Finance

What The Heck Is An Estate Planner, and Why Do People Keep Telling Me I Need One?

Planning for death is widely considered unpleasant and even morbid, but let’s be real — ignoring it will only lead to problems for family and friends down the line. Having a detailed plan of what should happen to you, your possessions, and your estate is essential to reduce the stress of the people left behind.

When people talk with you about things like this, they might mention something called an “estate planner” from time to time. But what is an estate planner? Do you need to hire one? Let’s explore these topics to give you a better idea on how to plan for your future.

What is An Estate Planner?

An estate planner is a specialized lawyer trained in helping people figure out what they want to happen to their possessions after death. Closely related to elder law, they’re in charge of planning for and reducing the amount of uncertainties after their client has died.

How Can Estate Planners Help?

Duties vary depending on what a client requires, though estate planners are commonly hired to write or revise a will. In it, they will outline how to distribute a client’s property after death, as well as any other valuables or assets they own. Assigning guardianship for minors or other dependents is also possible, as it declaring power of attorney in the event the client is indisposed but otherwise alive.

They can also help a client find ways to minimize or eliminate estate taxes through strategic distribution of assets among loved ones, as well as provide general legal advice related to estate planning.

When Don’t You Need An Estate Planner?

Though having an estate planner help you with your end of life problems can be helpful, certain situations may mean you don’t need or don’t want to utilize the services of one. For example, if you plan to sell your life insurance (surrendering a policy for its cash value) to help with expenses or get some extra money, an estate planner’s services might come in a little redundant. Or perhaps you feel confident enough to write your own will with little assistance or the use of an automated program, or maybe you just lack the money to hire an estate planner.

It’s also possible you simply don’t have anything you feel is worth planning out in the event of your death, wishing for probate law to assign your possessions.

Conclusion

Hiring an estate planner can certainly help reduce the stress your loved ones feel after your death, but hiring one is not required, either. If you require professional help planning for your passing, you may wish to look into hiring one in the near future — ultimately the key is planning ahead.

What’s The Difference Between A Chapter 7 And A Chapter 13?

If you’re trying to pay off a substantial amount of debt, bankruptcy is one option that could help, although it requires you to give up quite a bit of financial control over your life. You have two common bankruptcy options, and these are called Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Each works very differently and has its own advantage and disadvantages.

Liquidate or Restructure Your Debt

Because of how they work, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, whereas Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as restructuring or reorganization bankruptcy.

With Chapter 7, you’re giving permission for the court to liquidate any assets that aren’t protected under the bankruptcy laws set by the federal government and your state. The proceeds of these sales goes towards your debtors. This type of bankruptcy wipes out many types of unsecured debt, although there are certain debts it can’t wipe away. These include student loans and tax debts. For secured debts, the debtors can repossess the collateral on the loan.

With Chapter 13, you’re setting up a payment plan with the court that will result in your debt being paid off within three to five years. You can negotiate the total amount you’ll pay and you can have late fees and other charges added to your debt to avoid repossession of any property. According to the Bankruptcy Law Office, a Chapter 13 can stop a foreclosure if the bankruptcy is filed early enough in the process. With secured debts, you can choose to either make those parts of your payment plan or let the debtor repossess the collateral to be done with the debt. You need to monitor how you spend your money while you’re on that payment plan, and the court may require you to use zero-base budgeting that you show to them at any time.

How Long Your Bankruptcy Will Last

Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts until you complete your payment plan, which will likely be three to five years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically lasts between three and six months.

Qualifying for Bankruptcy

One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have 100-percent control over which type of bankruptcy you choose. Your income determines which one you qualify for. If you make enough for a payment plan, you’ll need to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you don’t, then you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a major decision, and it’s important to understand as much as possible about it before you file. Think about which chapter you would likely qualify for, and then consult a bankruptcy lawyer to see if filing is a smart move.

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

Buying a car may be one of the most expensive purchases to make in a life time, second only to buying a home. Before buying a car, it is important to do all the homework to ascertain all aspects of the vehicle you are buying. Some of the elements to look out for include availability of spare parts in case of vehicle mechanical failure, depreciation, and maintenance costs. In addition to these, you need to get a good insurance policy to cover the car in the event of an accident or vehicle mechanical failure. The following are some of the most expensive cars to insure:

Dodge GT Viper

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

This is a speedy car with a V-10 engine that can hit 60 mph in just three seconds. The car costs about $4,048 to insure every year. The high cost is partly caused by the fact that it is preferred by people who want move very fast. This car is said to cost over three times the cost of insuring a Honda Odyssey. Other reasons that make them expensive to insure is their vulnerability to thieves as well as the high costs to repair.

Mercedes SL65 AMG

This is among the three top most expensive cars to insure. Its annual insurance cost amounts to $3,797. Generally, cars that are cheap to repair in case of vehicle mechanical failure and have fewer claims filed by the owners cost less to insure.

Mercedes S600 BI-T

The Mercedes S600 BI-T costs $3,539 every year to insure. The insurance rates however differ from state to state. This is because each region presents different sets of challenges including terrain and climatic conditions.

Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic

This is the fourth most expensive car to insure with its insurance premiums standing at $3,513 every year. The car has an AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine which produces a lot of power and is able to reach 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Porsche Panamera S Executive

5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure

This is one among the most expensive Porsche models and one of the most expensive cars to insure. It costs $3,484 every year to insure. To save on insurance costs, it is advisable to get at least three quotes from different insurance service providers.

Insurance is one of the elements that stretches its costs above then original buying price. The best way to approach it is to compare the different quotations from different providers as that you get the best deal.

Sources

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-most-expensive-cars-to-insure-2016-02-25

https://www.daveabels.com/mechanical-failures.html

https://gearheads.org/5-most-expensive-cars-to-insure/

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

If you drive a car long enough, you are likely to get into an accident yourself or at least see one on the road. Accidents can range from minor fender benders that do little or nor damage to major crashes that cause serious injuries and death. To avoid car accidents, it’s important to know the common causes.

Distracted Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

The most common cause of car accidents, at least in the U.S., is distracted driving. This has been a problem as long as cars have been around, but it’s gotten much worse over the past couple of decades with the advent of cell phones and other small wireless devices. To help lower your chances of an accident caused by distracted driving, never use a phone or other electronic device while you are driving.

Speeding

Speed limits are in place for a reason: safety. If you don’t follow the posted speed, you are more likely to cause an accident. Speed limits typically reflect the amount of traffic and hazards present. Inner-city streets with lots of car and pedestrian traffic have the lowest limits, while highways and expressways have the highest one. Following the speed limit gives you time to brake properly and react to unexpected hazards.

Impaired Driving

5 Common Causes Of Car Accidents

Everyone knows that drunken drivers are more likely to cause an accident, but other impairments can also be a big risk. People on prescription medications can be impaired while driving and not even be aware of it. Sleep-deprived drivers also can be an accident risk. You should refrain from driving if you have been drinking, are overly tired or are taking a medication that lists driving impairment as a side effect.

Weather Conditions

A big contributor to car accidents is the weather. Icy or wet roads and poor visibility caused by rain, fog or snow are among the most-common causes of weather-related accidents. If you have to drive during inclement weather, you should slow your speed and make sure you are being vigilant.

Inexperience

There’s a reason that younger drivers pay higher insurance costs. Inexperience behind the wheel is a top cause of auto accidents. And it’s not just overall inexperience. Experienced drivers who are driving a different type of vehicle, such as a motorcycle or large truck, also can be more prone to accidents.

Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people each year in the U.S. To stay safe and avoid them, it’s important to know how they happen and take appropriate precautions.

References

https://braunslaw.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/

http://www.enddd.org/the-facts-about-distracted-driving/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/growing-number-states-fine-slowpoke-drivers-highway-fast-lanes/

http://www.drivehomesafe.com/article/inexperience_and_immaturity_causes_teen_accidents__deaths-12.html

Common Bad Financial Mistakes That People Do

There are numerous financial mistakes that we may do. One of them is that we tend to rent, instead of owning. Unfortunately, people are forced to rent, when they are not fully qualified for mortgage. This can happen if we have poor credit score. It means that our inability to obtain a mortgage is caused by our previous financial mistakes. We are also not doing things properly if we don’t have a home-based business. This kind of activity could give us so much advantage. With some profit, we could take care of the gas costs, utilities bills, rent costs and others. It is something that a spouse who stays at home can do to help the breadwinner. We should be able to choose many kinds of legitimate business. Another problem is our inability to manage gasoline prices. It happens when we don’t choose the right car for our financial conditions. As an example, a big SUV with V8 engine may have a big fuel tank that requires $100 for each fill and it could often for only three days with frequent use. If gas price really affects our finances, it is better to choose efficient 4-cylinder car that costs only $35 for refill and can last for five days with the same usage pattern. By choosing a smaller car, we will be able to have leaner budget, because we don’t need to spend on gasoline as much. Our condition may be a little hard financially, but we shouldn’t forget to donate to charities. Donations are 100 percent tax deductibles, so they can benefit us financially.

We may also lose money if we ignore differences in sales taxes.  Each state, cities and counties may implement different taxation rules. If we live in a city, next to a few smaller towns, we may consider filling up our tank in one of the towns if the cost is lower. The city authority may add an extra 10 cent for each gallon of the gas. Sales taxes on other items can also be up to 4 percent higher in the city, compared to the surrounding towns and suburbs. This may be an unwanted practice, although still quite legal. It also allows us to put pressure on local politicians to always keep taxes down. We may not do the right thing if we ignore the possibility of buying things from the Internet. It is more convenient, because we don’t need to spend money for gas and we don’t to have waste time to go to stores. Some online stores offer free shipping for some items, so they could really be a good deal. There are so many things that we can buy from the Internet from knitting needles to an expensive car, that we can cut down on the actual trip to stores. Problems can also happen during holiday trips, such as not staying at affordable hotels, but staying at cruise ships and expensive resorts. Online options such as AirBnB and couchsurfing could also help us to save money immensely.

Why Mind Traps Can Become Bad Financially?

Stress is not a new thing in human civilization, but today, it has become a modern disease. Many people are feeling stressed out about the economic situation and their own situation. Even when the economy is booming, many people still have negative tone about it. If we keep bang our head on the wall until we bleed, we can’t blame the wall for our situation. It is important for us to stop the usual blaming mentality and it’s better if we are able to see things in a constructive manner. There are mind traps that can cause to perform rather poorly financially. Our mind trap could be caused by what we watch and hear. As an example, the television has turned into a huge “Fear Channel” that constantly project bad images into our conscious mind. Every time we watch the TV, it is more likely that we get negative messages than positive ones. Our mind tends to choose specific themes, words and images that have been repeated over and over again. Within nanoseconds after the news program begin, we already expect that another bad news will be said by the reporter. This will cause us to have accumulated mental impacts. It is important that we are able to save our mind from thinking continuously about swindlers, home foreclosure, bankruptcy and other bad things that can happen in our mind. The solution for this should be quite easy, that is to immediately channel the channel. There are TV channels that can provide us with laughter and once we turn it on, we will have a smile on our face.

Our mind is the place where our dreams are born and in many cases, things can’t be planned. We should find our goal with our heart. It is important for us to put away childish things, including bad memory. As adults, we often have immense responsibilities and without having a proper mind, we won’t be able to pay our bills. Financial crisis can escalate and when it happens, we should be prepared to handle it with positive and constructive mind. If we have debt right now, we should look for ways to get ourselves out of bad debt situations and we will be more prepared. We shouldn’t think that we will always have financial problem, because that it would be a bad thing. We will be knocked down sometimes, but we should be convinced that we will eventually recover. A destructive spiral of negative thoughts won’t bring financial success. There’s always a solution to any of our problem and we should feel that we are being stuck. It is important to pay attention to any small detail and we never say never about the possibility of financial success. It’s true that life is probably not fair and many of us don’t have great start since our childhood. However, by being hard working, we should be able to ensure that we can gain plenty of financial opportunity. We shouldn’t ruminate about all the unfairness in life, because we won’t be able to get something good out of it. We need to use our brain properly and try to be completely constructive.

How To Save Money At Kitchen?

Food is one area where we spend much money annually. With proper spending, the kitchen woes can be conquered rather easily. There are different ways how we spend so much on food, such as when we go to last minute trips to the grocery stores. When we are in a hurry, we may not choose the most appropriate ingredients or utensils. When we want save money at kitchen, we should have proper planning and take enough time. When we cook, we often start from scratch, so it means that we need all the ingredients and utensils required. Kitchen should become a mini supermarket, so we should make sure that space is managed well and ingredients are placed in proper places.

We should have proper meals that the whole family can enjoy in the morning, noon and at night. We should have a perfect setup, so we should be able to accommodate the right number of meals. We should be able to clean everything properly and all supplies should be properly organized. We will need to consider what kind of inventory that we have. Condiments, spices and ingredients will long shelf life should be available for about one month of use. It is better to purchase them at grocery stores at lower costs and we may need to buy them at larger quantity. This is better than going to store each week. It also means that we will be able to reduce the monthly gas costs, because we will go less frequently.

If we go to grocery stores less often, we will be able to reduce impulse buying and we can also minimize overspending. It would be helpful if we have a list of ingredients and other things that we want to buy in the grocery stores. Bring just enough money to buy things in the list. Pay in cash only and leave credit cards at home, if possible. With this approach, we can be sure that we will spend much less and we will be able to save money. Even if there are new bargains in the grocery stores, we shouldn’t be tricked and we need to buy only what we have planned from home, such as sugar, pasta and other things. If we can keep ourselves organized, it should also be possible to immediately know whether are running out of a few items.

After we have the kitchen well stocked and cleaned, it should be much easier to monitor. Maintaining a kitchen shouldn’t be very time consuming or difficult. We could simply open the cupboards and see things that are running out. We could plan our breakfast, lunch and dinner based on what we have planned. It should be quite easy to adjust ourselves with this kind of kitchen management. Creativity is a must and we should try to steer away from the normal meals, such as sandwiches. There are thousands of combinations that we can try in the kitchen, without making us buying exotic ingredients that cost so much money. As an example, rice and potatoes can be used as the basis for many dishes.

How To Believe That Financial Success Is Your Birthright?

If we don’t feel completely worthy of receiving money, there’s no way we will be able to enhance our financial picture. It is important to think that we believe in our birthright to receive enough money. There are different ways we can do to. One of the easiest ways is to think money similar to oxygen. Air is our birthright and we will die in a few minutes without it. We should also think that we are entitled to receive a lot of money once we leave the womb. Just like oxygen, we should condition our mind to think that money is our birthright. We never think that the air that we breathe has to be earned. It’s ludicrous and we should think the same thing about earning money. If we think that we may or may not get enough money despite our effort, we have set ourselves up for big failure right from the start. The concept of “earning money” has been taught by since childhood.

We earned money by mowing the lawn and cleaning the house. By treating their parents with respect, teens could also “earn” their gas money. Parents won’t say that children can’t inhale the air tomorrow because they don’t fold their laundry. If we find it challenging to think that money is our birthright just like the oxygen, then we really need to make changes to our mindset. It is important that we are able to experiment with the idea and we need to train our mind that money is our birthright, just like oxygen. Once we do this, we will know how to properly to create income based on our current situation and we will be able to draw money in different ways. Even if we manage to shape our mind about this matter, we will certainly face challenges along the way. As an example, we could find ourselves low on cash and we need to do something extra to cover for our financial needs.

During this situation, we should believe that things will work in our favour and we shouldn’t worry about it. We need to be stubborn and insist about our future. We need to believe the whole thing will be better and miracles will unfold. If we need to change our focus to achieve better things then we need to do it. As an example, we could start taking a part time job. By staying positive, we could be hired as full time employee and in a few short years, we could get a number of promotions, as well as higher salary. We will be able to achieve this if we manage to put positive realization deep inside our heart that financial success is our birthright. We create our own reality and we should be acutely aware that good things are always attainable. There are many ways that we can do to enhance our prosperity. We should be patient and persistent, so things will get much better for our family.