You are currently browsing the archives for the Will & Testament category.
Archive for the 'Will & Testament' Category
April 6th, 2011
Segment I Guest: Jay Merwin, Estate Planning Attorney Bowie & Jensen
Segment II Topics: Top 10 Strangest Last Will & Testaments/Top Industries That Will Be Affected by NFL Lockout
Jay Merwin, an estate attorney at Bowie & Jensen explained the importance having of an updated will, designating power of attorney and creating a living will. A will is something everyone should have to document you wishes in case of your death. Having a power of attorney gives authorization to someone you trust to act on your behalf in a legal or business matter, in case you are unable to do so. A living will includes instructions given by individuals specifying what healthcare actions should take place in the event that they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity, a person is appointed to make such decisions on their behalf. These are all important precautions to take. Many people are reluctant to go through the process of estate planning. It is very important to do so and have your wills and other documents up to date. Don’t wait until you make your next big trip or make sure you will is updated, death or serious injuries are more likely to occur in every day travels than just on an airplane. Prepare yourself and your family before it’s too late. Even though it may be difficult to think about or discuss with your family, it is crucial to have these legal documents established. Young families need to remember that having a will also determines where your children will go if something were to happen to you and the other parent without the need of the court system. It is also important to title your assets correctly so that you funds are given to the places you want them to. This is an important reason why it is best to go to a lawyer to create your will and assist you with other important legal decisions. They can guide you through the process correctly and ensure that you are in good standing.
Beneficiary designations are important to be updated from time to time, especially after major life events such as, marriage, divorce, birth of children, etc. Non-probate assets such as 401k policies, life insurance policies are instruments that need correct beneficiaries, but are not included in a will. Having an estate plan created for you allows them all of these instruments to flow and work together.
Powers of Attorney come into play immediately upon signing or upon any type of disability. Spouses usually name each other in order to sign for the other. But typically, powers of attorney are given when an individual is unable to voice their opinion or make decisions for their assets.
Recent change in the law was required because of a recent case where a person’s trustee stole assets, so a ramification was made to limit the duties and hold accountability. This will help prevent mishandling of assets by the person appointed as power of attorney.
Living Trusts are often stated in an individuals will name in case of death. Or it can be instated if a person is ill and does not want to handle their personal finances. This is transfer some or all of his property to a trustee, who holds that trust property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee has legal title to the trust property, but the beneficiaries have equitable title to the trust property. Appointing a trust for a vacation home or property that is a distance away from your residence is also an option, so they represent you if a decision needs to be made and you are unable to physically be there.
A Pet Trust ensures that your pet will be cared for in case of your death, you can name the person that you would like to look after your loved pet.
Estate planning is an important part of financial planning to ensure that all your assets are set up properly, which is something that we work with regularly at Aquino & Wolpoff Financial Group, LLC. Knowing and understanding changes in laws and regulations is important. We can answer questions about these issues.
10 Strange Will and Testaments
- Harry Houdini: Known master escapee and daredevil passed away in 1926 on Halloween. He promised his wife, Bess that he would contact her in the afterlife, using a pre planned ten digit secret message that only she would know. His last will and testament stated that a séance should be held each anniversary of his death.
- Gene Roddenberry: The creator of Star Trek included instructions to have his ashes scattered via space satellite orbiting Earth in his last will & testament. The act was carried out in 1997.
- Charles Vance Miller: Bequeathed a large sum up for grabs to any Toronto woman who could produce the most offspring in the decade following his death. Four winners emerged in a tie for nine children; each receiving about $125, 000. This wish became known as the “Great Stork Derby”.
- Leona Helmsley: A real estate investor and hotel owner that was dubbed “The Queen of Mean” established a $12 million trust to her Maltese dog in her last will and testament. This was later overruled and reduced to $2 million dollars by a judge and the remaining balance was split between her two grandsons, on the condition that they visited their grandfather’s grave each year.
- Eleanor Ritchey: The heiress to the Quaker State Refining Corporation left $14 million to her 150 stray dogs. When the last dog dies, the remainder was to go to Auburn University Research Foundation to research canine disease.
- Nina Wang: The richest woman in Asia left her entire estate valued at $12.8 billion to a charity that she and her late husband founded in 1988. After her death, her lover, Tony Chan, a fortune teller, married man and “opportunist” forged a fake will in the attempt to claim her fortune.
- Dusty Springfield: The British singer, known for hits such as, “I Will Follow Him” made her cat priority in her last will and testament. Instructions stated that the cat was to be fed imported baby food and serenaded with Springfield’s songs. Additionally, the singer also arranged for the car to marry his new guardian’s pet cat.
Six Industries That Will by Hurt by the NFL Lockout:
1. Beer & Beverage Industry (NFL official sponsor)
2. Television Networks (Primarily, Direct TV because of the loss of their NFL Package)
3. Vendors, Souvenirs & Tourism
4. Video Games
5. Food Industry
6. Sporting Goods