Families argue. It's not the most shocking statement ever made because it's true and we all know it's true. However, it's a more shocking opening than the actual subject of this post: families argue about money. It's a universal truth and a statement that should not surprise anyone. Yet, many people do not think about it when they are making their estate plans. It does not matter how much wealth, or lack thereof, you leave behind, your family may well have arguments about it. Not everyone … [Read more...] about Family Arguments – How to Address Them in your Estate Plan
Estate and Trust Settlement
With so many people creating Revocable Living Trusts today, it is not unusual for someone to find that they have been appointed as a Trustee upon the death of a family member. Some Trustees are called upon to pay the Trustor's bills and distribute the Trust assets as instructed by the Trust. At other times, the Trust was intended to last for a long time and the Trustee has an ongoing duty to manage the Trust such as in the case for Trusts set up for the benefit of young children. If you have … [Read more...] about Trustee Duties: Some Tips
Everyone knows that an estate plan can ensure your chosen beneficiaries receive the right inheritance. But did you know there are other benefits too? Here’s five things a good estate plan can for you. Protect Against Disability – No, your estate plan can’t prevent disability from striking but it can certainly ensure that you and your estate are protected if it happens. Using an Advanced Health Care Directive and General Durable Power of Attorney can ensure that your medical wishes are … [Read more...] about Five Lesser Known Benefits of Good Estate Planning
Under ideal circumstances, you will know well ahead of time if someone plans to nominate you to be the executor in a Last Will and Testament. Of course we all know that life doesn't always present us with ideal circumstances. If you have recently been notified that someone died and nominated you to be the executor of the estate in his or her Will, you may be wondering what to do next. To begin with, you need to know that you are not required to accept the position of executor. You are free to … [Read more...] about So You’ve Been Named the Executor of A Will. Now What?
Many who have yet to create an estate plan tell themselves “When I become rich and famous I’ll do it because then I will really need one”. Surprisingly, many of the rich and famous still don’t get around to it, creating a legal nightmare when they die. Consider the following short list of rich and famous persons who failed to leave behind an effective estate plan. Abraham Lincoln: Despite being a lawyer himself, even the 16th President of the United States died intestate. Jimi Hendrix: … [Read more...] about Dont End Up Rich, Famous, and Intestate
If you are one of the millions of Americans who has failed to create an estate plan, you are officially signed up for the government estate plan. When you fail to execute as much as a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust prior to your death, your estate will be handled according to the government’s rules and laws since you are considered to have died intestate. So how does the government estate plan work? For starters, except for the most modest estates, it is likely that everything you … [Read more...] about The Government Estate Plan for Intestacy
When serving as executor of an estate, you are responsible for identifying legitimate creditor claims. If you didn’t know better, you might accidently pay claims that aren’t due, such as student loans. The liability for student loans in canceled at death. If you’re responsible for settling an estate (or trust) be sure to consult a probate – estate planning attorney for good advice. Executor Duties This is a list of common executor duties in California: Lodge the will and file … [Read more...] about Student Loans and Death
A trust creates a special relationship between people and property that the trust owns. The person who created the trust, called the trustor, transfers ownership of his or her property to the trust as the new owner. Trustors are also sometimes referred to as settlors and trust makers. The trustor also states who shall receive the benefit of that property, a person known as a beneficiary, and who shall manage the property for the trust, known as the trustee. But can a trustor also be a … [Read more...] about Trustors, Trustees and Beneficiaries – The Same Person?
Letters of administration and letters testamentary are specific types of legal documents that are used in the probate process, the court-based legal process in which property that a deceased person owned is transferred to others. The laws and procedures involved in the issuance of these letters of differ by the type of probate procedure involved. The following discussion discusses California's procedures. The Probate Process: Once a person dies with either a will or no will or trust, someone … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Terminology: Letters of Administration and Letters Testamentary
Trusts have been around for hundreds of years; specifically, the living trust gained popularity in the 1970s as a probate avoidance technique. Today, living trusts are often used as a foundational document in estate plans. We’ve found that many folks have both questions and misconceptions about the living trust; so, in this three part series, we answer your living trust questions. Will I always be the trustee of my living trust? You can be the trustee of your trust as long as you are … [Read more...] about Answers To Your Living Trust Questions (2 of 3)