Estate Planning 101 Videos

What you need and how to get started with estate planning documents

Unsure of how to get started with estate planning? You’re not alone. In fact, our recent survey shows that nearly 6 out of 10 adults in the U.S. doesn’t have a will yet.

In the videos below, elderlaw attorney Mark Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll Associates, LLP explains which estate planning documents you need, what each one means, and how to set them up.

about 1 month, said...

Well, bottom line, the financial details of estate planning is really the top priority if we’re going to prevent our heirs from being ruined financially once our estate is underway. Competent and highly organized estate planning is critical -- sure, but if and only if we have enough assets to merit all that estate planning trouble & cost! And not, in my opinion, if our assets at the end of our life are terribly meager, as many middle class people’s assets are these days, sadly enough… But even if we, or our parents, do leave a small, modest estate, we might want to create a will anyway, just to make sure that our money and property are distributed according to our, or our parent’s, true wishes. And not the wishes of local laws, a probate court judge or lawyers managing the process. I suppose we should set the stage and exert control, even after death, for how our assets will be distributed after we’re gone. Even if the estate is modest. Whatever it is… real estate, stocks, bonds, or other investment accounts such as savings bonds or mutual funds, or whatever… Personal property; retirement accounts; cash bank accounts or a small life insurance policy. Whatever. It still counts. And as for trusts, discussed in great detail here in this article… I say why get into all the expenses and trouble and complexities of maintaining a trust, beginning with a pricey trust attorney, plus the expense of a trustee after we die, and even lawyers that may be involved after death and must be paid as well… Unless we really, really want to minimize or completely avoid the lengthy probate process, especially if we’re inheriting out-of-state real estate, land or a house, or several homes. Or maybe if we’re obsessed with the prospect of paying too much in taxes. But as for the federal estate and gift-tax exemption of $5.43 million or whatever it is now – let’s face it, how many of us have that much to leave, or are inheriting that much from wealthy parents? Not too many. How many people do you know that have that kind of money? Very few of us in the middle class range have a huge estate to leave to our heirs, or if we are heirs, looking at this from the other side of the middle class coin, we should get used to the fact that we won’t probably be inheriting 7 or 8 figure inheritance assets! That’s just our lot in life most likely – if we happen to be on the middle class side of the fence. And we’re probably looking inheritance assets in an estate going through probate, not in an expensive, complex long drawn-out trust. And so I suppose looking at this entire process from a middle class heirs’ perspective, which is what most of us are stuck with, as the receiver not the giver, if we’re expecting a modest inheritance and find that, as usual, we’re in need of some super fast probate cash during probate, we can usually get immediate inheritance money with a loan on our inheritance by borrowing against inheritance. And let me tell you – hey, sometimes this capability for a fast inheritance advance or inheritance loan comes in real, real handy! If we have our inheritance in trust, and are waiting for years for distribution of our inheritance in trust… and this is often the case, what many of us in the middle class are stuck with – we might come up against a Spendthrift Clause, or Spendthrift Provision, which can usually prevent us from borrowing against our inheritance in trust. Whereas, if our inheritance is in an estate in probate, we generally can get a loan on inheritance… borrow money against our inheritance. It sure helps if we’re broke at that point, believe you me. So those of us creating a will or trust for our heirs or beneficiaries… might think about that. I think when middle class heirs get to that point in life where they’re actually waiting for an inheritance to distribute to them, modest or otherwise, it often suddenly occurs to them that their inheritance money isn’t going to be that all that great. They start realizing that there will be no marvelous million dollar inheritance bringing them closer to that super comfortable or early retirement that they have been dreaming about. I see many heirs, with weak cash flow that really could use some immediate inheritance money, and who are feeling depressed and disappointed about their inheritance and maybe about their life in general – and many of those heirs will frequently begin researching probate advance and inheritance cash advance or inheritance loan companies… for estate loans or estate advances right away, inheritance loans, large or small inheritance advances or inheritance advance loans, probate loans, or probate real estate loans — and just to be safe will submit inheritance cash advance, probate loan, or probate cash advance applications to more than one online probate loan, trust fund cash advance or inheritance loan company that deals with loans on inheritance, inheritance loan advances, probate cash advance funds, inheritance loans in advance, and loans against inheritance, from established probate cash, inheritance loan companies like, or perhaps or like probate loans companies like Established probate loans specialists that provide similar inheritance loan advance services, for probate heirs and trust fund beneficiaries. But no matter how hard our parents tried to make sure their estate planning was perfect for us… a lot of cash gets used up by our parents these days, and what’s left over, for us as an inheritance, may not be what they had hoped to have in the end, to leave us. Or that we hoped we’d be receiving as an inheritance. Our parents can do everything right – but when reality rears its’ ugly head, sometimes things can change… and not always for the better. Even if all of Mr. Hausman’s terrific estate planning rules are followed. So when an heir is in need, and some fast probate cash can enter the picture and lighten the financial burden this or that heir is suffering from – this is always a good thing. I’ll tell you what – it certainly beats sitting around our living room watching TV, broke and depressed about what we’re inheriting and not inheriting! We may as well access some of our own inheritance money in advance of distribution… and live a little, and maybe turn around our overall luck with the right positive attitude. If we can improve our attitude as well as our income… both at the same time… well, why not.