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The basics of what to include in an effective estate plan

It is important for estate planners to have all of the necessary documents that are part of a comprehensive estate plan to ensure they are properly protected and that their estate plan properly accounts for their wishes. Estate plans can ensure that loved ones are cared for and looked after and provide peace of mind for estate planners that their wishes will be honored.

In addition, an effective estate plan also provides for circumstances when an estate planner cannot speak for themselves concerning their wishes for their medical care and treatment or cannot conduct their own financial affairs. Estate planning documents including an advanced healthcare directive, sometimes called a living will, and a power or attorney can ensure that the estate planner's wishes for their medical care and treatment will be carried out and that their financial affairs are handled by someone they trust if they become incapacitated at some point.

Plan carefully for the upcoming school year after divorce

All parents should have a plan for their child's academics. This might be easy if you and the child's other parent live in the same home. However, it can be much more challenging if you and the other parent have gotten a divorce. Preparing for the first year back to school after a divorce is going to take some work.

It is imperative that both parents work as a team to get things in place. The sooner you start with the planning, the more likely you are going to be able to have a school year with minimal stress that enables your child to thrive.

Prepare for your divorce before talking to your spouse

Though you may not think about it, there are many things that you need to do before you talk to your spouse about a divorce. One of those things is to start collecting evidence of your assets and financial statements. This information is extremely important to your case, and it's usually easier to obtain before you and your spouse discuss the divorce.

While many people handle divorce with respect and dignity, there is a chance that your spouse could be angry or try to hide assets as a way to punish you. Keep in mind that it is illegal to hide assets, so if your spouse does so, they can face penalties. No judge will look kindly on someone who hides assets, especially because disclosing your assets is required by law.

What an accused individual is facing when charged with a DUI

It is important not to take drunk driving charges lightly because they are serious criminal charges that can carry serious potential penalties and consequences for accused individuals. Individuals accused of driving while impaired are facing potential criminal penalties, administrative consequences and the detrimental personal impact of DUI charges.

DUI charges can result in a criminal arrest record which can have an impact on the accused individual's ability to obtain a job, housing or educational opportunities down the road. Accused individuals also face possible jail time as well as significant fines. They may also face other potential penalties and consequences and increased insurance rates as a result of a drunk driving charge. Individuals accused of drunk driving also face possible license suspension.

Planning a divorce? Be ready for these questions from your child

As you plan for divorce, you will answer a variety of questions pertaining to your personal life and finances. If you have children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it's critical to keep their well-being in mind at all times.

Regardless of their age, if your children are old enough to speak, they are likely to have questions about your divorce. Here are five that you should prepare for:

  • Why is this happening? You don't have to get into the finer details, but you shouldn't dodge the question either. Explain that some people fall out of love, and divorce is often the result.
  • Will we continue to live together? This is a difficult question to answer, as some children may not understand that divorce means living in separate households. The best thing you can do is explain the arrangement, making it clear that they'll get to spend time with both parents in the future.
  • Will you fix things with mom or dad? Many children assume that divorce is only temporary. They believe that you'll work things out with your ex and get back together. You don't want to give your children false hope, so carefully consider how you answer this question.
  • Where am I going to live? If you have an answer, this is a good time to share it. If you don't, maybe because you still have to work things out in your divorce, explain that they'll always have a nice place to call home.
  • Is this because of something I did? Many children take on the blame for a divorce. It's your job to make it clear that they were not responsible for your decision to move on from your marriage. You don't want your children to live with this burden.

When to update an estate plan

This blog has been discussing estate planning in depth recently and the importance of setting up an estate plan and having a will and that it is never too early to begin that process but an important for the overall estate planning conversation is also knowing when to update an estate plan and understand the importance of regularly updating an estate plan. Estate planners should know when they should update their estate plan and remember to keep it current.

Estate planning does not stop with an estate plan because it is equally important to update an estate plan once it is in place. A good rule of thumb to follow is to update an estate plan every three years. In addition, there are certain times in the life of the estate planner that should occasion a look at the estate planner's estate plan. Estate planners should review their estate plan if they move to another state to ensure their estate plan is in compliance with all the estate planning rules in the new state.

It's never too early to create an estate plan

If you are in your twenties, estate planning may be so far down on your to-do list that you probably won't get to it in 10 or 20 years. However, now is the time to consider moving it closer to the top. While you might think that estate planning is only for the wealthy or people with kids, the earlier you start your estate plan, the easier it will be to make adjustments as your life changes.

Estate planning is not something that is solely connected to your net worth. It is more about planning for an eventual future, protecting your property and making things easier on your family. Here are a few reasons why you should start estate planning sooner rather than later.

What are the reasons to have a will?

This blog recently discussed the estate planning process and the importance of estate planning. There are many good reasons to have a will and an estate plan. Estate planners may wonder what the benefits of a valid will are.

A will can ensure the estate planner's estate is distributed according to their wishes and provides the necessary protections for the estate planner's family and loved ones. A will and an overall estate plan can be especially important to protect minor children and appoint a guardian for them. In addition, a valid will and well-thought out estate plan can also help avoid the time and cost associated with the probate process and can help minimize estate taxes.

Explaining the details of the estate planning process

Estate planning is an important step for everyone to take which means any questions estate planners have about the process, they should ensure they have answers to. The estate planning process may seem overwhelming and complex but with trained guidance, it can be less intimidating and provide peace of mind to the estate planner going forward.

It is important to note that an estate plan includes a will but not only a will. A will provides an essential foundation for an estate plan but estate plans include additional protections for children, other family members, assets and if the estate planner becomes incapacitated or cannot direct their own medical care or financial affairs.

Understanding different types of DUI charges

If any driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, they will automatically face DUI charges. However, the penalties faced will depend on the circumstances. For example, a first offense DUI will be treated much differently than in a situation where a driver is highly intoxicated and causes a crash in which a person dies.

When facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania, it is important that you understand the different types of charges that are possible and the situations in which they can be applied.

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