Welcome to Wednesday Web Wrap-Up! Lots of great information put out over the past two weeks! Thank you to the attorneys and organizations that provided such great information.
Massachusetts Attorney Danielle G. Van Ess linked to this article, which illustrates the importance of business succession planning. Business owners need to think long and hard about how they want their business handled after their death. Not planning can leave a mess for your family. The law may require that some heirs have a stake in the business that you would never have wanted, and it may leave out heirs that you had wanted to include.
Los Angeles Attorney Angelica Simmons linked to this article about the feud between the grown children of Artist Frank Frazetta. Frazetta is still kickin' at age 82, but his children are already fighting over their future inheritance. I think the article speaks to the importance of family communication and planning.
Attorney Mike Lichterman posted this article, called, "What's So Bad About Probate?" on his blog. It explains why many people and their attorneys plan to avoid probate - it can be expensive, time consuming, and the records are public.
I cam across this article, "Celebrity estate fights can offer lessons for us," linked to on Twitter by various Estate Planning Attorneys. From the article: "[Michael] Jackson, for example, died at 50 but had made a will and set up a trust for his children. But like so many everyday fathers or mothers, he didn't take the next key step -- funding the trust or re-titling his assets into it. Now, it's a family mess." It's amazing to think that even Michael Jackson didn't properly set up his trust. It's scary to think that so many regular folks think they can do it properly online!
WealthCounsel linked to two articles from fool.com: "Make Your Heirs Rich, Not Your Lawyer," and, "The Truth About Living Trusts." The first article talks about how much of your estate can be eaten up in probate fees and costs if you fail to plan (or use a will-based plan), and the second article talks about the use of trust planning. I personally believe that most families should use trust planning. The transfer of assets after death is much smoother, less costly, less time consuming, and totally private.
Attorney Jackie Bedard, of Carolina Family Estate Planning, linked to this Forbes photo article: "In Pictures: Nine Facts You Need to Know about Estate Tax." There are many misconceptions that people have about estate taxes. Most people don't realize that life insurance is included in your estate if you own the policy. Many people don't realize how steep the tax is and that it's not just the uber-wealthy that will be taxed. Look at the article to find out other facts.
To your family's health & prosperity,