Posts Tagged ‘Estate Planning’

Financial Spring Cleaning

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Estate Planning PaperworkSpring is a time of renewal and rebirth, when the melting snow gives way to new life and people start reorganizing their closets for the warm season to come. Financial experts also suggest you use this time to consider pulling out your estate and funeral planning to ensure that everything is in order and up-to-date.

Where to Start?

When we talk about making advance estate and funeral plans, we mean much more than putting money in a 401(k) or taking out a life insurance policy. While both these things are great first steps, they don’t encompass the breadth of options available to you as you organize your end-of-life plans. (more…)

Are Funeral Costs Tax Deductible?

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Are Funeral Costs Tax DeductibleMost experts agree that funeral planning should be undertaken with the guidance of an attorney or financial advisor. Because of the high costs associated with funerals—not to mention the tricky tax laws when it comes to inheritance—it can be difficult to navigate the waters alone. This is true for the phase of funeral planning as well as when tax season rolls around.

Medical Expenses

Most medical expenses not covered by insurance can be claimed on a tax return (assuming you itemize your deduction), and keeping good track of all monies paid for the medical care of the deceased is a good idea if you want to claim some of the funds you paid out of pocket. Things like hospital stays, surgery, hospice care, medication, and other end-of-life concerns all apply under this setting.


Should You Take Out a Funeral Loan?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Should You Take Out a Funeral Loan?Paying for a funeral is an issue everyone will need to deal with at some point in their lives. Whether the death of a loved one moves the subject to the forefront, or if you are estate planning and want to make advance arrangements, you will soon find yourself surrounded by funeral payment options.


Funeral Planning: Create a List of Contacts and Personal Information

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Funeral Planning: Create a List of Contacts and Personal InformationSome of the best (and lowest-cost) funeral planning efforts don’t involve buying or arranging anything. In fact, before you do any concrete planning, it’s a good idea to sit down and organize your fiscal and personal information so that everything you need is in one place. By taking an extra step to outline your funeral wishes and to provide a copy of this information to the individual who will be responsible for your estate after your death, you can save quite a bit of time and effort.


Funeral Planning: Online Wills

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Funeral Planning: Online WillsOne of the biggest steps you’ll take during the process of estate and funeral planning is to create a will. This legally-binding document contains directives how to disburse your estate after you are gone, including how and where your property and assets are divided (as well as the care of any dependents you leave behind). Although the traditional method has always been to draft a will under the direction and guidance of a lawyer, the ease of online transactions has made online wills more popular than ever before.

And while there are benefits to drafting an online will, it’s not the right solution for everyone. If you’re in the funeral planning stages and are considering looking to the Internet for your will and estate needs, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.


Funeral Planning and Healthcare Directives

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Funeral Planning and Healthcare DirectivesAlthough funeral plans and healthcare directives don’t always overlap, they cover issues that many people address at the same time. While funeral plans provide financial support and instructions for after death occurs, healthcare directives address these issues while you’re still alive…and too ill to make the decisions on your own.


How to Discuss Your Pre-Plan Funeral Arrangements with Family

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

How to Discuss Your Pre-Plan Funeral Arrangements with FamilyYou’re a planner. You’ve made all the arrangements for your funeral long before it’s necessary, selecting the right package and payment plan and getting your affairs in order with plenty of time to spare. According to all the rulebooks, you’ve done things right and can rest comfortably knowing that your family won’t have to deal with the financial and emotional stresses of planning a funeral.


Age Caps and Health Restrictions on Burial Insurance

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Age Caps and Health Restrictions on Burial InsuranceWhile burial insurance (also known as funeral insurance) is a great option for those who want to pre-arrange a funeral for a low upfront cost, it isn’t available to everyone. Like most other types of personal insurance (health and life), your age and health will determine your premium rates and whether or not you qualify for that policy as all.


Writing a Letter of Last Instructions

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Writing a Letter of Last InstructionsThere are many different types of official arrangements for funeral planning and other end-of-life issues. From wills and living trusts to funeral insurance, the right amount of preparation can leave a clear and easy path for the loved ones you leave behind.

Of course, not everything is always so formal. For many people, a discussion about burial wishes or resuscitation orders is enough. These require a lot less planning and legal work, leaving you to enjoy life while you still have it.


Writing an Ethical Will

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Writing an Ethical WillEthical wills are one of the oldest funeral planning tools in existence—even though they have a lot less to do with funerals and a lot more to do with leaving a legacy behind. Historically popular in the Jewish culture as a way to pass ethical values from one generation to the next, ethical wills are now being adopted by a large percentage of the population, across generations and religions. In fact, the American Bar Association recommends writing an ethical will as an addendum to traditional estate planning.


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