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What You Should Know About Wills and Trusts

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What is a will? What is a trust? How do you choose a person to manage your will or trust? When should you update your overall estate plan? What other estate planning documents or concepts should I understand? Below are select videos from the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide series that answer common questions and explain the basics of a will and other essential estate planning considerations. 

 

Supported Decision-Making | Alternative to Guardianship

An alternative to guardianship for individuals with developmental disabilities is supported decision-making. When is supported decision-making appropriate and when is it not? Learn how it works, including an overview of a pilot program in New York, from experts on this topic.

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Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, is a type of irrevocable trust that can provide benefits to minors and physically or mentally challenged individuals. Estate planning experts discuss the different types of special needs trusts, what to consider to avoid losing public benefits like Medicaid, and other potential pitfalls.

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Inheritance and Estate Settlement

How long will it take to receive my money after a loved one dies? Experts in estate planning answer common questions regarding when beneficiaries of a will or trust will receive their inheritance and explain the estate settlement process.

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Motivating Heirs with an Incentive Trust

An incentive trust is an estate planning tool that includes benchmarks that trigger the trustee making greater or fewer trust distributions when a particular conduct or behavior is taken by the beneficiary. ACTEC discusses how an incentive trust works, examples of incentives, and what to keep in mind when creating a family incentive trust.

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Utilizing Positive Psychology in Your Estate Plan

Learn the role of positive psychology and communication when creating your estate plan and leaving assets to family and beneficiaries. Understand how to utilize a positive attitude framework that measures effective communication in estate planning.

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Gift Tax, the Annual Exclusion and Estate Planning

Understand when gift tax comes into play, how the age of the recipient impacts gift tax, efficient ways to transfer property, split gifts, the annual exclusion and more from estate planning experts.

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Estate Planning in the 2020 Election Year

How might the election affect estate planning, taxes and charitable giving? Learn what steps taxpayers may want to consider in light of the 2020 election, and how to plan for future legislation, changes in the estate gift tax exemption and charitable giving.

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Estate Planning Strategies for Retiring Abroad

Retiring abroad? Learn what estate planning information to keep in mind when moving overseas, such as if your will or trust will be valid in another country, guardianship considerations when moving with minor children, and special tax considerations and laws.

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Estate Planning Considerations for Small Business Owners

Small business owners need to plan for the transition of their company in their estate plan. Learn about the impact of state laws, multiple beneficiaries, keeping a business in trust, and how to plan for estate taxes in this short video.

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Can I Change My Irrevocable Trust?

Learn what changing an irrevocable trust entails, what it means to decant a trust, what courts can do and other pitfalls. ACTEC Fellows explain what individuals need to know when considering modifying an irrevocable trust.

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Transferring Assets to a Minor Child

Find out more about how to transfer assets to minor children, the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), 529 plans, naming a caregiver for a minor child in a will and more from Fellows of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC.

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Coordinating Beneficiary Designations with the Overall Estate Plan

Assets such as life insurance, annuities, pension plans, 401ks and IRSs have beneficiary designation fields as part of the set-up form. ACTEC Fellows explain what you need to know about coordinating beneficiary designations with your overall estate plan.

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Digital Asset Management in Life and Death 

Understand how to plan and manage your digital assets, such as photos, email accounts and passwords, during life and in your will and estate documents.

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5 Reasons to Update your Estate Plan

Understand when to update a will or trust, such as after a move or divorce, when your children grow up or if you have a business.

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What to Consider When Setting Up Trusts for Children

What’s the best way to leave assets to minor children? Should children receive equal assets? What’s a Pot Trust? What should be considered if my child is married? These and other questions are answered by trusted estate planning advisors.

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How to Choose your Executor or Trustee

Selecting an executor or trustee to oversee your will or trust requires careful consideration. Learn about the duties of an executor or trustee, traits to look for when selecting an individual(s) executor or trustee and when to consider a corporate trustee.  

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Divorce and Estate Planning

Going through a divorce can be emotionally and financially stressful. Knowledge is power. Understand what estate planning documents are impacted by a divorce from lawyers with expertise in estate planning.

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What is a Will and Why Do I Need One?

Experts in estate planning answer questions that families often have when preparing a will such as: 

  • How a will helps with the transfer of assets after death;
  • What a will does not do;
  • How do you create a will; and
  • Can you create a will online as an e-will or electronic will?

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What is a Revocable Trust and do I Need One?

"What is a Revocable Trust and Do I Need One?” is a common question among families beginning estate planning. Professor Mary F. Radford frequently gives presentations on estate planning and guardianship and shares her insights with families in this video. 

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