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
A Last Will and Testament typically serves as the foundation of an estate plan. Although the concept of a Will is rather straight-forward, mistakes can – and often are -- still made during the creation of a Will. To help prevent you from making them, let's look at some common mistakes to avoid when creating your Will. Using a “DIY” Will form. It may seem as though you are saving both time and money using a DIY Will form that you find online. In reality, you are more likely to cost your loved … [Read more...] about Mistakes to Avoid in Your Will
To our valued clients and friends, We sincerely hope everyone is taking care and following all of the recommended precautions during these unprecedented times. WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT DURING THIS TRYING PERIOD, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. In light of recent governmental directives for most persons to "shelter in place", effective immediately, for the most part, our firm will operate remotely. Fortunately, we are experienced with remote workplace operations and have the appropriate technology to … [Read more...] about Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
Occasionally, a client will ask, “Do I really need all of these estate planning documents?” Usually, it’s rhetorical questions and a joke about trees, but we answer the question anyway. After all, estate planning attorneys like trees. The estate planning documents that your attorney will recommend will be based upon your concerns, finances, goals, and the law. The consequences of not having these documents are often harsh. While you may need advanced estate planning, the typical basic … [Read more...] about Are All of these Estate Planning Documents Necessary?
Dying without a will or trust is called dying “intestate;” and, the intestacy laws of your state of residence, at your death, will determine who inherits from you and in what percentages. If you die with a well constructed and comprehensive will or trust plan, you get to decide who benefits from your estate. Typically, state intestacy laws don’t match decedents’ wishes. Furthermore, if you die with assets in more than one state, especially real estate, your assets would be subject to two … [Read more...] about What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will or Trust?
The death of a parent, no matter how old you are, is never easy to accept. If you recently lost your mother, you are undoubtedly dealing with the grief that follows such a loss. At the same time, you may be forced to address some of the practical and legal issues that follow a death as well. Among the most important of those is probating your mother’s estate. Typically, probate is initiated by submitting the decedent’s Will to the appropriate court. If your mother attempted to make a deathbed … [Read more...] about Is My Mother’s Deathbed Will Valid?
If you’re like most people, you may be startled to learn that your will won’t do what you think it should do. A will is effective for naming guardians for minor children, naming an executor, and directing assets titled in your individual name or payable to your estate. A will may not control all property because of the way most property is owned. For example, consider Marv’s will. Marv’s will provides that all of his assets go to his children upon his death because he spouse, his second … [Read more...] about When a Will Helps and When it Doesn’t Help
Warning! A will may not control the fate of some of your property. If you’re like most people, this is surprising to you. Your will only controls those assets in your individual name. Here’s what we mean: 1. Joint Tenancy Property: Many married couples own their house as well as their bank and investment accounts as joint tenants. Some single parents put a child’s name on a joint account or the house (not recommended) and some siblings jointly own a vacation home or hunting cabin (not … [Read more...] about Warning! A Will Alone May Not Control All Your Assets
Estate planning is important for everyone; however, it cam be even more important for members of the LGBTQ community. Because of the unique, and often varied, legal position that a partner has among the states, estate planning is of particular importance in order to ensure that your partner is provided for in the event of your death, and recognized in the event of your incapacity. While each situation is unique, consider incorporating the following tools into your estate plan: Last Will and … [Read more...] about Important Estate Planning Tools for the LGBTQ Community