Introduction (or Why Do We Need an “Estate Planning Post of the Week”?)
I have always found it interesting that when it comes to death planning, significantly more people view life insurance as a higher priority than estate planning.
Alarm bells were set off last year when a study conducted by LIMRA indicated that 30% of U.S. households have no life insurance coverage, as compared to 22% in 2004. On the other hand, a March 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive (sponsored by Rocket Lawyer) showed that 57% of U.S. adults do not even have a will. In other words, 70% of U.S. adults are somehow covered by life insurance, whereas only about 43% have at least a will.
To perhaps oversimplify the point, the estate plan for at least 27% of U.S. adults is to give some specific amount of cash to survivors, and then let issues such as estate administration, guardianship of children, management of remaining assets or businesses, the appropriate age to disperse assets to children, and whether or not to “pull the plug” take care of themselves.
A Humble Attempt to Make Estate Planning More User-Friendly
There are probably many who do not fully understand the costs, time, and hassles (let alone the emotions) involved with resolving these issues after a loved one’s death. Overall, the statistics cited above seem to indicate that estate planning needs to be more approachable and less intimidating to the public.
Many dedicated professionals already do great work writing about estate planning. Their efforts should receive some kind of further recognition. Ideally, the more that these excellent posts and articles are read and promoted, the more accessible estate planning can become. Therefore, I have decided that on each Friday, I will take a post to recognize what I subjectively feel is the top new estate planning blog post or article released in the preceding seven days.
Estate Planning Post of the Week (May 27 to June 2, 2011)
While I certainly enjoy the sound of my laptop keys tapping, and despite the preceding paragraphs, I will do my best to let the authors’ works speak for themselves.
“Evil Estates Deconstructed: The Search for Osama bin Laden’s Wealth” by Robert L. Moshman, Esq., Wealth Strategies Journal 2.0.
“Seven Good Reasons Credit Shelter Trusts Remain Relevant” by Daniel S. Rubin, Esq., Journal of Accountancy (found in “Why Estate Planners Should Not Rely on Portability” by Prof. Gerry W. Beyer, Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog).
“What’s in a Name, Part 1: What is a Non-Traditional Family?” by Chris Tymchuk, Esq., Unique Estate Law Blog.
Post of the Week:
“Why Does Forbes Hate Estate Planners?” by Joel A. Schoenmeyer, Esq., Death and Taxes Blog.