Why Estate Planning Is Vital

It is not something that most of us want to or enjoy the idea of think about. After all, who really wants to dwell on their mortality and think about how their assets are going to be divided up among their loved ones? However, if you don’t have a plan in place, people who you wanted to inherit that money and other assets you worked so hard to achieve, may not actually get any of it. People wrongly assume that estate planning is just for the rich in society, when, it’s for everyone.

Failure to create an estate plan could mean very expensive and long-lasting problems for the people you leave behind in death. If you do not have many assets and do not think this applies to you, think again and look at some of the most important reasons why you should have an estate plan in place.

Protection for Young Children

Again, who really wants to consider their own mortality, especially thinking about the prospect and chance you may die young? No-one. However, if you are the parent to small children, this is something you should plan for.

By having an estate plan in place and a will, you can make sure your children are looked after when you’ve gone in a way you would approve. You can outline who you want to be their guardians. If they are under 18 and you don’t have something set in stone legally, the courts will make the decision on your behalf and the reality is that this is not always in line with what the deceased would have wanted.

Prevents Family Disputes and Fallouts

You’ve probably heard of the sad and terrible stories that when someone in a family passes away who had a reasonable amount of wealth, all the family members start arguing over who is entitled to what. These kinds of messy arguments and disputes can easily and very regularly do escalate and end up in court. To prevent this from happening, you should take the time to make an estate plan. With set instructions in place, it can eliminate much of the discussion and argument over who gets what and avoid nasty and lengthy court battles between people who really should be mourning and helping each other.

Protection For Heirs From Huge Taxation

AS we’ve established, estate planning is there to protect those you leave behind, and that includes providing them with protection against the IRS. One of the keys to passing on assets to loved ones is to do so without causing them tax bills. With estate planning with a reputable law firm, you can lower or even eliminate the state and federal estate taxes and inheritance taxes they may be required to pay.

Protection for All Beneficiaries

As we noted at the outset, estate planning is no longer reserved for the richest. Most middle-class families nowadays need some form of protection in place if the main breadwinner or breadwinners die. We’ve already noted it with regards to more specific assets, but the basic point is that if you don’t have an estate plan in place, the courts will make the decision of who gets what and this will take a lot longer, cost more and cause messy rifts between loved ones and family members that may never be rectified.

Professional Pest Control Solutions for All

If there’s one problem that every household – and indeed many businesses – suffer from, it’s that of pests! In the USA we have an abundance of wild creatures that can cause a variety of problems in the home and other buildings. Not only are we subject to infestations of mice and rats – common rodents that it can be difficult to avoid – but from larger animals such as raccoons, skunks and squirrels, each of which can cause damage to the home and garden.

Then there are the tiny pests, the ones that we often can’t see but can certainly feel! Bedbugs have made something of a comeback lately, largely due to cheap international travel, and ants are a perennial problem for great numbers of households. Bees can also be a problem, and a dangerous one if disturbed, and termites can cause serious structural damage in a short time. So, what is the answer? How best do you deal with pests?

Off the Shelf or Professional Help?

There are off the shelf products you can buy to try and eradicate some of the pests mentioned above. Bugs such as ants and fleas may be removed by way of a number of products – smoke bombs and more – and you can also put rat poison down for the rodents. But many people, quite sensibly, do not like to use these DIY products as they often involve some quite dangerous chemicals.

Rat poison, after all, is dangerous for your pets – let alone children – so should not be used in a home where there are young people and animals. Many other products of this type are also chemical-based, and they are substances that can have quite nasty effects. The best route to a pest-free home is to engage the services of a professional pest control service provider, one that uses the latest techniques and has experience in dealing with your sort of infestation.

Choosing a Pest Control Company

There are a many companies offering pest control services in the Connecticut area, so we recommend you look for one that has experience in the particular pests you are experiencing. The best pest control companies will be able to help with everything from bed bugs to wildlife problems, and will do so using the best techniques and materials, and have plenty of experience in the field.

Look for a company that has a website featuring customer testimonies and, if you are looking for commercial pest control solutions, one that has experience of working with pests in the workplace, which can present a very different problem to those in the home.

With the most efficient pest control companies you can enquire about their services – or ask for a quote – by filling in an online form. Some also allow you to attach a photograph of the pest or the damage in order that they can assess what they need to do to tackle it. The best way to get rid of pests is to get the experts in so if you have a problem, get in touch now and get started.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Investing in a New Truck

While in the past, trucks were once the go-to vehicles for construction workers, contractors and farmers, in this modern age and age they have steadily become a noteworthy sign of class, luxury and even sophistication. People in various careers and from different creeds, incomes and backgrounds have made the choice of investing in a brand new truck.

Not convinced, consider the following three compelling reasons why you might buy a new truck instead of a more conventional vehicle.

Raw Power

Are you located out in the countryside somewhere? What is the weather and climate like there? If it can change very dramatically throughout the year, and the roads are troublesome, having a truck at your disposal may be a sensible choice. Depending on the model you decide on, many are made to handle even the roughest of terrain thanks to their horsepower. As well as that beefy engine, they are also bigger and bulkier than cars, and provide you with better ground clearance. Something that might prove vitally important if there is a lot of snow you need to navigate across.

Do You Love Adventures in the Great Outdoors?

If you prefer to holiday out in the sticks in the middle of nowhere, rather than jet setting around the world at fancy beach resorts, then a truck is a nice investment. With a RAM truck, or a JEEP, for instance, you have the towing capabilities and capacity to take along a handy sleepaway camper, along with some bikes and your trusted BBQ grill. When you have access to a truck you can make camping and exploring the wilderness a more enjoyable experience, with the option to make it as comfortable as you possibly want and need.

For Work Purposes

By far one of the most obvious reasons for investing in a truck instead of a conventional car is for work purposes. If you need to tow or haul heavy equipment, whether its gardening and landscaping equipment, construction tools and machinery or something similar, a normal sized family car, really isn’t going to cut it. As mentioned earlier, trucks offer more horsepower and can handle even the heavier duty haulage and towing jobs.

It really doesn’t matter what industry you are involved in or if you just need to help a friend in need, a truck is answer.

Trucks Can Be Versatile Too

Depending on the model of truck you buy, you may also be able to get the benefit of something with power, but also one that can accommodate passengers too.

So, if you are in the market for a new vehicle and need something with a bit more oomph than the average car, look to trucks instead. There is a wide range of Jeep and RAM models out there. The best way to decide what is right for you is by making a list of capabilities and features you require from your automobile and then look at what’s available and find the trucks that best match your needs.

How to Test Drive a New Car Before Buying

It is thought that around 90% of people who buy a new car, test drive it before deciding about it. We are not sure what that says about the other 10%, other than they are very foolish. Now, many of them probably managed to buy a new car and didn’t suffer any problems or issues as a result of going into the purchase with their hands over their eyes. But, it’s the potential for making mistakes and those mistakes being rather expensive which is why we would advise against buying without test driving it first.

Why Test Drive?

The reasons why you should test drive a car before buying it are the same as why you should try on clothing before buying them. You want to make sure, in both scenarios, that they are a good fit for you. You need to feel comfortable sitting in, driving and travelling in a car, just as you do with a pair of jeans or a new frock. When you are looking at new car sales, test drives will help you determine the makes and models that are right for you.

When you arrange for a test drive, there are certain things you need to look out for. We have outlined some of the most important below.

Take Your Whole Family Along

Some people may think it’s best to handle all test drives on their own. Thinking that the peace and quiet will help them to figure out if it’s a good fit for them or not. However, the opposite is almost always better. You should not only take along your partner or spouse for the test drive, but any children you have, because you need to know how everyone who will be travelling in the car frequently finds the experience.

Check You Have an Unobstructed View

When checking the car while you test drive it, ensure the view you have through all the mirrors is clear and unobstructed. You also need to ensure that you are able to keep a close eye on all the important gauges and levels displayed on the dashboard.

Check the Various Controls

Run through the basic controls. Check the air conditioning functions properly. Find the turn signals and take some turns to make sure they work as they should. Run the windshield wipers, even just briefly, to make sure there are no faults. Basically, check all the controls to make sure you can operate them comfortably and easily. In some models, many people find their fingers are too big for operating levers, buttons and switches.

Check the Brakes and Handling

Obviously, you need to know that the car will handle well on the road and that the brakes work. Just because you are looking for a vehicle in the new car sales market, doesn’t mean everything will work properly. So always make sure you the accelerator and brakes respond as they should, and that the vehicle is easy to maneuver.

6 Family-Inspired Décor Items for Your Home

 

For people who do not have professional decorating expertise and experience, which is the case for most of us, thinking of home décor is overwhelming. If you want your happy family to inspire your home décor, keep on reading and we’ll round up the best décor ideas to consider.

  1. Framed Photo Prints

This is one of the best ways to showcase your family in your home décor. Take advantage of the free photo prints you can get from Shutterfly to do this on a budget. You can print a large family portrait, frame it, and display it in the foyer or living room. If this seems too grand and if you cannot select a single photo to show off, you might want to build a gallery wall, which is also sure to be a great conversation starter when you have guests.

For high-quality photo prints and other creative family-inspired décor ideas, be sure to check out Shutterfly.com.

  1. Hang Pics in a Clothesline

For a more bohemian and rustic appeal, ditch the frames. Instead, use a clothesline to pin your family photos. This works best for small prints like those from Polaroid or Instax cameras. This is a great way to showcase family memories, such as a recent vacation. Use only small-sized photos. To make it more magical, add a string of fairy lights.

  1. Say It with a Quote

Use family quotes to make your décor more meaningful. There are several ways by which you can incorporate inspirational quotes into your décor, such as through texts that accompany photo prints, framed art, and even a customized wallpaper.

  1. Family Tree on the Wall

This is one easy creative project that most of you can easily pull off. Start by painting the wall white so that you will have a blank canvas. Draw a tree. On its branches, display framed photos of each family member. If you are a big family, make sure that the wall has more than enough space for everyone.

  1. Memory Jar

Buy a big jar where you can keep everything that reminds you of your family, such as plane tickets and other mementos from family travels. Display it in the living room and show it off to your guests. It is a good way to start a conversation with your guests as you try to explain the meaning of everything that is in the jar.

  1. Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books are presentable. They add a decorative element on the top of any table. One secret to making it stand out is to choose oversized ones. Make the coffee table book interesting by adding family photos. Take this as an opportunity to tell a story. For instance, you can collate pictures from your favorite family vacation. Add quotes and notes about where the photo was taken to make it more special.

Make your home more beautiful with décor that is inspired by your family! Take note of our suggestions above to do this creatively!

Downsizing: How to Do It the Right Way

 

Whatever your reason for downsizing is, it is important that you know how to do it correctly. In the infographics below, we listed down the reasons why downsizing is a good idea as well as the tips on how to get started.

Graphic created by Pivotal Home Solutions

Tips to Follow Opening a Joint Account with Your Partner or Spouse

Many couples see opening a joint bank account, like one offered at https://www.gnty.com/locations/location-detail/austin-downtown as a way of taking their relationship to the next level. Just as it is vital you’ve got financial compatibility to work well together as a couple, you also need to be working towards the same kind of goals financially when opening a bank account together.

If you are preparing or considering embarking on a new stage in your life together, make sure you take note and follow the practical and helpful tips listed in this post. Joint accounts can be great, but also can go disastrously wrong if you don’t take proper precautions or think it through before signing up for anything.

Research, Research and Research Some More

Just as you would if you were investing in or signing up to a financial product or bank account solely for yourself, you need to conduct thorough research into your options before you dive in and sign up for anything. Look at the different accounts offered by a variety of different companies and the types of benefits you can avail yourself of.

Have a Good Handle on Your Partner/Spouse’s Money Values

As we noted at the outset, it’s important you think the same as one another when it comes to money or at least that there is a certain degree of cohesiveness in your financial values. You both need to fully understand where the money you have comes from, the value you each have on that money and what your individual spending history has been like up until that point.

Money and finances can be the source of bitter disagreements and arguments, so it’s important that you are both trying to work from the same playbook. A savings and financial strategy as well as spending boundaries are all great things to establish.

Make Realistic Plans for Budgeting Your Finances and Goals for Savings

Following on nicely from the above, you need to identify what your shared purchases and savings goals are and then figure out a realistic budget and financial plan that enables you to achieve them. A joint account could be an excellent idea, but only if you have similar plans to one another.

Appreciate and Fully consider the Risks Involved

Although there are great benefits that come from sharing your expenses and finances, there are also many major risks involved that you should address and fully consider before you sign up for anything. Both halves of the partnership will lose a degree of privacy as all who are named account holders will have full access to that account and will be able to see exactly what has been happening and where money is being spent.

Even if you only take it from the justifiable angle that you want to keep gift purchases for your other half secret from them, it is best to have a separate account for some of your own individual money. This should be budgeted for as being outside the amount designated for household bills and shared expenses and may be used for personal spends and play money.

Wedding Season Is Coming – Start Planning Your Bachelorette Party!

Summer is pretty much here, and while, for many, the warm weather is a sign of relaxation and fun, for anyone involved with a summer wedding it can mean a whole lot of stress and work. Not only are there dresses to order, speeches to write and rehearsals to attend, but there’s also the bachelorette party – arguably the largest responsibility of the wedding party.

A perfect bachelorette party is a near impossible contradiction of things: it is insanely fun without being effortful; it brings a group of often-unfamiliar friends together for a familiar party; it is active yet relaxing; it is wedding themed, yet diverting enough to take the bride’s mind off the wedding. Phew, that is a tough ask of anyone.

But if you look hard enough, and plan shrewdly enough, it is possible to pull off the perfect bachelorette party, even if you’re coming at it last minute. It’s all about breaking the night down into parts. First, you have the icebreaker activity, an activity that’s entertaining enough to bring together a disparate group of people, while still allowing for everyone to get to know each other.

A fun icebreaker activity that you see more and more nowadays is axe throwing. It’s an insanely fun way to get your friends together and it gets out some stress and frustration. Plus, it subverts the dumb gender norm that only men can wield axes. A perfect example of a successful icebreaker activity.

Next, you have the portion of the evening that’s best referred to as her last meal. Having worked up a small sweat with the icebreaker activity, it’s time to eat. But rather than just choosing any old fancy small-plates restaurant, this is the part where you demonstrate how well you know the bride-to-be.

Choose her favorite food, or, if you know it, choose her favorite restaurant. This is the part of the evening where you break out all the clichés: the bride-to-be sash, the cheesy printed shirts, the phallic shaped bric-a-brac and embarrassing, sometimes vulgar stories about the bride-to-be.

Finally, you have hair down portion of the night, the “capital p” Party part of the Bachelorette. After an icebreaking activity and an intimate dinner, this is a wild, well-earned culmination of everything the bachelorette party has accomplished thus far.

Yes, it usually involves booze. Yes, it usually involved some questionable dance moves. Yes, it almost always ends with someone ugly crying (out of happiness, of course). And yes, you will likely end up getting a greasy late-night snack. This is the way the bachelorette goddesses intended it, and it’s just the way it is!

Those are the fundamental elements of the perfect bachelorette party. The icebreaker activity brings people together and releases some of the leftover tension; her last meal indulges everyone in good food and juicy stories about the bride-to-be; and the hair down portion ties everything up in a big, messy, party bow. Now, all that’s left to do is to start planning!

Home Security Safety Tips

It’s a sad fact that security is a priority not only in a place of work, but also around the home. There will always be opportunist thieves who will do their best to take advantage of weak spots in your security system, so it is important that you make sure you have the best possible security measures installed.

Any thief seeing a home with adequate security measures is more than likely to move on to one that is not so well protected, so here are some tips that should help you deter potential intruders.

Outdoor Lighting – security lights that switch on when movement is detected are always a useful deterrent. No burglar wants to be illuminated brightly when breaking and entering, so make sure you have lights at all your potential main entry points. If you have an integral garage, remember that this is a very likely point of entry, and often not alarmed.

Update Alarm Systems – alarms are not just helpful, but essential. You should ensure that all doors are alarmed and windows too. Windows are often a point of entry – especially if left open by mistake – so check that yours have been closed and locked before you go out. Keep alarms fully charged and switched on at all times, and if you can afford one that is linked to CCTV then do it. These are the most effective of all alarms.

Toughen Windows – if you have an older house, make sure the windows are secure enough. Some properties may still have their original windows and these can be very easy to break in through. It is always sensible to have the most secure and efficient windows installed. For anyone in the Birmingham area, there is a glass company in Pelham – Oak Mountain Glass – which can help by fitting a toughened bullet-proof film to existing windows for added protection, which is a cost-effective method if you don’t  want to replace all your glass.

Install a Safe – it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but a good safe is a sensible purchase in any home. Burglars will typically take items that they can offload for cash – jewellery, watches, laptops and phones are some examples – so it can be added protection to hide your precious items away in a safe.

Be Aware – your typical burglar will not be sophisticated. They will find the easiest way to break in and enter – often by simply kicking in a door that is out of sight – and be in and out very quickly. Be aware of the security on your main points of entry, have them checked by local security experts, and take all the advice you can.

These are just a few of the safety tips that we came up with during our research, and we are sure there are many further ways of enhancing the security of your home. Have a good look around, put those valuable items out of sight, and if you see anything suspicious near your property, get in touch with the police right away.

Manscaping: All You Need to Know

It’s not only the ladies who want to get rid of unwanted body hair! Men are getting in on the act now – it’s gained the name ‘manscaping’ – in great numbers, and showing off their superbly shaven, smooth legs and arms in the summer. For some men, body hair growth is rapid, and this can lead to unsightly hair in the wrong places! That’s why the practice of manscaping has become more popular, and the old adage that looking good is feeling good certainly applies!

So, what’s manscaping all about, and what are the best ways of removing unwanted body hair? To be honest, it’s not just about looking good, but it can also be good for the body, too. If you are one of the unfortunate men for whom body hair grows thick and fast, you may well find that you sweat a lot, even in just warm weather.

This is because the hair and follicles – the roots, if you like – block in the heat, and prevent your skin from ‘breathing’ properly. Get rid of the hair, and you’ll soon find you are far more comfortable in the sun. Now, let’s talk about how to go about getting rid of that unwanted hair – with the least possible pain!

Sugaring Hair Removal

Think of hair removal and, male or female, you tend to think of the traditional wax method. This involves heated wax being applied to the areas you need to clear – and then pulled off! When this happens, it takes the hairs and the follicles with it, and it hurts! Fortunately, there is a less painful hair removal method that is becoming very popular. It’s done using a sugar paste rather than wax, is very effective and surprisingly efficient.

You will need to visit a salon such as L.A. Bikini – they perform sugaring hair removal for both men and women in most of their salons so check beforehand if that close to you is one of them – who are the acknowledged experts in this type of hair removal. They offer a full professional service in comfortable surroundings, and you’ll find the prices to be very reasonable.

Sugaring involves applying a sugar paste at body temperature – so there’s no heat involved – and when it is removed it is done so carefully, and in the direction of the hair growth. This is why there is less pain. Also, unlike wax, the sugar paste does not take with it live skin cells; it does remove the dead cells, however, so the result is superbly soft and smooth skin that is beautiful and ready for the sun.

This is a method of hair removal that comes highly recommended for men and women, and one that is highly effective and much more comfortable than a traditional waxing. Wherever you need manscaping, you can use this method and it is perfect for those who have sensitive skin. Have a chat with L.A. Bikini now, and see just how they can help with your manscaping requirements.