George H.W. Bush passed away on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94, making him the longest living President in United States History. His death came a mere eight months after the passing of his wife, Barbara Bush. While his storied life has already shaped the former President’s legacy, his death also reminds the rest of us about simple to overlook yet important aspects of estate planning.
Spouses Dying in Quick Succession Can Create Estate Planning Issues
Cases like the Bush’s, where both spouses die in a narrow window of time, can create issues. Generally, a spouse is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan, and often also an heir. If there is no estate plan, both estates will end up in Probate Court–where questions of how assets will pass, to whom, and in what order can take months or even years to hammer out. In blended family situations where one spouse may have children unrelated to the other’s, things can get especially sticky.
Even where there are no family complications and there is an estate plan in place, wills and trusts may have survivorship requirements. Ask your attorney about this issue when creating your estate plan. Retirement accounts may also be complicated when two spouses die within a short time period. If the surviving spouse does not roll the retirement funds into their account as soon as possible, contingent beneficiaries like children may not receive the benefits.
The Importance of Planning Your Estate Ahead of Time
Now, we do not know or claim to know the details of the former President’s estate plan, though we can speculate he likely did have one. His death can serve as a reminder of the importance of creating and maintaining an up-to-date estate plan.
Real estate investors in particular have specific issues to worry about when it comes to their legacy. Not only do we want to provide for our heirs, but we must also decide who will inherit our real estate businesses. We can’t afford to be lazy on estate planning details. For instance, did you know that you must update your estate plan every time you acquire a new asset? Major life events such as marriage or the death of a beneficiary also call for updates. Fortunately, with professional help, you can stay on top of your estate plan and be certain your legacy is carried out as planned. At Royal Legal Solutions, we offer estate planning services and monthly package options that include regular estate planning updates to help busy investors maintain current plans.
Don’t Try This At Home: Get Help Planning Your Estate From the Professionals
If you’re tempted to put off estate planning, don’t. Make your plans now to ensure your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are provided for as you see fit. The experts at Royal Legal Solutions are sensitive to the estate planning needs of real estate investors. If you have questions about our estate planning services, contact Royal Legal Solutions or schedule your estate planning consultation today.