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Brentwood Estate Planning And Business Blog

Even high-profile professionals need careful estate planning

It is easier than ever to find out details on a person's life; this is especially true for people who are in the public eye. Actors, musicians and other high-profile personalities often give up a great deal of privacy when they are well-known or famous.

If someone in the public eye passes away, there is an even greater desire for people to want to learn about the intimate details of his or her life, including the contents of an estate. With that in mind, it is crucial to take steps to protect your privacy, your assets and your personal wishes in the event of death or incapacity if you are a high-profile personality.

Estate planning can go far for loved ones – including pets

Pets are like members of the family: they celebrate holidays with us, they comfort us when we’re sad and they depend on you – just like most relatives. It makes sense that more people are incorporating their pets into their estate planning.

When we plan our estates, we think about the will, retirement funds, power of attorney, we don’t tend to think about setting up support for our furry friends after we pass on. You can now set up a trust for your pet and assure their comfort into the future.

How do I fund a trust?

Setting up a trust can be a wise estate planning decision for people looking to avoid probate and certain complications of transferring assets after death. However, a trust could ultimately cause more problems than it solves if it is not set up properly.

For instance, if you set up a trust but do not fund it, trustees have no control over the assets you might have intended to transfer but failed to. In these situations, the assets would likely still go through probate, even if you have a pour-over will in place. As such, it can be crucial that you fund your trusts properly. 

Challenges of managing estate assets can last long after probate

Probate can be a difficult, complicated process that people are often glad to put behind them.

However, it may not be possible to put the process entirely behind you if an estate with which you are involved contains complex assets that require ongoing maintenance and legal attention. This can be the case if an estate contains assets that will continue to earn money.

4 things you must do if you start a business with a friend

Starting a business can be a frightening, but exciting, experience people rarely do alone. Most business owners require support, encouragement and contributions from others to get the business off the ground. This is why many people often decide to start a business with a friend.

However, for all the benefits that can come with starting a business with a friend, there are also drawbacks that can jeopardize both the business and the friendship. To avoid this, there are some important steps you can take at the beginning of your professional pursuit.

4 estate planning mistakes you can fix now

Too often, mistakes or gaps in a person's estate plan are not discovered until after the person is gone and can no longer answer questions or provide direction. Under these circumstances, the loved ones affected by the estate plan ultimately pay the price.

With this in mind, we encourage readers to address the following common estate planning mistakes sooner, rather than later. 

Addressing digital assets, access in an estate plan

Engaging in the online world is virtually unavoidable these days. Most people don't go a day (or an afternoon) without checking email, visiting Facebook or conducting business online. This digital element of our lives is expanding considerably, and it is crucial that people do not overlook this as they update their estate plans.

Whether you run an online business, store your photos in cloud-storage systems or are active on social media sites, you could have digital assets that warrant attention and protection in your estate plan.

What to do after a loved one passes away

The loss of a loved one can be devastating, particularly if it was sudden or unexpected. Spouses, parents, children and other relatives can be unsure of what to do, and many people don't know how they should handle complex issues like the person's estate.

These situations are undoubtedly painful and confusing. However, loved ones can take steps to begin the process of addressing a person's affairs. While it won't be easy to get started, it will be necessary to carry out the wishes of a loved one.

5 elements of a sound business plan

If you are thinking about starting a business, you probably already know that it is a major undertaking. You must think about everything from securing funding to pleasing initial customers. One critical tool that can help in each of these areas is a solid business plan.

A business plan establishes what your business is, what it does and why you believe in it. Each of these details will shape your company and build its foundation, so it is important that you take the time to create a thoughtful, comprehensive business plan. Below are some specific elements you will want to consider including in your plan.

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