Bloomington, Indiana Estate & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Do It Now: Name a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)

We know it’s hard. Thinking about someone else raising your children stops us all in our tracks. It feels crushing and too horrific to consider. But you must. If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you - your child’s guardian could be a relative you despise or even a stranger you’ve never met.


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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment


Most financially savvy individuals begin planning their estate when they’re in peak mental shape. The idea that this might change at some point in the distant future is an unpleasant one, and they would rather go about their estate planning as if they’ll be as sharp as a tack late into their golden years. Unfortunately, this common approach of ignoring a potential problem and hoping it simply won’t happen can leave a giant hole in your estate plan. Read on to find out that this common hole can be more easily filled than you might think. 

Expect the best, but plan for the worst

The reality is that an individual’s chances of experiencing some form of cognitive impairment rise with age.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

4 Estate Planning Steps You Must Take After the Death of a Spouse

When a spouse passes away, thinking about “the estate” might be the last thing on your mind. And while it’s necessary to give yourself ample time to process the loss of your partner, it’s also imperative you talk with your estate planning attorney sooner rather than later — or you might be facing some pretty unpleasant consequences.



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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Your 2018 Taxes – Get Started Now


While the end of the year is not quite here yet (but rapidly approaching), now is an opportune time to take a moment and start your year-end tax planning for 2018. This is particularly necessary this tax year because of the changes to the tax law that became effective in 2018. As a result of the significant changes in the law, your taxes may look different this year, so you should allow for some extra time in the preparation. Getting started early is even more essential if you are a business owner, have moved to another state, or plan to make charitable contributions before the year ends.

Things to Consider

 Now is the best opportunity to make use of tax strategies to take advantage of tax-deferred growth opportunities, charitable-giving opportunities, as well as tax-advantaged investments among others.


Read more . . .


Friday, September 28, 2018

Kids Going Away to College?


Why You Should Include Estate Planning When Preparing to Send a Child to College

 

You may have been running around for weeks, getting your new college student off to school. It's exhilarating, and your heart likely is bursting at the seams. You're probably prouder than you can say, but you're a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn't seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do?


Actually, there is something, probably not yet on your to-do list, that absolutely can make all the difference. Bring your child to a local estate planning attorney.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Perils of Joint Property

People often set up bank accounts or real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate. Joint property is all perceived to be easy to setup since it can be done at the bank when opening an account or title company when buying real estate.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Avoid Living Probate: How to Keep Guardians and Conservators Out of Your Estate

While most proactive individuals know the importance of having a well-rounded estate plan, it is typically considered as something that will take effect after they have passed away. But there are in fact many ways in which comprehensive estate planning can have a positive impact on your life while you are still around to reap the benefits.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Can You Bequeath Your Frequent Flyer Miles?

If you’re a frequent airline traveler, one of your estate planning concerns may be what will happen to your accumulated miles once you’re gone. They could be worth thousands of dollars, so you probably don’t want them to just disappear, but some airline policies say that’s exactly what will happen.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Top 1 Percent

There is a common misconception that estate plans are only for the ultra-rich - the top 1 percent, 10%, 20%, or some other arbitrary determination of “enough” money.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. People at all income and wealth levels can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan. Sadly, many have not sat down to put their legal house in order.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Organizing for Tax (and Estate Planning) Season


It’s the start of a new year, which means tax season—and this year’s April 17th IRS filing deadline—is just around the corner. Soon you’ll be receiving tax forms such as your W-2 or 1099s, and you’ll start thinking about the life events that could affect your taxes in various ways.

This flurry of tax prep activity is the perfect opportunity to get your estate plan in order, too, and kill two birds with the proverbial stone.

Why? Because as you run down your list of “tax prep” questions, you will find that your answers could also impact your estate plan.

Some things to think about:
● Did you get married or divorced? Did any of your children or grandchildren?
● Did you welcome a child or grandchild into your family by birth or adoption?
● Have any of your children or grandchildren reached the age of majority?
● Have you dealt with illness or hospitalization? Have you incurred medical expenses?
● Did you buy or sell a new property or any other major assets, like a vacation home?
● Did you move to another state?
● Did you buy, sell, open, or close a business?
● Have you made any charitable donations?
● Do you have any new life insurance or pension plans?

After you’ve answered these questions, get to work on gathering the corresponding paperwork.
Read more . . .


Thursday, February 15, 2018

After Tax Reform, Is Estate Planning Still Necessary?


The new tax legislation raises the federal estate tax exemption to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for couples. The increase means that an exceedingly small number of estates (only about 1,800, nationally) will have to worry about federal estate taxes in 2018, according to estimates from the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

So, you may be wondering, is estate planning even still necessary?

To put it simply: Yes!

Comprehensive estate planning does a lot more than guard against you owing federal estate taxes.
Read more . . .


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