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Estate Planning Archives

Is it possible to keep your estate out of probate court?

If you are currently planning your estate in Iowa, now is the time to take steps to prevent your estate from ending up in probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. According to The Motley Fool, what you do now will determine if probate is going to happen or not. You have to begin by consulting with professionals who can guide and help you with staying within legal limits and managing your finances and real property properly. 

Are prepaid funeral plans right for you?

You may have heard about prepaid funeral plans in Iowa. They sound like a good idea because you can plan your funeral and all the related things now so your family does not have to mess with it when you die. In addition, it helps ensure things go exactly how you want them to. Plus, you have probably heard you can save money by doing your funeral this way. While all these things seem like great reasons to preplan your funeral, the reality is not always so wonderful.

What are some estate planning concerns after divorce?

After a divorce, you may think everything is settled and you can move forward with your life. However, there is one area that you should focus on right away. That is your estate planning. As an Iowa resident who has just gotten a divorce, you will need to take a few steps to update your estate plan and ensure everything reflects your current situation. Death is very unpredictable, so you cannot take any chances.

At what age should a person start estate planning?

It may seem like a silly question to ask when Iowa residents should begin estate planning. Many people mistakenly think this is something for old people to do. That is the exact reason why this question is so important because the answer may surprise you. Estate planning is not just for "old people." It is for anyone who has a solid need to control what happens with his or her future.

What considerations should you make in choosing an executor?

So, you are an Iowa resident, you have some idea as to who you want to receive what when you pass on, and you think most of the hard decisions must surely be out of the way. There is still a critical component involved in finalizing your will, however, and that involves choosing the person you would like to name as your executor. The executor, who may also go by “personal representative,” is the person tasked with seeing that the provisions set forth in your will come to fruition after your passing. Therefore, the Huffington Post notes that selecting someone with whom you have a strong degree of trust is often a wise move.

What is intestacy, and why should you avoid it?

If you pass away without creating a valid will or other statement indicating what should be done with your Iowa property, your estate is consider intestate. Intestacy is not a way to avoid probate; it simply means that your wishes will have no influence on the distribution of your estate. Furthermore, it creates confusion and frustration for your grieving friends and family. Here are a few good reasons to avoid leaving your property intestate.

Why you should periodically review your estate plan

Once you have determined what you want to have happen with your property in Iowa if you were to pass away or become incapacitated, your estate planning is still not finished. While the hardest part may be past, you will still need to perform periodic reviews to ensure that everything is up to date. There are also many changes that could happen and force you to adjust the terms and conditions. Here are some things we at Janssen Law recommend to keep in mind when it comes to modifying your estate plan.

Do I need a living will or a power of attorney?

If you have ever had surgery in Iowa, you have likely been asked if you have a living will or power of attorney. While they may sometimes sound like the same thing, there are actually major differences between the two documents. The Mayo Clinic explains both so you can determine which is best for you.

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