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August 2012 Archives

5 must-dos for estate planning

Planning your estate in the case of your own death or injury is uncomfortable at best, but must be done in order to protest your assets and ease the process for your beneficiaries and family. We have five must-do tips to get your estate in order now, three of which we will cover this week.

Trusting the gift of travel in wills

Forgoing the traditional inheritance route, a familial patriarch arranged for his children to be allotted $8,000 a year in order to travel between the U.S. and Israel, guaranteeing that after his death, his family would remain close. This is becoming more and more common as people want to have more control over what happens to the money they leave to loved ones once they're gone -- whether it's family reunions, visits to countries with family roots, or simply giving the irreplaceable gift of seeing the world. Building a trust into a will is a financially safe option for those who wish to follow this route.

Protect your estate from credit card debt

For those of us who buy on credit, we often think about our payments -- keeping them on time, paying more than the minimum, and getting our balance down. But what happens to credit card debt in the case of a death? The estate makes the payments on credit cards and other debts, but if a person dies with more debt than assets to pay or cover them, often the credit card companies are stuck with the balance.

A trust can ensure your wishes are carried out after you pass on

Pennsylvania residents who pay attention to tax law and current events know that an important law related to estate planning is set to change. At the beginning of 2013, the current rates for the estate and gift taxes are set to change. If Congress does not take action, the top rates for large inheritances are set to go up.

Estate administration requires access to online accounts

In the age of the Internet, the number and types of accounts and services that are accessed electronically are more common than not. This is why, now more than ever before, it has become extremely important to ensure that Pennsylvania residents keep an up-to-date inventory list of all accounts and corresponding passwords as part of their estate planning.

Executing a living will now can eliminate emotional turmoil later

Medical television shows often capitalize off of a plot that occurs all too often in the real world. The situation: a patient waits on life support while a family argues over what should be done next. While it makes for great evening drama, it can be one of the most emotional and difficult scenarios for people who are not make-believe characters.

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