What Ben Franklin Can Teach You About Estate Planning

What Ben Franklin Can Teach You About Estate Planning image

Ben Franklin planned his estate carefully. He left behind a will that might be a good lesson.

Ben Franklin was famous for many things he did during his lifetime.

He is credited with writing almanacs, discovering electricity, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and more.

One of the things that is not discussed as much, is what Franklin did in his will, through which he had to confront a problem many people face when planning their estates.

The problem?

What to do if you want someone to be able to use your property during life,...

Questions to Help Start Your Estate Planning

Questions to Help Start Your Estate Planning image

When you start planning your estate, it is a good idea to ask yourself a few questions that will help you clarify your thinking.

If you have never engaged in the estate planning process, then getting started can seem somewhat overwhelming. There are many decisions you need to make concerning how your assets will be distributed.

Hiring a good estate planning attorney is essential to getting a good plan. The attorney can help guide you into making good decisions.

However, you do not need to wait until you see the attorney for the first time before making some key decisions.

Cost of Funeral Services Vary by State

Cost of Funeral Services Vary by State image

Variation in prices can be attributed to number of choices and the choices people make.

Funeral services in the U.S. cost, on average, thousands of dollars with services, burial fees, coffins and flowers, as well as prices that vary by states, according to the Cronkite News in “Arizonians pay less for funeral services compared to rest of nation.”

The average cost of funeral services in Arizona and in nearby states are much cheaper than they are elsewhere. The primary reason for this is not because funeral homes charge that much less. It is because cremation is much more...

The Likelihood of a Will Contest

The Likelihood of a Will Contest image

Very few wills are actually contested in probate court. However, the chances of a legal battle over a will go up, when the estate is valuable. It also goes up, if family members do not get along for other reasons.

One of the main reasons that people hire estate planning attorneys is to prevent their families from fighting over their estates after they pass away. People want the attorneys to create estate plans that, if not completely unchallengeable, are at least airtight enough to minimize the possibility of challenges.

The reality is that for any random person, the overall likelihood...

Estate Tax Clawback

Estate Tax Clawback image

The new tax law has left an important estate tax issue up to the IRS to determine. That is what to do if the estate tax exemption reverts to its previous level and the deceased has gifted more than that amount.

The recently passed tax reform bill required Congress to make several compromises because of budget limitations in the amount the bill could add to the deficit and avoid a possible filibuster by Democratic senators.

Those limitations prevented a complete elimination of the estate tax, as had long been proposed by Republicans in government.

The estate tax exemption has now...