June 2016 Archives

Estate Planning for Young and Unmarried

For many people in their 20s and 30s estate planning is far removed from their daily concerns. However, no one knows exactly how much time we each have on earth before we pass away. Spending some time planning and organizing your affairs can help decrease the overwhelming burden placed on survivors during these emotional times. There are some basic planning steps that can be taken to protect your loved ones even when you are in your 20s or 30s. First, it is important to keep all beneficiary designations up to date on bank accounts, life insurance policies, and investment or retirement accounts. Second, take action to avoid the unnecessary entanglement of probate. Third, consider executing a basic will and other basic estate planning documents such as durable powers of attorney in the event of incapacitation, medical powers of attorney, and a health care directive to physicians. Finally, consider an adequate amount of life insurance to cover things such as student loans and other indebtedness so as not to burden your survivors. For more information, See Erin Lowry, Here's How To Financially Prepare for Your Death While You're Still Young and Unmarried, Forbes, May 31, 2016. 

What can you learn about Estate Planning from Prince's Death?

Prince died without a will and very little if any estate planning. When a person dies without a will, your assets pass under intestate succession laws of the state, which tends to be more complicated and expensive for the estate and beneficiaries. If you die without a well thought out estate plan, your estate could end up like Prince with several people fighting over your estate. For more information, see Winnie Sun, 5 Things Prince's Family, and You, Should Know About Estate Planning, Forbes, May 18, 2016. 

Susan Criss recently addressed the International Association of Women Judges Conference

IAWJ-programRetired District Court Judge Susan Criss, Senior Partner in Criss & Rousseau Law Firm, recently addressed the International Association of Women Judges Conference, "Women Judges and the Rule of Law: Assessing the Past, Anticipating the Future," in Washington, D.C. Susan spoke on "Courts in Crisis: Maintaining the Rule of Law in Emergency Situations" drawing on her experience from the bench following Hurricane Ike in Galveston. 

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