Estate Planning Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.
State law governs the distribution of your estate if you do not have a will or trust in place. Did you know that your spouse may receive only 1/3 of your estate when your pass away? Intestacy is the process governing the distribution of you estate should you pass away without a will or trust. In Oklahoma, the default rule for a family (with no step-children), is that only 1/3 of your estate will pass to your spouse if you unexpectedly pass away; the rest will pass to your children.
Depending on your needs, estate planning may be a simple or complex process. We believe that these three instruments are essential to protecting your loved ones and estate, should you become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. Regardless of the size of your estate, there are three estate planning instruments you should establish today.
The estate tax and the gift tax are unified under the tax code. We would like to provide a basic explanation with regard to what exactly this means to you. You cannot simply give gifts while you are alive in an effort to circumvent the estate tax. There is a federal gift tax in place as well and it carries the same rate as the estate tax.
There is no doubt that you have heard a great deal of information bandied about regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in the days since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law, in a 5-4 decision. All of the facts and figures can be confusing, especially since they all seem to conflict from day-to-day. So what kind of effect, if any, will the PPACA’s expansion of Medicaid have on private health insurance rates?
Have you ever considered whether or not your business could continue without you or your key employees? “Keyman Insurance” is an insurance policy designed to financially protect a business from the effects of prolonged illness or death of important employees of a business. Read this article to find out how your business can benefit from keyman insurance.
The recent economic downturn have resulted in many of us tightening our belts. For most of us, this means having to forgo our annual overseas holidays, having to downgrade from going to restaurants to having our family meals at food court. Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their spending. We often overlook the very obvious method (and also substantial) savings through refinancing.
You may have heard the term "unified exclusion" if you have started to do any research into the field of estate planning as you look ahead toward your own future. What this is referring to is the amount of resources you can pass along to your loved ones without facing the prospect of paying a hefty tax.
The taxes that are imposed on transfers of assets are something to take very seriously when you are interested in wealth preservation. These taxes extend beyond the estate tax alone. There is also a gift tax, and it is unified with the estate tax under Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Nursing home costs are rising, which could be detrimental to your financial health should you find yourself in need of nursing home care, or even that of an assisted living community. In fact, the average annual cost for a nursing home is running around $75,000 per person. Having insurance won’t be much of a help since most insurance plans do not cover the costs associated with a nursing home.
It isn't uncommon for a new client to walk into an estate planning attorney's office and ask if the attorney can make a quick update to a Will. While updating a Will is possible and is generally not difficult, there are often complicating factors which will require you to take more time and to think carefully about how your updates will affect your estate plan. Here are a pair of issues you want to think about if you are intent on updating or changing your Will.
Estate planning involves making provisions for those that you care about, and with this in mind you must remember to include your pet. Yes, pet planning is an important part of any holistic estate plan and you must make sure that your pet will be properly cared for if you pass away first.
Many times it is not the big assets such as the house or bank accounts that cause fights among family members when an estate is divided. Deciding what to do with your personal items such as your favorite piece jewelry that has been handed down from six generations is what many people think of when they make an estate plan.
When parents of get older and have multiple children, one child may provide caretaking responsibilities for the parent. These added duties include care at home including chores such as cooking, cleaning, organizing, and any other duties that are associated with home care. Added duties can also include companionship and spending extra time with an older parent that may be lonely and alone otherwise.
It is important to be aggressive about tax planning in light of the heavy toll that the federal estate tax can take on your legacy. To be able to act intelligently you must gain an understanding of the taxation that is imposed on significant asset transfers and we will shed some light here.
It is a good idea to think things all the way through when you are engaged in the process of inheritance planning. Getting resources into the hands of your loved ones is of course the goal, but you would do well to consider the personality traits and financial capabilities of the people who will be receiving inheritances.
Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys are licensed to provide legal services to their clients. They are bound by professional guidelines. That means you have a high degree of certainty that the documents that are prepared by a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association will stand up under the scrutiny of the probate court.
The Jefferson’s was always one of the funniest television shows around. It's still funnier than most of the shows that have come afterwards. What is not funny is what has happened to the star of the show, Sherman Helmsley, after he passed away. I mean literally what has happened to him. He died two months ago and his body has still not been laid to rest.
For many elderly Americans, the golden years are fraught with concerns over money instead of spent sitting on the front porch sipping iced tea. Social Security does not provide the average retiree enough income to live on comfortably. Employer sponsored pensions and retirement accounts are virtually unheard of anymore.
Although it is difficult to think about your own mortality, if you have minor children under the age of eighteen then it is something that you must consider for their own protection and well being. The estate plan that you come up with when you are still alive will greatly affect and shape the course of their entire lives.
There are certain pitfalls that go along with this and you should be aware of them before making any final decisions. During probate anyone who wanted to contest the will could step forward and present his or her case and the probate court would hear these arguments.
To be able to proceed intelligently when you are planning your estate you must have an understanding of the relevant tax laws. There are those who think that it is not fair, but acts of giving while you are alive or after you pass away are taxable.
Some families are blessed with a child that is extremely successful in terms of wealth. This condition can make planning an estate more challenging than it would normally be. Making an estate plan as a parent that has one child that is more successful than the other children can present some difficulties if you do not properly plan ahead.
On our blog, we have recently been posting about the Presidential candidates proposals for changing the estate tax and investment taxes. The two candidates' proposals couldn't be more different, especially on the estate tax, which Romney would seek to eliminate. Because of the uncertainty about who will win the election, some people might be tempted to put off getting an estate plan until after the election. That would be a mistake.
Many people have a very similar problem. They want to know how to save enough for their own retirement and still have money left over to leave an inheritance to their children. It is a problem that does not have any easy answers.
There is nothing unusual about making an inheritance conditional on something else. Conditional gifts are as old as estate planning itself. For example, inheritances are often conditioned on the heir or beneficiary reaching a particular age or graduating from college. Most people do not see any controversy in these conditions.
An interesting case in Missouri has made headlines recently regarding the use of an alleged forged estate planning document resulting in first-degree murder charges. William Van Note, a 67 year-old retiree, and his long-time girlfriend, Sharon Dickson, were shot during a home invasion in 2010, killing Dickson and critically injuring Van Note, wounding him with a gunshot to the head.
In today’s digital age, identity theft is a serious concern for everyone. Not only is stealing an identity potentially easier in the electronic age, but once an identity has been stolen, a considerable amount of damage can be done in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes, the damage cannot be repaired, leaving victims without their life savings in their golden years.
For many people, a comprehensive estate plan includes one or more trusts. Trusts offer numerous advantages such as flexibility, control and both tax and probate avoidance in some cases. Although there are a wide variety of trusts that you can choose from when you decide to create a trust, all trusts require the same basic elements to start—a beneficiary, a trustee and funds.
The process of divorce is extremely emotional and stressful for people, so, as a result, it is quite easy to overlook important details. One such important detail to remember after receiving a divorce is to check the beneficiaries listed on any life insurance policies, wills, trusts, IRAs, 401(k)’s and other employer-provided plans or similar documents.
Sometimes you can be motivated by the difficulties that others have experienced and avoid the pitfalls that led them into unenviable positions. With this in mind we would like to highlight the findings of a study of interest to the elder law community that was recently conducted by experts associated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
It is nice to be able to achieve multiple objectives through a single action and in many cases this can be done in the financial planning field. For those who are seeking asset protection, income, and estate tax benefits, Alaska trusts may be just one of these very efficient multipurpose tools.
What does it mean when an attorney tells you that something is probate property? What about non-probate property? If you don’t know, then you should keep reading. When someone dies, he or she is called a decedent, and the property that they owned will be classified as being either probate property or non-probate property.
One of the most common reasons people give for not creating a comprehensive estate plan is that they do not believe they have enough assets to warrant creating one. While there are reasons apart from assets why creating an estate plan is important, you might also be surprised at the hidden assets you have that do warrant creating an estate plan.
Making an estate plan is an important step in taking control of your financial life, but you must have an accurate and complete picture of your overall net worth and potential for growth of your net worth in the future. It is very easy to underestimate the size of your estate when making your estate plan. This could potentially be harmful for your estate and reduce the amount that your heirs receive.
Why regulation of will writing in the UK is a good thing. Good news. In the UK will writing is going to be regulated by approved regulators. This means that anyone who writes a will or someone else must pass exams, keep up to date with recent developments etc.
When one is coming up with an estate plan there is a common practice that some people engage in. That practice is putting their name on a bank account with their child or what is also known as having the bank account titled jointly. There are reasons to title a bank account jointly with a child that would convince someone that this would be a good idea.
We like to pass along news about the estate planning successes and failures of celebrities from time to time and there is an interesting situation unfolding around the estate of the recently deceased comedic actor Sherman Hemsley.
When you are looking for the facts with regard to products and services a highly respected go-to resource is Consumer Reports. Their website and their hard copy magazine are great sources of information, and their research is conducted in a totally objective and unbiased manner.
For many of us, how our funeral is handled when we die is important. You may have very specific ideas about what type of service you want and whether you wish to be buried or cremated. Although you may have expressed your desires to family members or loved ones, there is no guarantee that those desires will be taken into account when you actually die.
When websites that offer do-it-yourself estate planning documents started to appear and advertise aggressively licensed attorneys began cautioning people about utilizing these downloads and worksheets. There is really no substitute for legally binding documents constructed by a licensed professional who is a member of the Bar Association right here in the state of Nevada.
Consumer Reports magazine tackled a subject that is near and dear to estate planning attorneys recently and we would like to pass along the results. You may be aware of the fact that there are some websites on the Internet that will provide visitors with do-it yourself estate planning documents.
People sometimes choose to take steps to enable the future transfer of their assets to their loved ones outside of the probate process. When you use a last will your estate must be probated, and there are certain pitfalls that go along with this course of action.
When you finally decide that it is time to make your estate plan you will have to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. There will come a point when the conversation with your estate planning attorney may get uncomfortable or personal and you feel that you should not reveal everything and hold some information back.
Estate planning attorneys will tell you to take pause before assuming that you can simply and easily execute your own estate plan using downloads that you purchase off the Internet. While the discerning individual may see the obvious logic here, there are those who take a more cynical approach. They suggest that attorneys would guide you away from these do-it-yourself resources because they are in the business of drawing up legally binding documents for their clients.
If you have created a last Will and testament you know that it took some time and effort to create a document that served your individual situation and your desires. Likewise, if you have experienced a significant life change or have changed your mind about your will decisions, you should know that making changes to the will may also require the same attention to detail.
There are times when you may hear someone make the case for a simple solution to a complex problem and find yourself buying into this self-styled notion. When it comes to estate planning, you would do well to scratch below the surface and think long and hard before adopting pseudo-solutions that may be too good to be true.
Question 1: Are There Different Types Of Co-Ownership of Property? Yes, and not all types of property co-ownership avoid probate. The different ownership types include tenancy in common, joint tenancy with right of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety.
The average American probably spends a lot more time planning for a vacation than they do planning their estate. If you haven't already done so, vacation planning can provide you a good reason to begin your estate planning efforts. All you have to do is think about what might happen to you and your family if an emergency should arise while you are on vacation.
When it comes to honoring your last wishes regarding your funeral and burial, are you sure that your family will do so? What if you want to be buried in an Elvis costume? Or maybe you want to be cremated and your wife doesn’t believe in cremation. It could be that you have always wanted an Irish wake when you die but your family cannot imagine such a thing.
Success is the name of the game, but unfortunately the fruition of your financial goals can present some tax challenges. If your assets exceed a certain amount after you pass away your heirs are potentially subject to the Federal estate tax.
When you are a young adult you have a unique opportunity. You can make the choice to begin saving for retirement early on during your career. If you do you will be very happy about making that decision later on.
A client recently shared a story with me. He explained that when he was a young child, he used to spend a lot of time at his grandparents' house. They always treated him kindly and had fresh, homemade food. He loved his grandmother's pickles. As he got a little bit older, he started asking them about various things. They always did their best to answer his questions. Looking back, he said that many of their answers were not exactly accurate, but they were not harmful either.
There are those who decide that opening a joint account or accounts is a substitute for a properly constructed estate plan. After all they reason, if you have a last will professionally drawn up you will be choosing an executor. This is going to have to be someone that you trust to take care of things in accordance with your wishes.
Sometimes you make a decision that seems like an economical one at the moment, but this attempt to save money can actually have the reverse result. In the end unintended consequences can arise and they can sometimes be extremely costly. This is something to keep firmly in mind when you are thinking about constructing an estate plan on your own using an online download of some sort.
There comes a time when you must decide what your estate plan will ultimately look like. Plans for your estate come in many different forms, but one key distinction to make between choices is the plan you want versus the plan you need. The plan that you want may not always be the plan that you need.
If you have a spendthrift heir you may want to take steps to make sure that this family member does not burn through his or her inheritance too quickly. Once you are gone this inheritance can be the only thing standing between a particular individual and extreme financial hardship, so the stakes are high.
The National Bureau of Economic Research recently took on the subject of retirement preparedness. There are some 10,000 baby boomers applying for Social Security every day and this volume is expected to continue for some 20 years. As a result, huge numbers of people are approaching retirement and experts in the elder law field are looking for answers with regard to just how these individuals will fare economically during their senior years.
If you are the executor of an Australian person who had assets in the UK you may have to get the Australian grant of probate resealed in the UK before you can access the assets. What do you do if you are the executor of an Australian who dies with assets in the UK? Unfortunately you will probably need to get the Australian probate resealed in the UK.
When you are a younger adult you may well have a difficult time wrapping your head around the concept of aging. It can seem as though retirement planning is something that you really don't have to think about until you are much older. The above is understandable because we all have day-to-day challenges that we must address and it can be hard to think about the future.
Everyone likes a good surprise from time to time. There are some situations where a surprise can be welcome. An estate plan is not one of these situations. A surprise in an estate plan can lead to difficulties and difficulties can cost your estate money.
When a person calls an estate planning attorney, they will likely ask for the cost of their services. Instead of getting an upfront price you are given a range of prices, but why does an estate planning attorney not offer upfront pricing?At first it may seem like the attorney is hiding something, but there are valid reasons as to why giving an upfront price is not an option for estate planning attorneys.
While it is possible to effectively complete your Pennsylvania estate planning without the guidance of an attorney, the slightest error in planning or updating your estate planning documents can have catastrophic consequences for you, your estate, and your loved ones.
These days many of us spend a lot of time online.The emergence of the Internet has made it possible to socialize with people all over the world on an ongoing basis from the comfort of your computer chair or for that matter, anywhere that you choose to go with your laptop or smartphone. This reality is something to keep in mind when you are engaged in the process of estate planning.
A lawyer involved in the Thomas Kinkade estate battle has said that the case could drag on for a year, and possibly more, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News. The attorney ,Douglas Dal Ceilo, says that it could be a year or more before the California probate court hears oral arguments on whether the handwritten notes purported to be Mr. Kinkade's constitute a valid last will and testament under California law.
There are certain benefit programs that senior citizens often rely on such as Medi-Cal that have upper resource limits. You cannot qualify for the program as a way to pay for long-term care if you have countable assets that exceed a certain amount. As a result, Medi-Cal planning can include giving away resources to your children and/or grandchildren as a way to stay within the limits. After all, they would be inheriting these resources anyway after you pass away.
There was once a time when being a millionaire implied that you were truly of the upper crust.The commonly held wisdom was that a millionaire could live forever on the interest alone and that million dollar figure took on a magical allure. Nowadays things are quite a bit different and everyday people who work hard and do the right things could find themselves with assets exceeding $1 million.
Estate planning is not a matter of visiting a legacy planning attorney one day,drawing up some documents, and then tucking them away in a lockbox somewhere forever. Many people don't recognize the fact that estate planning is an ongoing process, and this is partially because of the fact that they don't necessarily anticipate any profound changes taking place in their lives.
One of the things that separates professionals from others is the fact that professionals have the right tools for the job and they know which tool to use depending on the situation. This is true of estate planning attorneys and it is one of the reasons why you would do well to obtain legal counsel when you are planning for the future.
They say that you should not always believe what you read, and along these lines we have some celebrity estate planning information to update. Last summer the talented young singer Amy Winehouse passed away at her London home. Whenever a celebrity dies people become interested this individual's estate,and certain assumptions can be made about someone like Amy Winehouse.
Some people are prone to adopting the "it will never happen to me" point of view, but these are the same individuals who often find themselves in difficult situations due to a lack of preparation. This is something to keep in mind when it comes to incapacity planning. Believe it or not,the likelihood of contracting dementia later in your life is very significant.
By Jaburg Wilk
A short window exists for a special needs child who is near age 18 to qualify for SSI by meeting the definition of disability. There is a distinction between SSI and DAC benefits. It is important to consult with an attorney who has expertise in both public benefits and special needs planning as both benefit rates and qualifications can and do change.
What You Should Know About Guardianship, Living Wills, and Power of Attorney for Older People and Their Families
Introduction - Adults who become incapable of caring for themselves, their property or their dependents may have a -guardian appointed for them. However, guardianship can be avoided through tile use of living wills and powers of attorney. In such circumstances, personal preference can be respected without the need for court appointed guardians.
As life spans continue to increase and more people are living in extended family environments,many are having to deal with financial issues that affect their elderly parents. In many situations these financial topics can be a taboo subject in the family, especially when the elderly parents have a lot of pride and are reluctant to speak about financial difficulties.
Whether you took a summer vacation this year,are planning on traveling for Labor Day,or are planning some time away for the holidays you probably didn't give much thought to estate planning when making your vacation plans. This is natural,but it's also a prudent choice to spend a little time thinking about what might go wrong and whether you'll be prepared.
Mary Smith contacted me to assist her in the sale of a vacant lot owned by both Mary and her son, Michael. Mary originally went to a local title agency and was advised that she cannot complete the sale because her son is a minor – i.e., under the age of 18 years. Mary owns a 50% interest in the property, and her 17 year old son, Michael, owns the remaining 50% interest. They have a Buyer ready to purchase the lot for $25,000.00.
Information for homeowners about the reality of bankruptcy. All home buyers, particularly in light of the real estate collapse of recent years, should be aware of material changes in bankruptcy law which could affect them in the event of financial hardship. There are two key components a prospective or recent home buyer should be mindful of concerning a potential bankruptcy.
Nearly two decades on, the legal battle over the assets of the Carvel ice cream franchise, founded here in West Palm Beach, continues, with West Palm Beach legal services stepping in to get involved. The story goes that ‘Mr. Carvel’ founder and his wife had executed identical wills that placed their assets in trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse, stating that any remaining be deposited to a charitable foundation.
Anyone with a substantial amount of assets eventually asks this question.Wanting to protect and provide for your grandchildren when you die is certainly understandable. However, spoiling them may not be in their best interest. The object then becomes creating an estate plan that provides for your grandchildren without making life too easy for them. With a little bit of thought and the proper estate planning tools you can accomplish your goal.
Some people within the estate planning community call the estate tax the "death tax" because it is a tax that is levied because you passed away and for no other reason. The assets that comprise your estate are simply your real and personal property you accumulate while you are living.You paid taxes along the way and these assets are what you were able to hold onto after paying them. They are not taxed again while you are alive.
Knowing that you are in a position to leave behind enough money to provide for your loved ones when you die is a wonderful feeling. However,it can also be the source of concern though because handing over a large sum of money to someone can create as many problems as it solves.If you want to provide for a loved one without spoiling him or her, consider utilizing some of the following estate planning steps and tactics:
Adding to the increasing mountain of evidence which shows that remaining socially connected and interacting with others is key to maintaining your health as you get older researchers in California have recently revealed the results of a study which showed that seniors who feel lonely are at a significantly higher risk of dying than those who do not.
Where do you draw the line when it comes to a tax rate? This is an ongoing question that is always being debated among lawmakers. However, even the most zealous pro-tax advocates may have to concede that a tax that consumes the majority of the resources in question is a bit excessive. This will be the case with the federal estate tax in 2013, assuming the laws that are in place as of this writing remain in effect.
When it comes to retirement and estate planning a lot of people in America seem to be ignoring the advice that is routinely and constantly given by experts. Statistics are continually being presented that indicate a lack of retirement preparedness among the baby boomer generation. And of course if you are not in a position to retire comfortably you will not be in a position to leave behind significant resources to your loved ones after you pass away.
There are individuals who are under the impression that using a last will is the most economical choice when you are planning your estate. They have heard that it costs less to create a will than it does to create a revocable living trust. While it is true that there is more legal work involved in trust creation whether or not it is more expensive in the long run is going to depend on your situation.
People are free to make their own choices in life and you ultimately have to live with the results. This is something to keep in mind when you consider the topic of retirement. If you make the choice to proceed without any particular financial plan in place while acting in a less than prudent manner with regard to your spending you may enjoy certain experiences. However, the accumulation of this lifestyle could leave you lacking when you start to approach the typical retirement age.
Owning Real Estate in multiple states is a dream for many, but a reality that many have already achieved. This means you could have a residence in one state and a vacation home in another state. This is a good thing for the few that can pull it off, but there can be consequences down the road. Owning property in multiple states can drastically affect your estate plan.
Statistics indicate that a significant percentage of people who are reaching their 60’s are not financially prepared for retirement. Indeed,there are no guarantees, and you have to plan ahead intelligently and pragmatically if you want to be able to retire in relative comfort.
Retirement should be looked at as an expense that you must prepare for well in advance. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age,statistics are indicating that a very significant percentage of these individuals are never going to be able to retire due to a lack of preparation.
Estate planning extends into areas beyond arranging for the eventual transfer of your monetary and physical assets to your heirs. All of the eventualities of aging should also be taken into account because people usually don't pass away suddenly without experiencing any health difficulties beforehand.
There is a popular misconception that is part wives tale part urban legend that the best way to disinherit someone, particularly a child, is to leave them a dollar in your will. The will in this case usually contains a provision such as "I leave a dollar to my child". Leaving a dollar in a will is probably the worst way to disinherit someone from a will and is totally unnecessary.
When a relative or other loved one dies in Pennsylvania, his or her estate must be properly administered and closed pursuant to PA law. The person who has passed away is called the decedent. Any property that was owned solely by the decedent becomes part of the decedent’s estate. An estate executor or administrator must be appointed to handle the many responsibilities associated with PA estate administration.
If the value of your estate is such that you will be exposed to the estate tax, you may want to consider transferring resources to family members who are in line for inheritances while you are still alive. There is a gift tax in place to stand in the way of this practice for the most part, but there are certain exemptions. Among them is the $13,000 per year, per person exemption.
People who are involved in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships may not get legally married in the state of Ohio. However, you do have the legal right to assert your wishes, and you must take advantage of this right if you want to make sure that your partner is provided for after your death.
While much effort has gone into bringing public awareness to the prevalence of child abuse over the last few decades, the frequency with which the elderly are also abused is just beginning to come to light. In many ways the elderly can be considered as vulnerable as a child, making them an easy target. The elderly are often victims of physical or emotional abuse; however, unlike children, the elderly are also prime targets for another type of abuse – financial abuse.
As thousands of baby boomers enter retirement every day, many of them are finding their ideas of what retirement would be like are very different than the reality. It comes as a shock to many people to find that they actually enjoy working and their lives are more fulfilling if they find a part-time job once they retire. Here are several possible choices you may want to consider if you're itching to get out of the house and take on a part-time job.
In some sense, most of us feel emotionally or culturally responsible for taking care of our aging parents in both a physical and financial sense however, did you know that you may be legally responsible for their care as well? If you did not know that then you are not alone—most people are not aware that they may have a legal responsibility to provide financial care to a parent. This legal obligation stems from state filial responsibility laws.
Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to estate planning, and truth be told making final arrangements is indeed a unique endeavor. Passing away is without question the last thing on your list of things to do. It's easy to put estate planning on the back burner because it can seem like you will always have time to take care of it later.
How often do you use your email account? I bet a lot more than you did 5 years ago. You probably have some important business that is conducted almost exclusively by email. That is just the way the world has developed. What happens to those emails when you pass away? The answer to that question is unclear.
The first reaction that most people have when they learn that they have been cut out of a deceased relative's estate plan is to want to fight. It's an understandable reaction and it is natural to be angry about not receiving an inheritance that you feel entitled to receive. However, it is best to take some time to think about what you stand to gain from a challenge to the estate plan before you start the fight.
Most view making an estate plan as a private activity that is between a lawyer and the client. There is a veil of confidentiality that allows one to keep their plan guarded and for their secrets to be taken to the grave. This may not be the best course of action as one may want to include their children or loved ones in on their estate plan.