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According to Forbes, nearly 2.5 million Americans die each year, leaving little or no directions about the distribution of their assets to their loved ones. While death may not be an option, making a will that can protect your rights and give each person their deserved share of your property is very much a matter of choice. Even for people who have made an estate plan for the execution of their estate and have already drawn up a will, a will can be updated and changed according to changing circumstances.

How do you know if it’s time to change your will? This blog outlines the situations your Southhaven Estate Attorney will tell you when you should update your will.

When should it be updated?

  • In the event of the birth of a child, you may want to assign some of your property to the newest entrant of the family.
  • If you have recently gotten married or divorced, you may have to make necessary changes in your estate plan to accommodate the new additions or subtractions
  • The executor, testator or guardian or the will dies or refuses to accept the responsibilities leveled against them.
  • If you decide to change your mind about certain gifts that you have made in the previous will.
  • The law change and you have to modify your will accordingly
  • The value of the estate fluctuates to a new high or low and the will needs to be modified to reflect the current changes
  • The sole beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries of the will dies.
  • Changes in the estate, either by way of acquisition or by way of sale.
  • The children grow up and no longer remain minors.

How can it be updated?

There are two ways to update your will. You can either:

  • Make a new one, and add a clause in it that revokes the previous one
  • Create a codicil as an attachment to the existing will and sign it giving effect to the change made under the will.

There is no one way of updating your will as the facts represent. You can have your will updated in a number of different ways and each will depend largely on the situation. For example if your old has tax advantages, it would be best if you simply used a codicil to make changes to that one.

If you want more information on when is it the best time to update your will or how should you go about doing it talk to a good Southhaven Estate Attorney. For more information on estate law, contact us today!

 

 

Whether you are a new mother or a senior citizen with her children married off and living their own lives, there is a dire need for you to start thinking about your estate planning.

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

There comes a time in every human’s life where they are unable to perform everyday tasks they used to and might need someone else to take over the handling of finances and other assets. In such cases, it is always better to have drafted a will which indicates which of your loved ones get what percentage of everything that you have. In the case of not drafting a will, after the death of the asset holder, the government decides how your estate is to be divided among your immediate relatives.

Your heirs could have to pay a specific amount of money to the government if a proper will is not drafted before your death.

What Is To Be Done?

Bosserman Law’s estate planning services always recommend that drafting a will and planning your estate from a younger age is very important especially for women who are single mothers. After your death, you don’t want to add to the grief of your children running around in courts to receive what you wanted to leave them. Plan ahead so your children receive the maximum of your assets and it does not matter how much you have, Estate planning should be done even if you have a small retirement account and one car.

Choose Your Executor Wisely

This is an important decision as your executor will be the one responsible for all the money you have saved up in your life. Many people choose close friends or relatives but it is recommended to choose a person who is financial savvy.

Consider Transferring Your Assets During Your Lifetime

It is always considered a good plan to transfer all your assets before you die because this way you can avoid all the taxes you can. If you gift $14,000 a year to your loved ones in cash or other assets, you can avoid the gift tax.

Do It Now

It is essential that when considering estate planning in Southaven, you should contact your lawyer to guide and advise you in the estate planning process. Start early so you can leave your family and friends everything that they deserve.

 

Do your loved ones know where your important papers are?

Is it possible for anyone other than yourself to make sense of your financial matters?

What would you want done should you be incapacitated?

It sounds depressing to think of these questions when you’re still in good health. But getting your affairs in order will give you peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones at a difficult time.

Here’s how you can get your affairs in order in three easy steps.

1. Round Up Your Important Documents

Unless you plan on sending your loved ones on a wild goose chase, you should gather all your important papers and store them in one place.

Important documents include your financial records, deeds to any property you own, insurance policies and personal records such as birth certificates and divorce papers.

2. Make a Will

If you die without a will, the law will decide who your heirs are.

This could be a problem.

You might want to leave some of your property to a close friend, or make a bequest to your favorite charity. You might also want to exclude someone who would otherwise inherit by law. This isn’t possible unless you have a will.

Your will tells people exactly how you want your property to be divided up when you’re gone. You’ll also nominate an executor to sort it out and decide who’ll take care of your minor children and pets.

3. Plan Ahead

Death isn’t the only bad thing that could happen.

An accident or illness could leave you unable to take important decisions for yourself, leaving the task to distraught relatives.

Make life easier for your loved ones by drawing up a legal document that gives you a say on how your affairs are to be conducted.

A living will allows you to set out your wishes on what kind of health care you want, so your relatives won’t need to make those tough decisions for you. Alternatively, you could nominate a person and empower them to take medical decisions on your behalf by means of a power of attorney.

Are you looking to get your affairs in order? Contact Bosserman Law at 662-890-9958 to set up an appointment.

 

Making a Last Will and Testament isn’t something most folks think about very often. It doesn’t become a priority until someone nears the end stages of their life.

The truth is that it’s never too early to create a will because you don’t know what the future holds – regardless if you are in the prime of your life. Read on to find  some helpful guidelines for drafting your Last Will and Testament.

Beneficiaries

You’ll need to select beneficiaries to receive your assets and belongings. Common beneficiaries are spouses and children. If you wish to give some of your belongings to other family members or friends, you will need to write out the specifics of this in your will.

Note that in the absence of a will, the state of Mississippi distributes your property according to “intestacy” laws. Your closest living relatives will receive your property and belongings. If you prefer friends rather than family members to receive your things, then creating a will is necessary.

Executor

In your will, you need to name an executor (the person who makes sure your property and belongings go to whom you designate). You can enlist the services of a lawyer or bank to act as executor of your will. These entities will require a fee. If you choose a family member or friend, make sure he or she is someone who is responsible and trustworthy. You may wish this person to receive a payment for their service. It must be noted in your will as well.

Guardians

Do you have children? You may want to name a guardian for them in the event of your or the other parent’s death. You don’t have to gain permission from the person you have in mind, but it’s a good idea to ask. Your designated guardian will be better prepared if they already know of your intent.

Final Words

For a will to be valid in Mississippi, it must be signed by you in front of two witnesses and signed by the witnesses as well. You can have it notarized so it will be “self-proving” (which quickens the probate process), but this isn’t required. You may also attach personal letters to your will for guardians, children, spouse, etc.

For questions or assistance regarding your Last Will and Testament, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bosserman Law.

 

Arranging your legal and financial affairs before you pass can be a messy and stressful business. Who gets what? How much should I leave them? Should I include my greedy second cousin in my will? No matter which way you go about it, making these decisions  most likely won’t be easy, but it’ll be easier to do it yourself than leaving it for your loved ones to deal with after your death. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take now to lessen the burden on your family while they grieve.

What Is a TOD?

A transfer-on-death, or TOD, is a means of directly bequeathing your assets to beneficiaries without going through the process of probate. Without setting this up before your death, your will must go through a probate court proceeding to determine its legitimacy. After the lengthy and costly affair, your heirs may then receive what you’ve left them. A transfer-on-death essentially cuts out the middleman and doesn’t go into effect until your death.

What Does a TOD Cover?

Typically, transfer-on-death applies to most assets you would include in your will such as finances, real estate, property, and some personal items like vehicles. However, in Mississippi, transfer-on-death can only be applied to stocks and bonds, and a payable-on-death (POD) (essentially the same as TOD) can be applied to your bank accounts. Beneficiaries will not have access to either of these finances until you’re deceased.

Other Options

Although Mississippi doesn’t allow transfer-on-death for real estate and other assets, there are other options to ensure they’re not susceptible to probate. Joint ownership can be utilized by couples as long as “right of survivorship” is included in titles, deeds, and other documentation. Joint tenancy applies to married and unmarried couples who have real estate, vehicles, and bank accounts together. Tenancy by entirety only applies to married couples.

Living trusts can also be used to cover all of your assets and keep them from going through probate. You’ll need to set yourself up as the trustee while living and declare a successor trustee to handle transferring everything to your beneficiaries.

In matters such as this, it’s best to have a trusted and qualified legal advisor help you make arrangements. Contact us at Bosserman Law for assistance and advice on transfer-on-death Registration.

 

There seem to be few legal documents that garner as many misconceptions as living wills. The amount of misinformation floating around often leaves people avoiding the issue all together. Don’t fall in the trap of waiting until it’s too late. Discover the truth about safeguarding your interests and creating the living will you need.

“I don’t need a living will; my family knows my wishes.”

We’ve seen this misconception rear its ugly head time and time again in the media. Family members argue about how to care for a loved one who suddenly develops a terminal illness or has a tragic accident. Though you may have expressed your desires to your loved ones orally, a legal, written document is the only way to truly protect your interests. A living will reduces the burden and grief family members feel during these situations.

“Living wills are for the elderly.”

Many people avoid writing living wills to avoid thinking about death. It’s understandable that leaving this world is a frightening thought. However, a living will is absolutely necessary even if you’re young and good health. We have no idea what the future may bring. This document will direct any medical decisions should you not be able to communicate with your loved ones and healthcare providers.

“I won’t receive medical treatment if I have a living will.”

This misconception, in particular, has spread like wildfire. More and more people believe that living wills automatically mean you won’t receive medical care if in a major accident. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, a living will lays out your precise preferences about medical treatment.

“If I have a living will, I don’t need to talk to my loved ones about my wishes.”

It’s crucial that your family knows you have a living will and what it details. Though it may be hard to discuss the subject, your family will appreciate knowing what you desire before a tragedy occurs. Always keep a copy in a safe place and leave one with your primary care physician. Bring a copy when traveling and remember you can revise the document as you wish.

Don’t put your healthcare desires on the back burner. Planning ahead gives you and those you care about peace of mind. Consult with Bosserman Law today.

You’re feeling a little cramped in your home and you’ve found an amazing Colonial across town that has a backyard to die for and plenty of rooms for the kids.

Time to call a real estate agent. But should you also call a real estate lawyer?

More often than not, the answer is no.

But first, allow me to offer an explanation of some of the tasks a lawyer might undertake when assisting in matters of real estate.

Real estate lawyers help clients with legal issues related to residential and commercial real estate, tenants and neighbors, commercial leasing, and private property ownership.

Lawyers assist with transfer of real estate property, including purchase and sale. They help clients to deal with the legal aspect of rental property and defend the rights of owners, landlords, renters, and tenants. Real estate lawyers specialize in land use, zoning, property development, and foreclosure.

Most commonly, lawyers working a real estate-related project will be tasked with drawing up or reviewing the legal documents you’ll sign to assume ownership or to lease property.

So, let’s readdress the question from the beginning of this article: as you prepare to make your big move into your dream home, do you need to call me or another lawyer to help you navigate the transaction?

The easy answer is to consult with your real estate agent. He or she will be well verse in local laws and regulations to determine whether hiring an attorney is necessary by law. If it is, your agent will be able to recommend a trusted lawyer. Even if it not necessary by law to hire a lawyer, you may consider obtaining legal advice if you can answer “yes” to more than one or two of the following questions:

For Buyers:

  • Are you an out of town buyer?
  • Are you buying a property that is a short sale or bank owned?
  • Are you buying a property that is part of an estate sale?
  • Are you buying a commercial property?
  • Are you buying a property that could potentially have some structural issues?
  • Are you buying a property in a problematic area such as a flood zone or areas with adverse conditions (tornado prone, radon, toxicity levels, etc.)?

For Sellers:

  • Are you selling a property that is in some state of distress?
  • Are you the heir or executor of a property whose owner is now deceased?
  • Are you selling a house with a non-cooperative partner?
  • Do you have that gut feeling that something could possibly go wrong based on knowledge you have about the property?
  • Do you have judgments or liens in your background?

These are the types of issues that can cause headaches during a real estate transaction – and a consultation with Bosserman Law can likely help you avoid or ease those headaches.

Contact us today to schedule a conversation about your real estate matters.

 

It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. For most of us, it’s a topic that is uncomfortable to discuss – and pushing those conversations to tomorrow, next month, next year is much more palatable than facing them head on.

But planning for your eventual death is a necessary part of life.

With careful preparation and a little assistance, it is also an easy and inexpensive way to enjoy the peace of mind that your loved ones will be allotted property and otherwise treated exactly as you wish after your passing.

Writing a will can be as simple as writing out how you want your assets to be transferred to loved ones or charitable organizations after your death. However, because there exist laws governing the specifics of estate disposition, it may be beneficial to seek some legal advice from me or another trusted local lawyer.  The laws in making a valid will vary to some degree and require different things for different states.

The personal finance section of USA.gov outlines a few important and easy to follow guidelines to writing a will:

  • In most states, you must be 18 years of age or older.
  • A will must be written in sound judgment and mental capacity to be valid.
  • The document must clearly state that it is your will.
  • An executor of your will, who ensures your estate is distributed according to your wishes, must be named.
  • It may not be necessary to notarize or record your will but these can safeguard against any claims that your will is invalid. To be valid, you must sign a will in the presence of at least two witnesses.  There are other requirements, depending on your location.

I also get calls at my office from folks who’d like to make changes to their will.

Just as important as crafting the document is ensuring that any revisions you feel necessary are made quickly, completely and lawfully. Contact me to help ensure that your final wishes are met and your loved ones are provided for as you see fit.

Schedule A Consultation

Call 662-890-9558 or email us
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Location

5740 Getwell Road
Building 9 Suite A
Southaven, MS 38672