Have you ever wished you could see into the future? Not just 5 or 10 years ahead, but 100 or 200 years ahead? It may now be possible. The field of cryogenics – the study of what happens to things at really low temperatures – has spawned the process of cryonics. Cryonics is the process used to store human bodies at really low temperatures in the hope of reviving them at a date in the future.
Inevitably, after a client has passed away, a family member will call and ask, “Will there be a reading of the Last Will?” The answer is: only if the family wants it. The “reading of the will” is generally something you only see in the movies. It adds to the movie drama (cue the music), when the son finds out in front of the family he has been disinherited.
Funeral homes are getting in on the “green” movement. They now offer different types of “green” burials. Chemicals are not used in these types of burials and you can opt for a biodegradable casket, or a “natural” burial where no embalming fluid is used and the body is wrapped in a biodegradable material, buried in the ground and allowed to decompose naturally.
A Designation of Health Care Surrogate, also sometimes known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, is typically prepared as a part of a person’s overall foundational estate plan. It is a written statement indentifying the person who has authority to make healthcare decisions for the individual (the “principal”) or receive health information on the principal’s behalf in the event he or she is unable to do so.
The New Year is all about a fresh start. Along with starting a new diet and joining the gym, why not start 2016 off with an estate plan that works? This does not simply mean assessing whether or not you have estate planning in place. It also means ensuring the planning you do have is up to date and actually accomplishes your estate planning goals. Only about half of all Americans have planned for their disability and death.
If you recently purchased a home in Florida which is your permanent residence, now is the time to file for your homestead tax exemption. March 1st is the application deadline for filing in order to receive the exemption for 2016.
Most people under the age of 40 consider estate planning something to be done “someday”. They hope that they will live a long and healthy life. The reality is there are no guarantees. Your estate plan is similar to a hurricane preparedness plan. You should have one in place so when the storm or disaster strikes, you are ready. The difference with an estate plan is that, eventually, we will all need one.
This is a common question for parents of kids with special needs, particularly when the individual is very high functioning and has aspirations to attend college. In some cases, a family member may have established a college plan for the child without understanding the possible effect the account can have on the child’s eligibility for government benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI).