There's no shortage of popular myths and misconceptions about the law, but one of the more widely held is the idea that after you die your lawyer will contact all your family members and friends and get them together in a single room so he or she can read them the terms of your last will and testament. Though this is a very popular myths and often encountered in movies and novels, it is almost completely baseless. The reality is that no one has a reading of the will nowadays. The probate … [Read more...] about Why Will Reading is a Myth
We all hope never to be in this situation, yet it will likely happen to you at some point in your lifetime. You receive a telephone call telling you that a close family member has died. What do you do? There is no way to avoid the emotional reaction that follows the death of a close family member; however, there are also a number of practical and legal things that must take place after a death as well. While each situation is unique, there are some common steps that should follow in most … [Read more...] about What To Do Immediately After the Death of A Family Member
There are some things that you can do for yourself with a little bit of information and perhaps the purchase of some specific tools or equipment. And of course there are other things that are best left to experienced and qualified professionals because in the end you may wind up losing more than you gain by trying to go it alone. Estate planning would fall into the latter category. There are websites out there willing to sell you generic template legal documents. The idea is that you simply … [Read more...] about Don’t Fall For Do-It-Yourself Estate Plan Traps
There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding estate planning that sometimes pop up. For example, some people believe that the state of California will inherit your property if you don't make a will or create some kind of estate plan. While this is possible, it is very rare. The process through which the state inherits someone's property is called escheat. Let's take a look at it and why it rarely happens. You can choose who inherits your property. In order to pass on your … [Read more...] about Will The Government Inherit Your Estate?
After you sign your Last Will and Testament, you probably expect that your wishes will be honored. So, what happens if a family member decides to challenge your Will? Successful Will challenges do not occur often, but they can cause the estate in question to be settled by state law rather than by the desires of the decedent. You can take steps to minimize chances of a successful challenge to your Will by making sure your document is airtight. Legality One way an heir can challenge your … [Read more...] about How to Avoid a Challenge of Your Will
If you own a small business, you have plenty to think about on a daily basis. However, have you considered what would happen to the business upon your death. If the business has been successful, you also likely have a considerable financial interest in the business. Without careful planning, the value of your financial interest in the business can be subject to either gift or estate taxes upon your death. Although there are numerous options that may be used to help reduce estate or gift taxes, … [Read more...] about Small Business Owners: Don’t Forget to Plan
If you have recently suffered the loss of a family member or loved one, you may be concerned about the legal steps required to probate the decedent’s estate. Probate is the legal process in court by which a decedent’s estate assets are inventoried and valued, debts of the decedent are paid and assets eventually transferred to the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. Whether or not an estate must go through probate depends on a number of factors. Wills, Trusts, and Estate matters are governed … [Read more...] about Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate?
When a person creates a Will, he or she chooses someone to act as executor of the estate. An executor is responsible for administrating the estate settlement process. Even though a probate court will likely be involved in this process unless the estate is very modest, it is ultimately the executor’s responsibility to make sure the decedent’s wishes are carried out. While steps vary in each case due to the unique aspects of each estate, there are several steps you can take to make sure your job … [Read more...] about So You’ve Been Named an Executor . . .
Many people die without taking the time to create a will or trust. Wills and trusts are powerful estate planning documents that allows individuals to be in control of the future. It’s important to consider the use of these documents, so that you can plan ahead. If you don’t take the time to plan, your wishes may not be respected. Take a look at the following 4 reasons as to why you don’t want to die without a will or trust. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to begin drafting you … [Read more...] about Key Reasons Not to Die Without a Will or Trust
A question that often comes up in estate planning is “How much money do you need to get a Living Trust?” The question is a fundamental misunderstanding, but a common one. Although there would not be much point in doing so, you can put as little as a single penny into a Living Trust. The question is based on the premise that Living Trusts are designed for rich people. It’s a false premise. Living Trusts are designed for anyone who either wants to give something for one person to manage for the … [Read more...] about Estate Size and Living Trusts