» Attorney with Hook Law Center Explains Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Attorney with Hook Law Center Explains Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2014 – Legal news outlet JD Supra recently asked attorneys to describe common, costly mistakes people make when preparing estate plans and the best ways to prevent or fix them.

Hampton Roads estate planning attorney Andrew Hook weighed in with his take on some of the top issues reported by JD Supra.

Procrastination. Too many people, perhaps unwilling to face their own mortality, wait until the very end of their lives to consider any sort of estate planning. Many will never get around to it at all.

“The earlier estate planning begins, the better,” said Hook. “This allows plenty of time to consider the options and get the best arrangements in place, without making important decisions in times of stress and turmoil.”

Too many trust amendments. The more amendments a trust has, the greater the risk of an amendment becoming lost or improperly executed.

“If a client wishes to make further changes to a trust that already has multiple amendments, we usually recommend creating a new trust that incorporates all changes and revokes the original trust,” Hook indicated. “Alternatively, all existing amendments can be revoked and replaced with a single new amendment that includes all prior changes.”

Improper linkage of assets to trusts. Revocable living trusts allow the bulk of an individual’s assets to pass to his or her heirs without going through probate, but only if title to those assets is properly transferred to the trust.

“It’s not always as simple as, say, designating the trust as a beneficiary to a financial account,” Hook cautions. “Many assets, such as retirement accounts, have complex rules. The counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney is indispensable in properly managing trusts.”

Citizenship. The unlimited marital deduction allows the unlimited, tax-free transfer of assets from one spouse to another in most circumstances, including upon the death of the transferer. But this deduction applies only if the surviving spouse is a U.S. citizen.

“If the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen, one option available is a qualified domestic trust, which may be created after death. A skilled estate planning attorney will never take this basic point for granted.”

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • Avoiding retirement planning pitfalls
    Although most people are aware of how important it is to plan for retirement, it is easy to fall into retirement planning pitfalls that have significant consequences down the line. One of the most common pitfalls is money itself. Many people simply do not save enough early enough. It is recommended that people save enough [...]
  • Seniors and their families should apply good judgment in considering nursing home placement services
    Nursing home placement services, which offer to help find the perfect housing for seniors, are a growing trend in elder care. These services are offered for no charge, and they claim to demystify the world of elder care facilities. However, seniors and their families should use good judgment in choosing a nursing home placement service. [...]
  • Aid and Attendance benefit can help veterans who need long-term care
    Veterans who need long-term care services like in-home care or residence in a nursing home can receive financial assistance through the Veterans Administration (VA) pension benefit Aid and Attendance. This often-overlooked benefit provides money to veterans who need help with day-to-day tasks. The pension is designed for veterans and surviving spouses who require help to [...]
  • Older people without children may wish to designate a caregiver
    Older adults who do not have children do not have the built-in support system from which many people with children benefit, which puts them at risk if they become ill or injured. In order to ensure they receive good care that is in alignment with their wishes, these individuals should designate a caregiver while they [...]
  • To help prevent elder abuse, address caregiver stress as it emerges
    Elders are among the most vulnerable populations, and they are at special risk for abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Caregiver stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to elder abuse, and stressed-out caregivers are the most likely to abuse. Depression and anxiety are common among caregivers, who often provide hours of care [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required