While your spouse will typically inherit your entire estate if you die, you may not necessarily want that to occur. For example, if you have children from a previous relationship, you may want to make certain they receive specific parts of your estate. You might also want to leave specific assets to a charity or other organization. You may now need to create a trust or at least update your will.

Getting divorced is another reason to change your will and other documents. You may have planned your estate with the idea that your spouse would inherit all or most of your assets, and that’s no longer the case now. You will need to designate heirs for those assets and may need to designate a new executor for your estate.

You Have Children

Another major life change that requires you to update your estate plans is if you have children. If this is your first child, you may need to change much of your plan. If you already have children, there may not be as many changes needed, but you will still want to acknowledge them as an heir in the paperwork. You may also want to set up specific trusts for your children to ensure that they use some of their inheritance for college or other specific purposes.

Finding Legal Assistance to Redefine Your Estate

No matter how your life has changed, you need to make certain your estate is updated. You also want to make certain your estate plan is fully valid legally and covers everything it should. To that end, you will want to work with the legal experts at Bell & Shah Law to plan out your estate. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

Tips to Minimize Estate Taxes for Your Family While Estate Planning

Tips to Minimize Estate Taxes for Your Family While Estate Planning

One of the biggest unwelcome surprises your heirs may face is the amount of estate taxes they must pay to the federal government. While most estates do fall beneath the threshold for estate taxes and are, therefore, exempt, that may not be the case with yours if you have a large amount of assets. If you do, there are a few things you can do to minimize the amount of estate tax your family will have to pay.

Create Trusts

Trusts have a number of benefits, including tax benefits. By placing some of your assets in trusts, your heirs can make use of them without paying as much estate tax. In some cases, the trust may even eliminate all of the estate taxes on the assets they hold. Trusts have a number of other benefits as well, making them well worth your time to learn about and consider using. For example, you could create a trust that is specifically for your grandchildren to use for college. You could also leave behind a trust for a disabled child that pays out a specific amount every month so they always have some income.

You can leave trusts to others outside of your family, too. One way of reducing your estate tax burden is to create a charitable trust. By leaving assets to a tax-exempt charity, you lower the overall value of your estate. This could put you under the limit for being taxed. The charity, because it is tax-exempt, wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the assets in the trust, either. You can also use trusts to reduce your overall capital gains tax and other taxes.

Spend Your Money

Of course, the easiest way of ensuring your estate is exempt from estate taxes is to spend some of your assets. This lowers the overall value of your estate, so you may be able to get it under the taxation threshold. One thing to keep in mind, however, is to make certain you’re not spending too much. You still need to ensure you have enough assets to live comfortably through your golden years. You may have plans to travel or purchase a vacation home, and you want to be able to do so without worrying about money.

Need help creating a trust or otherwise protecting your heirs from a high estate tax burden? The team at Bell & Shah Lawcan help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

If there is one type of law which is complicated beyond reason it is financial and real estate law. With not only regulations and rules changing every year but also the financial details themselves changing daily, it is a wonder anyone can even get a fair deal. It is important to understand that the banks and lenders’ jobs are not to get you a good deal. Their sole purpose is to get a favorable agreement for the bank. This oftentimes means a far less favorable deal for you.

Navigating Confusing Legal Language

Legal speak is always difficult to wade through. However, when it is mixed in with countless financial facts, percentages, and numbers, it can be downright indecipherable. This is where you need a trained legal expert who specializes in this type of law. It is the only way you are going to get someone to explain this complex legal dialogue to you. How can you expect to make the best decision if you don’t have all of the information?

Dealing With Complex Financial Details

Each of those numbers and decimals and percentages all mean something in this type of law. They represent interest rates, variations, length of term, monthly payments and so on. Each one of these and many other specifics all need to be documented properly and verified. Also, the fine print and details of any contract should never be ignored, especially on real estate.

These details may be the difference between a balloon payment and flat final payment. They may also list an incorrect detail such as an adjustable rate instead of a fixed rate. There are a number of examples of what a real estate lawyer might catch that you would miss.

Let the team here at Bell Shah Law lookout for you during your next home purchase or sale. With everything from price to rate to term on the line, you need to make sure you get the best deal. We’d be glad to be the ones to safeguard your interests in any real estate transaction. Simply get in contact with us to find out more details!

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do for Buyers and Sellers?

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do for Buyers and Sellers?

If you are in the market to purchase or sell a property, even if you have done it before, the process can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and downright confusing. Sure, it is exciting as well, but the truth is that you need to be confident in making the best decision possible. Most homeowners and future homeowners don’t know the ins and outs of real estate law or expectations. 

It is imperative that you find a team of professionals who can give you the information you need while expertly guiding you through the process. While most people know to include a Realtor on their team, too many forget the importance of partnering with an attorney. It is incredibly beneficial to have a real estate attorney to guide you through the process.

Benefits to Sellers

A real estate attorney is there to protect your best interests and make sure all bases are covered as you sell your home or property. It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out during the sale of your property, but having the right real estate attorney on your side can help ease this burden and get you to closing quickly. For sellers, the real estate attorney is there to make sure all necessary paperwork is in order, from signing the contract to closing. They ensure the selling process runs smoothly with no surprises. If there are surprises, your attorney will guide you through it and provide advice that puts your interests at the forefront.

Benefits to Buyers

Oftentimes, buyers carry the brunt of the work in the home buying process. A real estate attorney is there to protect one of the most important, and expensive, purchases of your life. They are responsible for ensuring all documents are in order, and that title searches and transfer of funds are completed correctly. They can also help during the inspection process, should there be any issues. Further, having experienced legal representation at closing can help ease your mind that your purchase will be done correctly and in a timely manner.

real estate attorney is a definite asset for both buyers and sellers. At the end of the day, if something goes wrong on either end, you have a professional ready to take care of any problems and get the process back on track. 

If you are finding yourself looking to buy or sell make sure to give the experienced professionals at Bell Shah Law a call. They are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have to get the process started the right way.

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