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Living Trusts – Do You Need a Will Too?

Studies Show About 70% of Americans Die Without Leaving Behind a Will… This Means Financial Advisors Have a World of Opportunity!! I’ve always said that financial advisors should “practice what they preach”. I say this because the harsh reality is that most professionals don’t have their own “house in order”. For example, the homes of most landscapers are not immaculate when you drive by. If you visit the house of a painter, it’s usually not painted immaculately as a model home. Although we see doctors regularly to maintain our health, if you...
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What Financial Advisors Need to Know About Due Diligence and Real Estate Property

One of the biggest challenges for any financial advisor seeking new clients is how to stand out in a marketplace that is flooded with competition. Today it’s not enough to offer the minimum required services. The professionals who are thriving in this economy (and in any economy for that matter) are the ones who go above and beyond to look after the interests of each and every client and provide superior service. What’s one of the easiest ways to add value? Practice due diligence and take a look at both the big picture as well as the smallest details of a client’s portfolio....
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Understanding How the Probate Proceeding Works

A probate proceeding refers to estate settlement procedures. The average length of time required to settle an estate depends on several factors. Probate can be settled quickly when decedents engage in estate planning strategies and execute a last will and testament. Estates of individuals who die without a Will require additional time because extra steps are necessary. Although the probate proceeding varies, all estates must be settled according to state probate laws. Every estate must have an estate administrator who is either appointed within the decedent’s last Will or confirmed...
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The Need for a Special to Needs Trust

A Special-Needs Trust is a trust established for the benefit of a disabled beneficiary who is entitled to receive governmental assistance.  The intent of the trust is to provide for the beneficiary above-and-beyond the supplemental assistance without accidentally turning that Federal aid “faucet” off.  The correct drafting of this type of trust is very important since errors can result in the loss of government assistance or trust income. The payment of income and principal should be entirely left to the discretion of the trustee and the beneficiary should never be given the...
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The Disadvantages Of Purchasing Annuities

Annuities are a type of investment that is designed to pay you monthly income over your lifetime. These are normally purchased with a lump sum that will pay out at a certain point in time either until death or over a number of years. The advantage of this type of investment is that you are guaranteed income unlike other investment strategies. While there are advantages, you should also consider the disadvantages of this type of investment. Since it’s guaranteed, you are going to get a lower return on your investment than other investment strategies. There is a price to pay to get that...
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The Infinite Benefits of a Revocable Trust

A revocable trust offers the Grantor a number of incredible benefits and opportunities. In 2011, the estate tax will rise to 55 percent on everything over the first million dollars. A million dollars may sound like a large amount of money but it is really quite small when you consider that it includes life insurance proceeds, the value of your home, stocks, bank accounts, retirement accounts, jewelry, paintings, and anything else that you may have had titled in your name at the time you died. This tax has bankrupted families. By using a revocable trust as the centerpiece of a foundational...
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Inheritance Lapses

There are a wide variety of complications that can occur in the execution of a final testament. One such instance occurs when a testator outlives a beneficiary, leading to a legal problem in which a part of the will or trust is made invalid. When a testator faces this problem, it is known as an inheritance lapse, as the property returns the testator’s estate. In these situations, the law has had to offer solutions for the creation of testaments and for probate courts to follow, which aim to simplify these issues. Without special provisions, the court will generally put these properties...
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