What Is a Nuncupative Will?

What Is a Nuncupative Will? – SmartAsset

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Making a last will and testament is an important part of your estate plan and there are different types of wills to choose from. A nuncupative will, meaning a will that’s oral rather than written, may be an option in certain circumstances. While state will laws typically require that a will be written, signed and witnessed to be considered legal, there are scenarios in which an oral will could be upheld as valid. Understanding how a nuncupative will works, as well as the pros and cons, can help with shaping your will-making plans if you have yet to create one.

A financial professional can offer advice on investing, retirement planning, financial planning and various other areas of finance. Find a financial advisor today. 

Nuncupative Will, Defined

A nuncupative will simply means a will that isn’t written. Instead, it’s delivered verbally by the person who intends to make the will.

Nuncupative wills are sometimes called deathbed wills since they’re often created in end-of-life situations where a person is too ill or injured to physically draft a will. The person making the will, known as a testator, expresses wishes about the distribution of property and other assets to witnesses.

How Does an Oral Will Work?

Ordinarily, when creating a will you’d draft a written document identifying yourself as the will maker and spelling out how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. You could also use a will to name legal guardians for minor children if necessary and name an executor for your estate.

An oral will sidesteps all that and simply involves the person making the will expressing his or her wishes verbally to witnesses. There would be no written document unless one of the witnesses or someone else who is present chooses to copy down what’s being said. The person making the will would have nothing to sign and neither would the witnesses.

There’s a reason oral wills are no longer used in most states: Without a written document that’s been signed by the person making the will and properly witnessed, it can be very difficult to prove the will maker’s intentions about how assets should be distributed or who should be beneficiaries.

Are Nuncupative Wills Valid?

This type of will is no longer considered valid in most states. Instead, you’ll need to draft a written will that follows your state’s will-making guidelines. For example, most states require that the person making a will be at least 18 and of sound mind. The will also has to be witnessed by the required number of people who don’t have a direct interest in the will’s contents. Depending on where you live, you may or may not need to have your will notarized.

There are a handful of states that still allow oral or verbal wills, however. But they’re only considered valid under certain circumstances.

In North Carolina, for example, oral wills are only recognized if:

  • The person making the will believes death is imminent
  • The witnesses are asked to testify to the will
  • Both witnesses are present with the testator when the will is dictated
  • The testator states that what he or she is saying is intended to be a will
  • An oral statement is made to at least two competent witnesses
  • The testator then passes away

Even if those conditions are met, the heirs to the will would still have to bring a legal action to have it admitted to probate court. The witnesses would have to testify to what was said and even then, North Carolina still doesn’t allow for the transfer of real estate through an oral will.

In New York, the guidelines are even narrower. New York State only allows nuncupative wills to be recognized as legal and valid when made by a member of the armed services during a time of war or armed conflict. The intentions of the person making the will has to be stated in front of two witnesses. State law automatically invalidates them one year after the person leaves military service if they don’t pass away at the time the will was made.

How to Prepare a Will

Having a written will in place can help your loved ones avoid problematic scenarios about how to divide your property after you pass away. If you don’t have a will in place yet, you risk dying intestate. There are a couple of ways you can create one.

The first is using an online will-making software. These programs can guide you through the will-making process and they’re designed to be easy enough for anyone to use, even if you’re not an attorney. If you have a fairly simple estate then using an online will-making software could help you create a will at a reasonable cost.

On the other hand, if you have a more complex estate then you may want to get help with making a will from an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help ensure that your will is valid and that you’re distributing assets the way you want to without running into any legal snags.

Generally, when making a will you should be prepared to:

When making a will, it’s important to remember that some assets can’t be included. For example, if you have any assets that already have a named beneficiary, such as a 401(k), individual retirement account or life insurance policy, those would go to the person you’ve named.

And it’s also important to note that a will is just one part of the estate planning puzzle. If you have a more complex estate then you may also need to consider setting up a living trust. A trust allows you to transfer assets to the control of a trustee, who manages them on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries. Trusts can be useful for minimizing estate taxes and creating a legacy of giving or wealth if that’s part of your financial plan.

The Bottom Line

Nuncupative wills are rare and while some states do recognize them, they generally aren’t valid in most circumstances. If you don’t have a will in place, then creating one is something you may want to add to your financial to-do list. Even if you don’t have a large estate or you’re unmarried with no children, having a will can still provide some reassurance about what will happen to your assets once you pass away.

Tips for Estate Planning

  • Consider talking to a financial advisor about will making and estate planning. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be complicated. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can help. By answering a few brief questions online you can get personalized recommendations for professional advisors in your local area. If you’re ready, get started now.
  • Along with a will and trust, there are other legal documents you might incorporate into your estate plan. An advance healthcare directive, for instance, can be used to spell out your wishes in case you become incapacitated. Power of attorney documents allow you to name someone who can make medical or financial decisions on your behalf when you’re unable to.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/FatCamera, ©iStock.com/Sean_Warren, ©iStock.com/LPETTET

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She’s worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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Source: smartasset.com

What’s in the Second Stimulus Package? – Lexington Law

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

On Sunday, December 27, 2020, President Trump officially signed off on the second stimulus package for Americans. This second coronavirus stimulus package totals $900 billion. Keep reading if you have questions about what’s in the second stimulus package, who can get it and what to do if you don’t receive it.

The Second Stimulus Package

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, also known as the second stimulus package, was passed in the Senate as a bill on December 21, 2020. President Trump signed it on December 27. This $900 billion stimulus relief package is the second round of financial support from the federal government to the American people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stimulus check offers $600 to qualifying adults and children, which is a 50 percent decrease from the initial $1,200 stimulus checks given for adults earlier in 2020.

The second stimulus package had some other alterations from the first stimulus package as the government made efforts to extend the payment to individuals unable to qualify for the original payouts. Some notes include:

  • Mixed families of American citizens and partners without green cards can now qualify for this stimulus. This group was initially not covered in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • Children under 17 will receive the same payment ($600) as adults. In the initial stimulus payout, adults received $1,200, while children received only $500.
  • In most cases, adult dependents aged 17 to 24 will not qualify for stimulus money. This includes disabled individuals, some college kids and some seniors.
  • There are lower income thresholds for both single filers and married couples compared to those in the CARES Act. This means individuals who may have qualified for the initial stimulus check may not receive this second payout.

Details of the Second Stimulus Payment

While the entire stimulus relief package is $900 billion, only $166 billion of the total package amount goes toward stimulus payment. Most Americans with an adjusted gross income lower than $75,000 can expect to receive $600 for themselves and $600 per child dependent.

Who Qualifies to Receive It?

If your adjusted gross income is $75,000 or less, you will receive $600. If you have child dependents, you will receive $600 per child. However, child dependents will be identified by the IRS definition of a “qualifying child” as being under 17 years of age. Therefore, only children who were under 17 on their parents’ 2019 income tax return will qualify for the $600 payout.

Married couples who earn a combined total of $174,000 or more will not be eligible for this stimulus. The CARES Act previously had the limit for married couples at $198,000.

Those who were marked as adult dependents on their 2019 taxes are ineligible for this round of stimulus funding unless they file independently on their 2020 taxes (in which case they would get the stimulus money retroactively). This includes college students who are claimed as dependents by their parents, as well as adults that are claimed as dependents due to their age or a disability.

The CARES Act didn’t benefit families with an American citizen married to a resident without a green card, but this second stimulus package does so long as the spouse without the SSN meets specific criteria.

To see the status of your payment, you can use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website.

Will the Stimulus Money Be Taxed?

No, the government will not be taxing the stimulus payments. A stimulus payment isn’t considered income by the IRS and won’t be eligible for income tax. This means your stimulus check won’t impact your next income tax return.

Can the Stimulus Money Be Garnished?

No, your stimulus money can’t be garnished. This is quite a difference from the initial CARES Act payout, which allowed individuals who owed more than $150 in child support to have their stimulus payment garnished. This second stimulus payment doesn’t allow garnishing, even in the case of child support.

The only exception is for overdraft fees from banks. Ifyou receive a direct deposit, a bank may choose to use it to cover any outstanding overdraft fees.

What If You Don’t Receive Everything You’re Owed?

Some individuals may find they don’t receive the full allotment of their stimulus check. This could be due to various factors, such as changing banks or the wrong income year being considered for your income threshold. Whatever the case, recourse is available.

Individuals who didn’t receive their entire payout can claim their full stimulus payment amount as a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 federal income tax return by filling in 2021. Note that this credit rebate includes the first stimulus payment as well.

Unemployment Benefits

Of the $900 billion package, $120 billion is going toward an extension of increased federal unemployment benefits. Qualifying individuals can receive $300 per week until March 14, 2021.

Freelancers, the self-employed and contractors can received an additional $100 per week on the $300 unemployment payout in some circumstances. This is meant to help individuals who typically have a combination of contract work and regular work.

Paycheck Protection Program

Approximately $284 billion of the total package goes toward forgivable loans via the Paycheck Protection Program, initially created under the CARES Act. Originally, the program looked to help small businesses (with fewer than 500 employees) cover employee wages, rent and utilities. The program stopped taking applications for loans in August.

Now, the second stimulus relief package has reopened applications. However, there are new rules in place. Applicants can only borrow up to $2 million. Additionally, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 300 employees
  • At least a 25 percent drop in sales for at least one quarter in 2020 compared to 2019

The Paycheck Protection Program also specifically set aside $12 billion for minority-owned businesses.

Foreclosure Moratorium

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has chosen to extend the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. Specifically, individuals are protected from eviction until January 31 and from foreclosures until February 28.

Note that the foreclosure moratorium only applies to mortgages backed by the Federal Home Administration (FHA). The FHA has become a common avenue for first-time home buyers, who may be hit the hardest by coronavirus, so this is especially beneficial for this group.

However, just because your mortgage isn’t backed by the FHA doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Many creditors are offering COVID-19 relief; you simply have to make your situation known.

Other Benefits

There are additional benefits in the second stimulus package, including these:

  • $3.2 billion to help qualified low-income families receive an additional $50 per week to help cover the cost of internet
  • $300 million to help improve internet broadband infrastructure in rural areas that have historically struggled with slow internet speeds
  • $13 billion for food security
  • Vaccine programs
  • A ban on surprise medical bills (starting in 2022) that states patients only have to pay their regular deductibles and coinsurance; health providers will have to work with insurance providers to cover the rest
  • New climate legislation, as well as $35 billion for clean energy projects such as wind and solar energy sourcing

Know What You’re Entitled to in the Second Stimulus Package

Now that you know what’s in the second stimulus package, it’s up to you to make sure you get what you deserve. After all, mistakes can happen as the government works on executing the many promises laid out in the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

It’s possible that more pandemic-related legislation will be passed during the Biden Presidency, but until we have more information on that, focus on understanding how you can benefit from the government’s help now.

Reviewed by John Heath, Directing Attorney of Lexington Law Firm. Written by Lexington Law.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, John Heath earned his BA from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University. John has been the Directing Attorney of Lexington Law Firm since 2004. The firm focuses primarily on consumer credit report repair, but also practices family law, criminal law, general consumer litigation and collection defense on behalf of consumer debtors. John is admitted to practice law in Utah, Colorado, Washington D. C., Georgia, Texas and New York.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

Source: lexingtonlaw.com

Amex Yurt Villages: An incredible dinner at Lilia in New York City

Amex Yurt Villages: An incredible dinner at Lilia in New York City

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Host Jane Pauley Sells Hudson River Retreat for $6.3M

The host of “CBS Sunday Morning,” Jane Pauley, has hosted a sale of her Palisades, NY, retreat for $6.3 million.

Pauley and her husband, Garry Trudeau, the creator of the comic strip “Doonesbury,” profited from their investment. The couple purchased the picturesque property for $2.3 million in 2015, real estate records show. They successfully sold the home in July.

Known as the “House in the Woods,” the four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom, Tudor-style stone cottage offers scenic views of the Hudson River. Completed in the 1920s, with over 3,100 square feet of interior space, the waterfront abode had been off market when it was quietly sold.

Jane Pauley's Hudson River home
Jane Pauley’s Hudson River home


While scant details are available, we do have some information from earlier occasions when the vacation getaway popped up on the market.

The small home comes with big names attached to it. The author John Steinbeck called the place home in the 1940s, as did the filmmaker Orson Welles and the English stage and screen stars Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh. 

The private enclave where the home is located, Sneden’s Landing, is less than an hour from Manhattan and has attracted notable residents for decades.

Other A-list residents in the Hudson River hamlet have included Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Al Pacino. Scarlett Johansson reportedly bought a home in the village in 2018, and Angelina Jolie spent some of her childhood years there.

The original owners were apparently inspired by homes they saw on a trip through the French countryside, according to a previous listing description.

Hand-built with stone, brick, and mortar, the house features chestnut wood plank floors made from trees on the property. Other details include three fireplaces, leaded glass windows, and a slate roof. Two large millstones have been incorporated into the stone fireplace.

Surely, this haven for Hollywood will continue to be a draw. On a bluff over the Hudson River, the country hideaway is close enough to the city for a quick escape from urban life. Potentially, the new owner might be able to add to the 2.4-acre property.

Pauley, a long-time broadcast journalist, anchors “CBS Sunday Morning.” Previously, the Emmy-Award winner held a position with NBC’s “Today” show, and she has also co-hosted “Dateline.”

Trudeau, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “Doonesbury” in 1975, also executive produces the Amazon Studios series “Alpha House.”

Source: realtor.com

COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Extends Rental Relief

The 5,600-page coronavirus relief bill signed by President Trump on December 27 includes provisions extending assistance to renters. So reports The New York Times.

A moratorium on rental evictions, previously extended through December 31, will now last until January 31. The bill also includes $25 billion in relief for renters who have fallen behind.

Aside from the relief agreement, federal regulators previously extended mortgage forbearance relief and foreclosure protection for homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Read the full article from The New York Times. 

Source: themortgageleader.com

How to Retire in Brazil: Costs, Visas and More

How to Retire in Brazil: Costs, Visas and More – SmartAsset

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Brazil, which has a population of some 213 million, is known for its passionate and fun-loving people, beautiful beaches and pristine rain forests that are home to an array of fauna and flora. Portuguese is the national language, and proficiency in English is rare, especially outside the main cities. Americans will find the cost of living favorable, and in some cases, one’s Social Security check may be enough to live on. The right financial advisor can help you plan for your Brazilian retirement as well as help you navigate some of the tax laws and other implications of moving abroad. Here’s what you need to know about South America’s largest nation.

Cost of Living and Housing in Brazil

According to Numbeo, a cost-of-living database, Brazil’s consumer prices are about 54% lower than in the U.S., and rent prices in Brazil are about 80% lower than in the U.S.

The most popular destination for retirees in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. If you were to rent a one-bedroom apartment in central Rio de Janeiro, you could expect to pay about $325 per month. If you chose to get a three-bedroom apartment in the same area, you could expect to pay about $675 per month. By contrast, in central New York City, a one-bedroom apartment costs about $3,416 per month and a three-bedroom apartment goes for about $6,600 per month.

However, if you didn’t want to live in the city center, housing in Rio is still significantly cheaper than in the U.S. A one-bedroom outside of the city center costs about $237 per month, and a three-bedroom costs about $675 per month. In contrast, a one-bedroom outside of central New York City costs about $2,006 per month, and a three-bedroom in the same area costs about $3,482 per month.

Retire in Brazil – Visas and Residence Permit

Americans can retire to Brazil on a retiree visa. To obtain a retirement visa, you must be over age 60 and have a pension that earns at least $2,000 per month. To apply for the retirement visa, you must apply at least four to eight weeks before arriving in Brazil. You must apply through a consulate general office or the Brazilian embassy and provide several personal documents, including a copy of your birth certificate.

You can find more information on the website of the Brazilian Consulate General.

Retire in Brazil – Healthcare

Brazil runs a universal healthcare system that is administered by cities and states and funded by local, state and federal taxes. Healthcare, including primary, outpatient specialty, mental health and hospital care, as well as prescription drug coverage, is available to anyone who is legally in Brazil, including people living there on retiree visas. Although universal and free, wait times to access care can be very long. And the quality of care is not highly regarded: The World Health Organization ranks the nation’s healthcare system as 125 out of 191 nations.

Private hospitals can be found in all major cities and are significantly less expensive than in the U.S. For example, private insurance costs up to $250 per person and covers physicals, medicine and hospitalization.

Retire in Brazil – Taxes

All Brazilian residents are required to pay taxes. Income taxes on global income are taxed at a progressive rate that maxes out at 27.5%. In the U.S., depending on how much you earn, you may pay up to 37% of taxes. However, pensions are often taxed differently.

Sales tax in Brazil is up to 17%. This is compared with the U.S. tax rate of 7.25%, so sales taxes are significantly higher in Brazil.

All American citizens must file taxes each year. It is wise to work with a tax professional or other financial professional to ensure that your pension earnings are not taxed in both the U.S. and Brazil.

Retire in Brazil – Safety

From petty theft to violent crime, Brazil has a problem with personal safety, especially in the country’s larger cities such as Rio de Janeiro. According to the Gallup Law and Order 2020 Report, Brazil is a country in which people feel least safe walking alone. Likewise, the U.S. Department of State assessed a critical-threat location for crime. It’s crucial to exercise extreme caution in December and January. During the holiday season, Brazil experiences crime increases because of Brazil’s prison furloughs when prisoners are allowed to leave during the holidays.

So, when visiting or living in Brazil, it is wise to travel with a partner. This is especially true at night. It’s also wise to avoid high-risk areas. Brazil’s neighbors, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia and Guyana, are known for having high crime rates. These crimes do cross borders and include illegal drug trade and personal crime. Therefore, it is advised that people avoid border areas.

The Takeaway

Brazil is a beautiful country full of people ready to welcome American retirees. Its people are ranked as the 32nd most happy in the world, according to the World Happiness Report. It is much less expensive than the U.S., which helps explain why it is such a popular place for foreigners to retire in. Violent crime is a problem in the largest cities. It is recommended to visit the nation several times before making a final decision to settle down.

Tips to Help You Afford Retirement

  • A financial advisor can help you understand the finer points of relocating, including the tax implications. Finding the right financial advisor who fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors to help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Because Brazil is so inexpensive, you can retire comfortably on a little more than the average Social Security benefit. You can estimate your benefit amount with this Social Security calculator.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/zxvisual, ©iStock.com/TK, ©iStock.com/Global_Pics

Ashley Chorpenning Ashley Chorpenning is an experienced financial writer currently serving as an investment and insurance expert at SmartAsset. In addition to being a contributing writer at SmartAsset, she writes for solo entrepreneurs as well as for Fortune 500 companies. Ashley is a finance graduate of the University of Cincinnati. When she isn’t helping people understand their finances, you may find Ashley cage diving with great whites or on safari in South Africa.

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