Will

In the wake of COVID-19, many are considering their estate plans

Posted on Jun 25, 2020

This article by Lin Law LLC’s Attorney Emily E. Ames was featured in the June 22, 2020 issue of The Business News. In the midst of a global pandemic, people are spending more time at home and have more time on their hands. As a result, many are considering their estate plans, or lack thereof. When people think of an estate plan, they often think of a last will and testament, which is the foundation of any estate plan. For those concerned with avoiding probate of their assets upon death, they may also consider a revocable trust (sometimes referred to as a “living trust”). Probate,...

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The SECURE Act of 2019: The End of “Stretch” IRA Distributions

Posted on Jan 6, 2020

On January 1, 2020, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, making widespread changes to the rules and regulations regarding retirement assets, became effective. From an estate planning perspective, the most significant change is the requirement that most non-spouse beneficiaries of an inherited IRA or other inherited retirement asset, such as a 401(k), must withdraw the entire balance of the inherited asset within 10 years of the decedent’s death. Prior to the SECURE Act, beneficiaries of inherited retirement assets were able to “stretch” the required...

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week

Posted on Oct 23, 2019

In 2008, the 110th United States Congress passed House Resolution 1499, designating the third week of October (October 21-27, 2019) as National Estate Planning Awareness Week.  In doing so, Congress undoubtedly hoped that it would increase awareness with regard to the importance and benefits of estate planning.  However, a 2019 Caring.com survey found that only 43% of respondents had prepared an estate plan, compared to the 76% of respondents who believed estate planning to be important.  Some indicated that this was the result of procrastination, whereas others mistakenly stated that...

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You aren’t cookie-cutter, so why is your estate plan?

Posted on Oct 10, 2019

You may have seen a recent news article about the Will of Dennis Valstad, a man from Ripon, Wisconsin, who specifically bequeathed the sum of $500,000, in equal shares, to those individuals who attended his funeral.  To that end, the envelope containing Dennis’ Last Will and Testament instructed: “Do not open until after the funeral”.  Dennis, who had living siblings but no spouse or children, left additional instructions that, if an attendee felt they did not need the money (roughly $1,800.00 per person), they should donate it to charity. Dennis’ nontraditional bequest might not be...

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Your Estate Plan is Not a Slow Cooker (don’t set it and forget it)

Posted on Aug 26, 2019

One of the cardinal sins of estate planning is to “set and forget” your estate plan. Estate plans are not one size fits all, and should be reviewed and updated as circumstances change. A common example is a married couple who implement an estate plan upon the birth of a child. They most likely appoint guardians for their minor child, and name close friends or family members (perhaps their parents or a sibling) as personal representative or trustee. Twenty years go by, and the couple fails to revisit their estate plan. Now, that child is no longer a minor, individuals named as personal...

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