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Friday, November 5, 2010

Make a Will

When planning the execution of a legal document for the disbursement of assets after you die, your fee to consult a competent attorney, accountant, or other trusted professional will be money well spent. This article is intended to provide a broad overview of the subject so you can be more knowledgeable in preparing your own will, exploring other options, and better prepared if you decide to meet with professional advisors.
A will is a document that outlines the following:
What one wants to happen to their property when they die.
How they want it distributed.
Which persons they want to inherit the property.
Preparing a Legally Valid Will
People can avoid having their probate estate pass on to others via individual state statues. It provides for distribution of the estate in the case of no existing will. It can also cut down on the cost of litigation. Distribution of an estate in the absence of a will is very complex depending, in part, whether there are surviving relatives. Visit What is a will for more information!
To ensure that a will is legally valid, the person preparing the will must follow various formalities and requirements based on individual state laws. There four main criteria are:
Legal Capacity: In most states the age is 18 years of age.
Testamentary Capacity: This basically means that the person must understand that the document they are creating is a will. A person being heavily medicated or mentally disabled at the time they prepared the will can nullify the legality. They must also have an understanding of what property they own and are including in the will and understand who their heirs are.
Testamentary Intent: This means the person preparing the will intends for the document to be their will. For example, if someone writes a letter to a relative asking them to prepare a will, that letter would not meet this requirement because  the letter itself was not intended to be a will, and were only instructions.
Specific Formalities: This refers to the laws of the state depending on the type of will, for example, handwritten, witnessed or verbal.
Getting Started on Making a Will
Make a list of the property you own and want included in your will. Certain types of property such as joint tenancy held with a person such as a spouse cannot be distributed to someone else in your will. You cannot include property that has been transferred to a living trust. Nor, can you include benefits from a life insurance policy, stocks and bonds or pensions that include a previously named beneficiary.
Name the person or persons you want to inherit your property. The will should include alternate beneficiaries in the event those chosen do not survive you.
Choose an Executor. A legal will must include a named person who will serve as an executor, one who will carry out the terms of the will.
Guardianship for minor children. Name an alternative adult you want to raise your children in the event the surviving parent dies or is unable to do so.
Select a person to manage your children’s property. Most parents do not  leave money or property directly to their children. Instead, they leave everything to their spouse, with the understanding that the survivor will care for the children. In the will their children are named as alternate beneficiaries. In the case of a single parent, however, they leave money and property directly to their children. In either case, an adult should be named to manage whatever property the children may inherit, in case they receive it while they're still too young to manage it themselves.
Signing the will. Laws vary from state to state, but most wills require your signature to be witnessed by two people. “Self-providing affidavits” signed by you without witnesses require your signature to be notarized. Make sure to inform relatives or the person you named as your executor where your will is safely kept.
The above article was written by General Knowledge AKA

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How to Prepare a Living Trust vs. a Will

When planning the execution of a legal document for the disbursement of assets after you die, your fee to consult a competent attorney, accountant, or other trusted professional  will be money well spent. This article is only intended to provide a broad overview of the subject, so you can be more knowledgeable in exploring options, and better prepared to meet with professional advisors.
What is a Will from, a Will is a written document which leaves the estate of the person who signed the will to named persons or entities (beneficiaries, legatees, divisees) including portions or percentages of the estate, specific gifts, creation of trusts for management and future distribution of all or a portion of the estate (a testamentary trust). A will usually names an executor (and possibly substitute executors) to manage the estate, states the authority and obligations of the executor in the management and distribution of the estate, sometimes gives funeral and/or burial instructions, nominates guardians of minor children and spells out other terms. To be valid the will must be signed by the person who made it (testator), be dated and witnessed by two people (except in Vermont which requires three.) North Hollywood Hospice
Also defined  in  the legal dictionary on, a Living Trust is created by a declaration of trust executed by the trustor during his/her lifetime, as distinguished from a "testamentary trust," which is created by a will and only comes into force upon the death of the person who wrote the will.

Most commonly, it is a trust in which the trustor receives benefits from the profits of the trust during their lifetimes, followed by a distribution upon the death of the trustor, and the trust continues on for the benefit of others (such as the next generation) with profits distributed to them.
Some Advantages of a Living Trust over a Will.
Many estate planners swear by living trusts; their advantages over wills are many. The problem with a will is that it must be proved valid in probate court. To probate a will, you'll definitely need to hire an attorney and attorney's fees can run into thousands of dollars. There may be executor's commissions and other court costs.
California's probate fees -- set by law -- are about average among states. For an estate of $500,000 (by no means a small or uncommon estate where home prices start around $200,000), the cost of probate in terms of attorney's fees and executor's commissions would range around $22,300. This is a big chunk out of your children's inheritance.
Worse than the financial blow, probate can exact an emotional toll on the surviving family. Your heirs may have to wait several months and sometimes years to collect their inheritances, depending upon the efficiency of the executor, attorney and probate court. Delays of eighteen months to two years are not unusual. Granda Hills Hospice
Probate records are public records and are available to all kinds of salespeople, scrupulous or otherwise. Many a widow has been persuaded to make unwise or unsuitable investments under pressure from fast- talking hucksters.
Living Trusts, on the other hand, require no court proceedings; a successor trustee (who may also be a beneficiary) simply distributes the assets according to the trust's instructions and dissolves the trust. The process is much quicker, cheaper and more private than settling a will.
Few Disadvantages
According to most estate planners living trusts have few disadvantages. Most trust instruments are relatively simple to prepare, and you need to formally transfer the title of various assets to the trust. This requires some paperwork and you will need to contact your banks, brokers, insurance agents, etc. In most cases, they are familiar with living trusts and you should get expert cooperation from them. Once this paperwork is completed, a living trust will not affect the way in which you control or manage your various assets.
Remember, there are many complex issues involved that are not covered here that only a qualified professional can address. Individual state laws vary greatly on a multitude of specifics and have a significant bearing upon the issues and decisions you face.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Alzheimer's Diease

If you plan to live past 60, there’s something you need to know about Alzheimer ’s disease.
Every 70 seconds, someone will develop Alzheimer's disease. There is something you desperately need to know about the disease, that is, if you plan on living past the age of 60, because no one is immune. Today it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Our brains change as we age just as the rest of our organs do. Most of us notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not a normal part of aging. They may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
September 21 is World Alzheimer's Day, a day when the Alzheimer's Association joins with organizations and people around the globe to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and its impact on our families, communities and nations. Today, 35 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias, and this number is growing rapidly.
World Alzheimer's Day is an opportunity to raise donations and awareness about Alzheimer's disease and the need for more education, support and research. Take action by joining one of the many World Alzheimer's Day events. More information in Hospice Thousand Oaks!
Memory Walk 2010 is a unique experience. See the difference you can make as we walk to change the course of Alzheimer's together.
Memory Walk is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, Memory Walk has raised more than $300 million for the cause.
All Memory Walk donations benefit the Alzheimer's Association, the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride. Researchers have taken to the road, cycling from San Francisco to Washington D.C., to collect signatures asking Congress to make Alzheimer's a national priority. This 66-day effort will end on World Alzheimer's Day at the steps of Capitol Hill, where the Alzheimer's Association and Breakthrough Riders will deliver tens of thousands of signatures to our elected officials.
What exactly is Alzheimer ’s disease?
The human brain is your most unique and powerful organ, yet a healthy one weighs only about three pounds. It has three main parts:
The Cerebrum fills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement.
The Cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance.
The Brain Stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.
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The real work of your brain goes on in individual cells. An adult brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. Scientists call this dense, branching network a "neuron forest." Signals traveling through the neuron forest form the basis of memories, thoughts, and feelings.
Neurons are the chief type of cell destroyed by Alzheimer's disease.
Signals that form memories and thoughts move through an individual nerve cell as a tiny electrical charge. Nerve cells connect to one another at synapses. When a charge reaches a synapse, it may trigger release of tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse, carrying signals to other cells. Scientists have identified dozens of neurotransmitters.
Alzheimer's disease disrupts both the way electrical charges travel within cells and the activity of neurotransmitters.
100 billion nerve cells! 100 trillion synapses! Dozens of neurotransmitters! This "strength in numbers" provides your brain's raw material. Over time, our experiences create patterns in signal type and strength. These patterns of activity explain how, at the cellular level, our brains code our thoughts, memories, skills and sense of who we are.
Alzheimer's disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all of its functions.  Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and is fatal. Visit to find a Memory Walk event in your area or locate another volunteer opportunity to help end the disease. Visit Hospice Ventura County for more information or help! Need Payday loans? Online Payday Loans and Direct Lender Information on protein Protein Powder Reviews

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Prepare For Retirement

Today, only 43 percent of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.  In 2005, of those who had 401(k) coverage available, 25 percent did not participate. Although today in 2010 because of the recession, many employers do not offer any type of benefits.
Since the average American spends 20 years in retirement, putting money away for retirement is a habit we can all live with.  The US Department of Labor has put together a list with helpful ways to protect seniors as they approach retirement.
Know Your Retirement Needs
·         Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you’ll need about 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future.
Find Out About Your Social Security Benefits
·         Social Security pays the average retiree about 40 percent of preretirement earnings. Call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213 for a free Social Security Statement and find out more about your benefits at
Learn About Your Employer's Pension Or Profit Sharing Plan
·         If your employer offers a plan, check to see what your benefit is worth. Most employers will provide an individual benefit statement if you request one. Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension. Learn what benefits you may have from previous employment. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse’s plan.
Contribute To a Tax-Sheltered Savings Plan
·         If your employer offers a tax-sheltered savings plan, such as a 401(k), sign up and contribute all you can. Your taxes will be lower, your company may kick in more, and automatic deductions make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate.

Ask Your Employer to Start a Plan
·         If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, suggest that it start one. Certain employers can set up simplified plans.
Consider Basic Investment Principles
·         How you save can be as important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you will have saved at retirement. Know how your pension or savings plan is invested. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand.
Put Money Into an Individual Retirement Account
·         You can put up to $4,000 a year into an individual Retirement Account (IRA) and gain tax advantages.
·         When you open an IRA, you have two options – a traditional IRA or the newer Both IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. In addition, you should know that the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose.
Don’t Touch Your Savings
·         Do not dip into your retirement savings. You’ll lose principal and interest, and you may lose tax benefits. If you change jobs, roll over your savings directly into an IRA or you new employer’s retirement plan.
Start Now, Set Goals and Stick to Them
·         Start early. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Put time on your side. Make retirement savings a high priority. Devise a plan, stick to it, and set goals for yourself. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving. So start now, whatever your age!
Ask Questions
·         These tips point you in the right direction. Nevertheless, you’ll need more information. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure the answers make sense to you. Get practical advice and act now.
Financial security doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money, another good reason to get the best advice when searching for an assisted living option for yourself or an elderly love one. Visit General Health Questions for more questions and answers related to health! Need Payday loans? Online Payday Loans and Direct Lender Information on protein Protein Powder Reviews