When’s the last time your reviewed your will? This simple task has eluded the majority of Americans and set them up for failure down the road, as an accident can strike at any time and leave your home and assets in legal limbo. With real estate fine print to finagle and wills to detail, many Americans simply avoid the act of crafting a living will and hope nothing comes to pass. However, taking a little effort now will go a long way in creating peace of mind down the road. Let’s talk about the benefits of writing a will, real estate planning and, if you live in southern America, sitting down with an Alabama attorney.
Common Issues In America
Studies have been conducted to figure out not only how many Americans don’t have wills, but why. A recent survey found over half of all Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 without a will, with the general American public totaling up to 64%. Some of the most common reasons attributed to avoiding meeting with general business lawyers and crafting a living will is perceived complexity or lack of importance. A will, however, is necessary to ensure that your belongings and finances are properly distributed in the event of a severe injury or death. Starting is as simple as organizing your information and meeting with an estate planning attorney.
Federal And State Taxes
Let’s start off with taxes. These change depending on where you live and should be taken into consideration if you find yourself moving or distributing your assets across multiple parties. If you make more than six figures per year, it’s suggested you craft a trust alongside a will to minimize estate taxes. The year 2015 introduced bequests — gifts you can give to individuals upon your death — worth up to $5 million and free of any federal estate tax. These, naturally, will cross over to other areas of your life including, but not limited to, home loans, mortgage and insurance.
Home Loans And Mortgage Payments
These tips can help you when you meet with an Alabama attorney and start crafting your will. A common rule of thumb concerning mortgage payments is to not exceed more than 28% of your gross income, to better ensure your payments are met on time and don’t dip into overdue fees or hurt credit reports. While 20% is a common choice, some buy a house with as little as 3.5% down payment — such as with a Federal Housing Administration mortgage — or a 5% general mortgage. Although fixed-rate home loans can go from 10 to 15 years, the most popular is 30 due to the low payments and interest. The past five years have seen millions of borrowers refinancing their home into cheaper mortgages.
Social Security And Medicaid
Everyone has a unique budget and that must be taken into account when you meet with an Alabama attorney to start organizing your assets. For example, it’s estimated half of all Alabama’s children, around 564,000, are enrolled in a Medicaid program. Recent years have seen the Medicaid eligibility for adults without disabilities being limited to those who live below the poverty level — for example, a family of four making under $4,000 per year. Medicaid serves just over one million of Alabama’s five million population and is an essential source of maternity care and general healthcare.
Crafting Your Trust Or Will
If you’re under the age of 40 and haven’t created a will now, it’s never been a better time to do so. Meeting with an Alabama attorney is the first, and simplest, step toward creating a trust or will and setting your finances on the right track toward security. Also known as ‘advance directives’, the percentage of seniors who have completed their forms has increased from 47% to 72% in the past ten years. A qualified estate attorney drafting your documents can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500, which is far less than your loved ones may have to deal with should worse come to worse. Meet with a will lawyer today and see how they can help create your peace of mind.
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