Creating an estate plan is something that every person should
do at some point during their lifetime. Since the future is unpredictable, it’s
never too early to plan ahead and determine things like how your assets will be
distributed, or who will receive specific gifts when you pass away.
An estate plan is a combination of documents that specify
how you want your assets (including money) to be handled when you pass away, so
it’s important to make sure these documents are completed correctly and updated
Although most people create their estate planning documents
with care and attention, there are some common mistakes that people tend to
make. This post goes through some of the most common issues people have so you
can avoid them or take the necessary steps to correct them in your own estate
Misspelled Beneficiary Names
A common mistake with estate planning is misspelling beneficiary names in documents like a Last Will and Testament. It might seem like a small, inconsequential error, but a misspelled name could potentially cause unnecessary stress and grief for your beneficiary.
For example, let’s say one of your beneficiaries got married
at some point after you created your Last Will, and now their legal name is
different from what you have listed in your document.
Although it’s possible that the beneficiary could still
receive what they were intended to, it adds a layer of complexity to executing
the Last Will that would not have been there if the name had been correctly
changed in the first place.
In addition, depending on your jurisdiction, some insurance companies may require additional documentation from family members, such as an Affidavit, to prove the beneficiary’s identity.
Not Updating Your Estate Plan After a Major Life Event
An estate plan is comprised of living documents, which means
they can be modified as needed. You should revisit your estate plan is if
you’ve recently experienced a major life event, such as getting married,
divorced, or having or adopting a child. If you don’t, your estate plans may be
executed as-is without making allowances for circumstances that ma have changed.
For instance, if you got divorced but neglected to remove your
now ex-spouse’s name from your estate planning documents, there is a
possibility that they would still receive assets and/or property from your
estate even though you didn’t want them to.
Not Talking to Your Executor or Attorney-in-Fact in Advance
Being an executor in a Last Will or an agent in a Power of Attorney is a big responsibility that often requires a significant level of commitment from whoever is appointed.
Sometimes people will assume that close family members or
even friends are up for the task when they are not, so it’s important to not
only ask the person you want to be your executor or attorney-in-fact, but have
a serious discussion with them regarding their responsibilities should they
accept the role.
If an executor or agent is unwilling or unable to act on
their role, the final decision of who should act as your executor or agent may
fall to the court and the outcome may not be what you intended.
Avoiding Mistakes in Your Estate Plan
Executing estate planning documents when someone passes away
can already be a lengthy process, so adding unnecessary confusion with
avoidable errors only makes the execution process longer and more complex.
It’s important to review your estate planning documents
every time you make changes to ensure accuracy so that your estate plan can be
executed as smoothly as possible when the time comes.
Why do we go back to people who hurt us? A sexologist explains this unhealthy (and common) habit
Shelby Sells is an artist, photojournalist, and sexologist known for her exploration of modern sexuality. She has produced numerous videos, interviews, and articles on the subject, and is a sought-after speaker on matters of love, sex, and relationships. Sells is finishing her degree in Psychology with a Human Sexuality focus in hopes of becoming a sex therapist.
We see it time and time again in media, in our friend and family groups, and sometimes even in our personal decisions: The resurrection of painful and toxic relationships. The question is, “Why do we go back people who hurt us?” From a third-party perspective, it’s easy to point the finger and identify the harmful patterns in a person’s behavior, but is it that simple from an insider’s perspective? Not always, and here’s why.
We, as humans, are creatures of habit, meaning that once we develop a routine, it can be hard for us to break free from it.
The instability of an unhealthy relationship provides some folks with a sense of ease, and that’s why they’re drawn to it. There’s nothing to risk or lose when you know the end game is always the same.
For some, familiar pain is a source of comfort, so it comes as no surprise that those people find themselves in a constant cycle of hurt. Where this pain pattern stems from is unique to each individual. It can be related to childhood traumas or variations of abuse at any age. When pain is all you know, it can be challenging to seek alternative behaviors.
There’s also the instances in which we are blinded by love. It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship, even when it’s toxic. Later, we’ll tell ourselves “Maybe they’ll change” or “Maybe things will be different this time” in order to justify going back. Frankly, the drama itself can be addicting for some people. One friend told me that she gave her ex another chance because she believed he had to make up for how he had mistreated her in the past. While people do have the capacity to change, more often than not a person won’t change their innate nature.
Another reason people go back to partners who have hurt them? Because it’s easy.
Investing time and energy into a relationship is a lot of work, and the thought of starting over can seem daunting. Dating takes a lot of effort. Opening ourselves up to someone new inevitably comes with the potential to be hurt again. It’s scary, and that fear alone is enough to keep people at bay. Plus, why start over with someone new when our hurtful partner already knows us so well? It’s especially easy to run back to someone familiar if we are going through an emotional rough patch. When we’ve made ourselves vulnerable to someone and labeled them as a person who knows us, it can be hard to categorize them as unsafe. When you’ve had some distance from a partner, it’s also easy to romanticize the good memories until, suddenly, the bad memories are less significant. After all, repressing negative memories is a tool we use to protect ourselves from re-experiencing trauma.
Lastly, reviving relationships with people who have hurt us has to do with self-worth issues. Trying to break free from a toxic relationship, and then returning to it, feeds and fuels an unhealthy cycle of low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. These feelings can make us believe that we are undeserving of, unworthy of, or not good enough for a better love. This idea is heartbreaking—we are all deserving of love and healthy companionship.
Sometimes we go back to unhealthy relationships to seek validation from a partner who was unable to give us what we desired.
We fight to try and gain what they could never provide us the first time around. Also, it’s not uncommon for people in toxic relationships to experience a sort of “Stockholm syndrome” in which they begin to favor their abusers. Many people in this situation are convinced (either by themselves, by their partners, or both) that this is the “best” relationship they’ll ever have. Of course, this is untrue, and a tactic used to justify abuse and neglect.
The good news is that if you or a loved one find yourself in a situation like this, there is hope.
While it may be difficult to leave an unhealthy relationship, there are an abundance of resources out there to help you through the process. Ask yourself if your needs are being met in this relationship and if the pros outweigh the cons. Therapy is a vital outlet in working through the pain, letting go, and unlearning toxic patterns and behaviors. A colleague of mine, Crissy Milazzo, created a website called youfindtherapy.com that helps people access affordable therapy.
Besides therapy, there are a number of support groups, books, and online resources available to those who are trying to make changes in their relationship routine. Remember, a healthy relationship is one where your partner brings out the best in you, where you feel safe and secure, where you have shared goals and values, and where you are both equally emotionally invested in each other and in your future together. It’s never too late to break free from pain and embrace love.
The partial government shutdown, which began last Friday and is temporarily halting pay for some 800,000 federal workers, has touched off a heated discussion on social media about what it means to get by in the United States. Business
Like New Yearâs resolutions and fad diets, budgets seem destined for failure.
How are you supposed to allocate every dollar of every paycheck without hiccups or unexpected expenses? Can you stick to a budget and still have fun?
Thereâs one thing that so many budget experts skip mentioning: Thereâs not a single perfect budget template to rule them all. Every personâs financial situation is different, so there can be many correct budgets.
Now that youâve had that pep talk, you need to find the budget that works for you. Itâs not just about choosing between apps and paper and pencil. Itâs about cultivating a habit that supports your financial goals.
But itâs hard to get to the healthy-habit philosophy if youâre stuck trying to figure out whatâs coming in and out of your bank account each month or how to plan for your wacky billing schedules.
Weâve got answers for that. Read on for some basics and advice for tackling four major budgeting obstacles youâve probably already encountered.
How to Find the Right Budgeting Method for You
Your biggest budgeting problem may not have anything to do with your income, spending habits or savings goals; rather, itâs that you havenât found the right budgeting method for you.
With so manyonline templates,apps and blogger-designed financial planning tools, the search for the perfect budgeting method for your needs can take longer than you hoped. Hereâs how to brace yourself for the inevitable trial-and-error process.
Start With Info You Already Have
Whether youâre downloading the app your friend recommended or trying to pick the perfect notebook to track your budget by hand, you can take a few steps to increase your chances of budgeting success.
âBefore you actually sit down to make a budget, print out the last two or three months of statements from your credit and debit cards,â Bridget Todd, COO ofThe Financial Gym, says. âGo through and categorize everything.â
You can export your statements to a spreadsheet or use highlighters on printed statements. Doing this helps you see patterns in your spending in the categories that fit your life â not just the categories your old copy of âBudgeting for Dummiesâ suggests.
âSo many people track spending but donât use that information,â Todd says. âWhat are you spending money on now? Where is there room for improvement?â
Let It Percolate and Adjust as Needed
Lillian Karabaic, CEO ofOh My Dollar!, likes to remind her clients that the first month you set up your budget, youâll forget about things.
âThatâs OK. Youâre just getting better informationâ each month as you remember expenses, she says. âThe third month is the point at which, if youâre still doing it, you start to feel like youâre in charge of the budget.â
Key words there: If youâre still doing it.
Youâre likely to fall off your budgetin one of these two ways: You set restrictions for yourself but fail to meet them, or you forget to keep up with your budgeting method and give up.
âBudgets can be flexible,â Tonya Rapley, founder ofMy Fab Finance, says. âGive yourself space to adjust as needed. Pick it up and use it whenever you remember.â
You only really need the parts of a budget method thatserve you and your plans for the future. Todd doesnât like to think of a budget as a money diet, but rather as a place for goal setting.
If sheâs working with you on your budget, she says, âYouâre going tosave every month, then pay your fixed expenses, and then I donât care what you spend your money on â as long as you meet your savings goals.â
Feeling motivated to set up your first budget or revive your abandoned one? Get ready to face these money issues that can trip up even the most confident budgeters.
How to Overcome 4 Common Budgeting Obstacles
These four budgeting obstacles can trip up even the most determined budgeter.
1. Weird Pay Schedules
Monthly, twice monthly, biweekly â all you really want to know is when you get your money and how long itâs going to last.
Getting paid biweekly can throw off your budget when you come across a three-paycheck month. âThat magical third paycheck usually means that something is going to be wonky elsewhere,â Rapley says. âIt means you might not get paid until the middle of the month the following month.â
Todd suggests pretending you get only 24 paychecks so the occasional bonus paycheck doesnât throw you off. She advises her clients to âidentify the month the third paycheck hits and try to save that entire paycheck or devote it to paying down debt.â
If you haveextra money in your checking account, that wonky third paycheck may not faze you at all. Karabaic suggests building up a buffer of about one month of expenses and leaving it in your checking account.
While it can take a while to build up that buffer â she says the average time is seven months â itâll help you avoid overdraft fees and weird pay-schedule surprises.
2. Irregular Income
If you donât rely on steady paychecks, itâs hard to determine how much money youâll actually have on hand in a given month.
If youâre a server, bartender or other professional who relies on tips for much of your pay, we like bar manager Jeff Morrisonâs system of figuring out your income.
Morrison recommends tracking your income after tipping out other staff. Total your income for 10 weeks, then divide by 10 to get your average weekly income.
Itâs not a perfect science, but it can help you figure out what to put on the âincomeâ line in your budget. Tip-based workers can find more info on how to budget in this post.
If youâre a freelancer or one of the 33% of Americans involved in thegig economy, Todd recommends backing into the amount you need to live on by evaluating your monthly fixed expenses. Include line items like rent, utilities and debt payments, but donât forget to work in a savings amount â Todd says it should be at least 10% of your gross income.
Self-employed budgeters can benefit by taking a step back each quarter to examine their income. âIf youâre payingquarterly taxes anyway, you have this natural stopping point to look,â says Karabaic, who tries to increase her income by 10% each quarter. âItâs a good way to check on the health of your business.â
3. Irregular Expenses
What about expenses that donât come on a regular monthly basis? Weâre talking your twice-yearly car insurance. Your subscription to a pricy trade publication or professional association. That dental crown you know you should get replaced sooner rather than later.
First, tally up those annual or twice-yearly expenses. It can help to keep these in a separate list or spreadsheet than your actual budget, as the list may change as you keep or drop subscriptions, or remember additional expenses.
Then itâs a matter of adding up those expenses and dividing by 12 to find out how much they cost each month. âYou might open a separate bank account for your annual expenses,â Todd suggests. âThen when the bills come, you donât have to adjust your spending. Itâs similar to saving for Christmas shoppingâ throughout the year, she says.
It can also help to earmark cash for expenses you know will crop up eventually. Karabaic calls hers âa wish farm: categories for things I want or feel like I should be saving for.â Theyâre not necessities or the highest priorities, but she says it takes the panic out of making those purchases.
âCellphone replacements are a huge one. Glasses,â she says, adding the laptop she drowned with coffee to her personal list. If moneyâs tight this month, maybe you donât contribute to the wish farm, Karabaic says. âBut if youâre feeling flush, you can take care of future you.â
Once you start saving for irregular expenses, Rapley advises to plan ahead to anticipate them. âSet calendar reminders for two months before itâs due, then one month until itâs due, two weeks until due. Donât let these expenses take you by surprise. A reminder on the day itâs due isnât enough.â
4. So Many Due Dates
This oneâs easy: If you have a hard time remembering which bill is due when â or those dates just donât jibe with your cash-flow situation â you can ask to have them adjusted.
âIf youâre a responsible credit user, [credit card companies are] very flexible, and you have some control,â Todd says. âIt might mean you pay two bills in one month, a regular one and a small one,â while your billing cycle adjusts.
Utility companies are similarly flexible, and you can ask your internet and cellular providers, too.
âDonât change your due date to the firstâ for anything, Rapley says. âYou usually have a mortgage or rent due then, so space it out.â But she says that if you have the money for a bill ready before your due date, go ahead and pay it. âYou donât always have to wait until the payment date.â
Lisa Rowan is a senior writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Common Ground,” the fourth episode of “Outlander” Season 4. When “Outlander” last left Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Hueghan), they decided to take Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) up on his offer to settle 10,000 acres of land in America in exchange for Jamie […]
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News
We’ve all been there. You’re super excited about going on vacation, you get to the airport with more than enough time to get through security, and then the screen flashes up: DELAYED. Eugh. There’s nothing worse than having to hang around an airport for hours, waiting for your flight to take you somewhere sunny and beautiful. But, have you ever considered why your plane might be late? Here are some of the most common reasons for flight delays.
According to statistics, the number one reason for late planes is…uh… late planes. If one aircraft is too late to land, then it caused a domino effect to other flights. Unfortunately, it’s not really something that is within the airline’s control. They cannot physically land until they are told it is safe to do so. While you may be all ready to start shouting at the air hostess for running behind, consider that it might actually be another airline company that’s causing all the delays.
In nearly half of all cases, however, it is actually the fault of your airline – or something that is at least within their control. According to the U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), nearly 50% of late flights between June 2015 and June 2016 were down to something the airline was simply slacking on. This could be refueling taking too long, crew not turning up on time, aircraft maintenance, and so on. This then leads to other take-offs and landings being delayed (see above). It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation if you look at it that way.
Around 30% of delays are actually all down to the weather, which is definitely something that cannot be controlled. Well, not by mere humans anyway. Poor weather means that planes are unable to take-off or land, causing that Catch-22 situation we mentioned earlier. To be fair, we’d rather stay cozy in the airport for a little while longer as opposed to battling high winds or storms in a metal bird. Sure, we don’t mind weather delays one bit.
You and I are the kind of people to turn up early for security, right? Unfortunately, not everyone else is. Airport security has got tighter in recent years, which means that it can take a little longer to go through all of the checks. This can then lead to holding up flights, as dozens of passengers can sometimes still be going through screening areas. Less than 0.1% of delays were due to actual security threats, such as evacuating an airport or plane due to a breach, you’ll be pleased to know.
What you can do
So, can you do anything to keep a flight running on time? Other than turning up early enough to check yourself in and get through security, not really. You can also be mindful of all the poor airline staff who will have to deal with the aftermath of a late plane though. It’s not (normally) their fault that the flight is delayed. Unless they’ve turned up late for work, in which case it definitely is their fault…
But if you’re unsure of someone’s musical taste, and if your other half doesn’t even drink coffee, how can you tell?
A new study has determined one very simple way to tell if someone is a psychopath. And it’s something most people do pretty regularly.
Can you guess what it is? Yawning.
Research published in Personality and Individual Differences showed that when we see someone else yawning, we tend to find we’ve got one coming on ourselves. Why? Because a mirroring yawn is seen as empathetic and a sign of bonding. We’re not alone, either – lots of social animals behave this way.
However, psychopaths lack empathy, meaning that they’re less likely to yawn back at you.
Brian Rundle, lead researcher, explained: ‘You may yawn, even if you don’t have to. We all know it and always wonder why.
‘I thought, “If it’s true that yawning is related to empathy, I’ll bet that psychopaths yawn a lot less.” So I put it to the test.’
The experiment saw 135 college students take part in a test, answering 156 questions before being shown videos of other people reacting to situations. The clips showed people laughing, yawning, or staying neutral, and the results showed that participants who were less empathetic were unlikely to yawn, even after seeing someone else doing it.
So the next time you yawn, take a quick look and see whether the people around you do the same.
But before you start accusing anyone who doesn’t yawn of being a psychopath, Rundle warns: ‘The take-home lesson is not that if you yawn and someone else doesn’t, the other person is a psychopath.
‘A lot of people didn’t yawn, and we know that we’re not very likely to yawn in response to a stranger we don’t have empathetic connections with.
‘But what we found tells us there is a neurological connection — some overlap — between psychopathy and contagious yawning. This is a good starting point to ask more questions.’
Based on the book by Angie Thomas, the new film The Hate U Give shares the perspective of a teenaged black girl torn between two worlds. The novel’s film adaption speaks to a wide range of audiences and experiences as it addresses the challenges of 16-year old Starr Carter. Starr’s problems cross boundaries and provide lessons that can be applied to our personal and professional lives as it relates to our diverse and often polarizing political environment.
The film addresses myriad topics such as code-switching, covering, discrimination, diversity, police brutality, gun violence, trauma, voting, and activism. Film director George Tillman and the cast addressed these issues at a recent forum sponsored by the 48th Annual Legislative Conference, Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida’s 10th District, and the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association (MMCA). Actress Regina Hall, actor Russell Hornsby, and hip-hop artist/actor/activist Common also provided valuable insight around a plethora of timely themes found within the emotionally charged film.
Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, and Common (Photo Credit: Patricia McDougall Photography)
Code-Switching in The Hate U Give
Code-switching is the practice of switching between languages or dialects in conversation to suit the setting. Starr is continually switching between two worlds; the poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, we witness Starr struggling with communication issues we often face in our daily work lives, as we determine the suitable language and vernacular to communicate with colleagues. Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what is right.
‘Covering’ and Other Themes
Covering is the act of downplaying or hiding certain aspects of yourself so as not to appear different. The Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion report, Uncovering Talent, reveals that 61% of all employees “cover” their identities in some way by downplaying specific attributes, for fear of drawing unwanted attention or making others uncomfortable. Too often, covering does not provide the positive consequences we hope to achieve and is often detrimental to our self-esteem and performance. Taking cues from Starr, we understand covering is unhealthy and does not provide the results we hope for. Eventually, we remove the veil as the pressure to hide becomes unbearable and we show up as our authentic selves.
Starr encounters and manages blatant discrimination and negative treatment based on her race throughout the film. Many workplaces are plagued with discrimination and the lack of opportunities for people of color. In fact, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced 84,254 workplace discrimination charges were filed with the agency nationwide in 2017. By recognizing a lack of diversity in the workplace, we can aim to ensure people of color are in decision-making roles with decision-making power. Hornsby said it best when he stated, “the diverse stories we are able to tell from a black perspective are stories that are from opportunities. We show that we can do the work. We show that we are capable. We show that we are talented. We just need to have an opportunity.” Providing opportunities is a step toward combatting discrimination.
There is not one character in The Hate U Give exempt from some level of trauma based on events in the film. In the same way, we are not exempt from the trauma we experience directly or indirectly in daily life. According to studies, 66% of the general population has been traumatized at some point. Eighty percent of workers feel stressed on the job, and approximately 1 million workers are absent each day due to stress. It is essential to be aware that the incidents that occur in The Hate U Give are not limited to the movies but that we are encountering people who have these experiences in our professional lives on a daily basis. Empathy and sensitivity to the experience of others are needed more than ever in our professional and personal lives.
When discussing The Hate U Give, Hall eloquently explained how images reflect who we are, how we are perceived, and how we are received in the world: “Those images shape how the world is shaped and affects us when we apply for jobs.” When asked about diversity and his role in the film, Common explained how art gives us more insight into life. “Every time I get a new character, I start to understand human beings more. That’s why I want to play characters that are not like me, and that do not think like I think,” he expressed. Being exposed to people, experiences, and places that are not like us or that are different from our everyday lives is the key to diversity. Common and the cast agreed that when it comes to diversity we have a long way to go, but it is important to acknowledge the growth and recognize there are people on the front lines who are moving forward and being leaders in the area of diversity.
The Hate U Give reminds us that it is not only about diversity of color and gender, but also diversity in thought. As art imitates life, we continue to recognize that people come from all walks of life and that we are not monolithic as a people. As Hornby expressed, “There is no right or wrong, there is only truth.” As business owners and professionals, we must join efforts with organizations like the MMCA to ignite and sustain a call to truth and action that results in a significant increase in diverse representation in all areas of industry. At the same time, we must be keenly aware of the effect the lack of diversity and other factors have on our health and our productivity. The Hate U Give is a powerful tool that can be used to continue the dialogue and to challenge misconceptions that prevent progress.
The Hate U Give is in select theaters on Oct. 5 and everywhere on Oct. 19.