Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for Feb. 24, 2015:
MONEY TUESDAY - It is estimated that 55% of adults in America do not have a will. If you die without a will, you are said to have died ‘intestate'. This means that where your ‘stuff' goes is determined by the laws of the state in which you reside unless it will transfer by beneficiary designation or under some form of joint title. For many people the result would not be what you wished. Take a moment and make a list of all of your assets such as bank accounts, personal investment accounts, real estate, retirement accounts and property such as cars, boats, furnishings, jewelry, etc. Next to each item on your list, make a note of who it would go to at your death and whether it would get there by a beneficiary designation, a joint title or through the probate system. Be careful when trusting your memory. When considering beneficiary designations, be especially careful of the ‘contingent' beneficiary. The contingent beneficiary is the beneficiary who steps up should your primary beneficiary predecease you. We often find that the contingent beneficiary is left ‘blank'. In such cases, it is assumed that the contingent beneficiary is your estate…meaning the assets will pass to your heirs via the probate process. And if there is no will, that means according to the intestate laws of your state of residence. Also, you want to be mindful of joint title to real estate because if the joint titleholder predeceases you, then at your death, the real estate will also pass through probate. A few common scenarios include:
• Married, no children or parents living. If it's just you and your spouse, 100% goes outright to your spouse.
• Married, no children, one or both parents living. Here, your spouse will receive the first $100,000 of assets plus one-half the balance. The remainder goes to the surviving parents.
• Married with children. If you have children, the state dictates that the first $50,000 goes to the surviving spouse plus one-half of the remainder. The balance goes outright to the children. Note that if the children are ‘minors', they cannot receive property outright and, generally, the probate court judge will appoint someone as the ‘guardian-ad-litem' - something like a financial custodian - to oversee the money for the benefit of the child or children. While you may assume your surviving spouse would manage the money for your children, there is no assurance of this since it's up to the court's discretion. Don't forget, a guardian-ad-litem gets paid from your assets!
• Unmarried, no children but one or more parents living. If you are not married and have no children, then 100% of your probate estate will go to your parents equally.
• Unmarried, with children. If you are unmarried and have children, then 100% of your probate estate will pass equally to your living children. Note that if any of them are minors, the same rules regarding the guardian-ad-litem apply.
• Unmarried, without children or surviving parents. In this case, your probate assets will go to your siblings, equally.
For more information and a state-by-state guide, visit www.WelchGroup.com click on ‘Resource Center'; then ‘Links'; then ‘Intestate Succession Laws- State by State'. Your best choice is to consult with an attorney who is skilled in wills and estates.
BETH K - Dr. Beth Kitchin told us about fiber. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that simply increasing your fiber to 30 grams a day, could help people with metabolic syndrome lose weight and improve their risk factors for heart disease. Metabolic disease is common. People with metabolic syndrome tend to have an increased waist size, low HDL's - the good cholesterol, high triglycerides - fat, and moderately high blood sugar that is not yet diabetes. If you have metabolic syndrome, you are likely to get heart disease. The researchers randomly assigned 240 obese people with metabolic syndrome to one of two groups. One groups instructed to follow the American Heart Association diet. The AHA diet is low in saturated and trans fats, sugar, sodium and alcohol and high in fruits and vegetables and fiber. It's a healthy diet but can be a little complicated to follow every day. The other group was simply instructed to increase fiber to 30 grams a day.The average American only gets 15 grams of fiber a day!
Here's what happened after 1 year - both groups lost weight. The AHA dieters lost close to 6 pounds on average. The high fiber dieters lost a little over 4 ½ pounds on average. Both groups lowered their blood pressure and improved their “insulin sensitivity”, which means improved blood sugar. The AHA dieters were less likely to develop diabetes. So while the more complicated AHA diet was the better of the two, the high fiber dieters did pretty well – with one small, simple change. Now, this is not a huge weight loss over a year's period – but it's not bad. Especially when you just made one change.
Tips for Increasing Fiber Intake:
• Aim for at Least 5 servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day.
o 1 apple: 4 grams of fiber
o 1 medium banana: 3 grams
o 1 cup cooked broccoli: 5 grams
o 1 small baked potato with skin: 3 grams
o 1 cup raw carrots: 3 grams
• Choose More Whole Grains
o 1 slice whole wheat bread: 2 grams
o ¾ cup bran flakes: 5 grams
• Eat More Starchy Beans & Nuts
o 1 ounce pistachios or almonds: 3 grams
o ½ cup lima beans: 6 grams
That's 34 grams of fiber! How does eating more fiber help you lose weight? Researchers really aren't sure but it could be several things:
• Fiber is filling so you may eat less of other foods
• Fiber lowers the absorption of calories
So start filling up on fiber today and you may see your weight go down – at least a little!
ASK THE ANGLER - Reed Montgomery answered viewer questions about fishing. You can contact him with your questions at 205- 663-1504 or on his website fishingalabama.com - there you can find lake reports, fishing tips, upcoming events, and more.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, watch artists create spectacular works of art in the blink of an eye! How you can check out this amazing work and support cancer research! The pet doctor joins us to take your questions about your pet's health... remember to keep them inside where it's warm! And even though it's cold, we look ahead to spring and how to get your garden ready now! Mickey takes us to the Birmingham Zoo and we check out your entertainment headlines! Plus more winter weather headed our way and we bring you the latest forecast! Join us for all of this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!