A Team Approach To Estate Planning

In this video, attorney Aaron Miller discusses why it is important to have a whole team of professionals when you put your estate plan in place.

Hi I’m Aaron Miller attorney at law, and today we are going to talk The Team Approach to Estate Planning, Why it is important to involve all your Professional Advisors and Your Family in your estate plan.

When it comes to estate planning, a team approach ensures that you’re getting complete advice that encompasses the legal, financial, and health aspects your family will need as you transition from your working years into retirement.  Your team should consist of your elder law attorney, your tax advisor, insurance agent, banker, and financial advisor, as well as your family, and, if it applies, a qualified health care advisor. Here’s why.

Your elder law attorney is essential because they will make sure all of your legal documents are in order to protect you from having 3rd party interests control your assets and decisions.  Without the right legal documents and planning in place, you lose options and control over your affairs.

Your accountant can provide valuable information to your elder law attorney, such as when you purchased a piece of real estate and for what price, or how your business is structured. Aside from this, your accountant will need to know, particularly if you do any advanced estate planning or asset protection planning, the tax status of the trusts you’ve created and the tax consequences of the gifts that you’ve made.

Your banker, insurance agent and financial advisor can also provide important information to your elder law attorney, such as how your accounts are titled, cash values and beneficiaries of your life insurance policies, and values and beneficiaries of your retirement accounts and annuities. In addition, these professionals should be instrumental in making sure that your accounts are properly funded into your Revocable Living Trust and your beneficiary designations are updated to comply with the terms of your new or updated estate plan.

Involving your family in your estate plan from the beginning can promote harmony and avoid confusion and distrust later. If you keep everything a secret, then your estate plan will be more prone to challenges after you die since no one other than your attorney and professional advisors will understand your true intent. Also, involving your family in complex estate planning transactions from the beginning will give them peace of mind after you’re gone since they’ll already understand what was done and why. Your elder law attorney can assist you in creating an action plan that ensures all family members know their role and who becomes responsible for financial and health decisions.  This plan will eliminate confusion, bad decisions, and prevent discord.

Well those are the reasons why it is important to have a whole team in place for your family’s financial and legal affairs.  You can find more videos at aaronmillerlaw.com/resources/videos

This is Aaron Miller and thank you for watching.

5 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

In this video, attorney Aaron Miller discusses the five most common estate planning mistakes.

Hi I’m Aaron Miller attorney at law, and today we are going to talk about the 5 most common Estate Planning Mistakes People Make

When it comes to basic estate planning, these are the most things I run into the most.  Let’s talk about what they are and how you can avoid them when making or updating your estate plan.

Mistake #1 – Failing to Make an Estate Plan

When it comes to basic estate planning, the easiest thing to do for people is to avoid it.  The typical reasons why range from fear of death, to a belief that it is too expensive, to complicated family situations. Needless to say without an estate plan, you’ll be leaving your loved ones in the dark, and they can end up spending a ton of money figuring out what to do for you if you become disabled and what to do for themselves after you die. Avoid this #1 mistake. Begin your planning early, while you still have your wits about you.

Mistake #2 – Forgetting About the Little Things

I find that many people overlook making a plan for their personal effects, including jewelry, art work, and collectibles. They simply assume that their family will be able to agree on how to divide it all up. But in my experience, these things are what people argue over the most. Recently I visited with a friend who was involved in an estate where two sisters fought for over a year on who was to receive the family picture albums left in their mom’s house. They ended up spending over $2,000 on attorney’s fees fighting over 2 photo albums that had a simple resolution, had they stopped to think about duplicating the originals. Don’t let this planning mistake happen to you and your loved ones. Ask what everyone wants and then make a simple but smart plan for your “stuff.”

Mistake #3 – Failing to Fund Your Revocable Living Trust

I see this mistake over and over again – people who don’t understand the importance of properly funding their living trust. If you’ve taken the time and invested good money on creating a solid foundational estate plan, then don’t stop there, or your assets will0still end up in a court-supervised guardianship if you become disabled, and they’ll still have to go through probate after you pass away. Instead, take the time to have your attorney assist you in the funding process of your trust and update the beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement accounts. Otherwise, plan will only be worth the paper it’s written on.

Mistake #4 – Choosing the Wrong Fiduciaries

When it comes to basic estate planning, this is another common mistake I see over and over again – people who choose the wrong people or institutions to serve as their Personal Representatives, Successor Trustees, Power of Attorney Agents, and/or Health Care Agents. In fact, choosing the right fiduciaries for your estate plan is just as important as creating the plan in the first place, since your plan won’t work as you intended if your fiduciaries aren’t capable of doing the jobs you’ve given to them. Avoid this estate planning mistake by working with your estate planning attorney to choose the right people or institutions for the right jobs.

Mistake #5 – Making Your Estate Plan Too Complicated

When it comes to basic estate planning, some people go over the top and make their plan so complicated that it will take several lawyers, accountants and a judge, not to mention thousands of dollars, to unscramble the plan and make it work. An overly complex estate plan will not only frustrate your loved ones, but it will also tie the hands of your fiduciaries since they won’t be able to do their jobs without seeking expensive professional advice. Avoid this mistake by working with your estate planning attorney to create a practical and common sense estate plan that will work as you intended but without the need for advice from multiple attorneys and accountants.

Well those are the top 5 mistakes people make with their estate plan.  You can find more videos at aaronmillerlaw.com/resources/videos

This is Aaron Miller and thank you for watching.

Should I do estate planning?

In this video, attorney Aaron Miller discusses why estate planning is for everyone.

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Why do you need long term care planning?

In this video, attorney Aaron Miller discusses why it is important for everyone to consider long term care planning.

For more videos check out http://www.aaronmillerlaw.com/resources/videos