Wynn at Law LLC always encourages estate planning clients to check who they’ve elected as beneficiaries of their accounts and policies. Not all assets are distributed by or through a will. Some accounts, such as retirement funds and life insurance policies, let owners name beneficiaries for that particular asset.
Here are a couple of examples where missing or ‘wrong’ beneficiary listings can be a hang up for your decedents.
Estate planning clients often give much thought to avoiding probate (see related article). Wynn at Law LLC helps jog your memory to make certain you haven’t ‘forgotten’ an asset that would trigger probate. A common one forgotten, as an example, is the safe deposit box. Yes, banks still have them in the vault. In fact, it’s a common storage place for the Last Will and Testament. Why not? It’s safer than a home safe, and someone always has a key. But what else is in there?
Touring builders’ model homes can be intoxicating. They’re so flawless with very feature you’ve imagined into your dream home. Wynn at Law LLC knows the exhilaration because we’ve been on the same tours of spec properties. Before you rush into the builder’s agreement – which undoubtedly will reflect their best interests first – here are some areas you want to make sure are developed to your liking in the contract.
There are dozens of intersections in life that call for an attorney’s insight. Wynn at Law LLC gladly steps in to advise clients who have reached those intersections, like bankruptcy or buying a home. One of the most emotionally taxing of the intersections is how to handle the decisions at the end of a life, whether it’s sudden or the result of a long-term illness. Planning ahead, before you reach this inevitable intersection, can make the situation more bearable, or at least manageable.
The record-setting flooding we saw in Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties brings to mind an important disclosure topic for real estate transactions… but first, our thoughts and hearts at Wynn at Law, LLC go out to everyone impacted by the flooding. We hope things return to normal for all of you as quickly as possible.
Wynn at Law LLC provides estate planning services – wills are one example. ‘Probate’ is a commonly used term in estate planning, especially these days when many clients have an estate worth more than $50,000. First, a bit on probate… then why $50,000 is an important number.
Probate is a court process whereby a will is legally ‘proven’ as the true last testament of the deceased. Essentially, the document is reviewed and validated. It came to be a more common process in the 16thcentury when greedy relatives (or non-relatives) began making phony claims on a dead person’s property. It comes from the same Latin roots as ‘probation.’ In probation, a person has to prove he can live within the law… in probate, a document has to be proven to be authentic and created within the law. Probation and probate have nothing else in common other than the root word, meaning proof.
Consumers aren’t the only victims of fraud. Wynn at Law, LLChears about thousands of small business scams every year. A reward of our business is being able to work with entrepreneurs to get a business off and running (see related article). It doesn’t take much more than a single scam to derail that dream.
One article earlier in the Wynn at Law, LLC archives mentioned our current real estate market cycle as being a seller’s market. There’s not much supply, and plenty of demand. Even in a hot seller’s market, there’s a temptation to increase the net price received for the property by offering it For Sale By Owner, or FSBO. (Real estate pros pronounce it ‘fizzboh.’)