With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in the United States, blended families have become the norm in today's society. If you have just created a blended family, or are planning to do so in the near future, there are a number of changes that you may need to make to your existing estate plan in order to reflect your new status as a blended family. Although each family is unique, the following are possible options to consider. Adding Your Spouse to Titles. Titles to real property, … [Read more...] about What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Estate Plan When I Create a Blended Family?
Estate Planning Mistakes
No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you own … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
If you don’t make formal changes to your estate planning documents after divorce, you may be overlooking many important things. Most estate planning lawyers strongly recommend reviewing your estate planning documents before and after important life changing events, including divorce. In most states, spouses who fail to remove their former spouses as beneficiaries in their Wills may be able to rely on their state’s default probate laws, but in some situations, this may be insufficient. You may … [Read more...] about What Happens if You Don't Make Changes to Your Estate Planning Documents After Divorce
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: One … [Read more...] about Dont End Up Rich, Famous, and Intestate
When someone dies, they typically leave behind various estate assets. This may include cash, investments, personal property or real property. All of the decedents property must be legally transferred upon his or her death. How the property is handled depends on a number of factors. Property held in joint tenancy with another person will pass by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant when the one of the joint tenant dies. In many cases, property held by husband and wife as community … [Read more...] about When a Decedent Dies, What Happens To the Estate Property?
The foundation established by the legendary singer Ray Charles recently found itself in the position of having to file a lawsuit against the late singer’s children. The basis of the lawsuit is the allegation that the children have violated an agreement they made with their father shortly before he passed away. The agreements, made two years prior to his death, provided a $500,000 trust for each of his 12 children in exchange for the relinquishment and waiver of any further claims to Ray Charles’ … [Read more...] about Foundation Files Lawsuit Against Children in Ray Charles Case
If you’re thinking about creating your will, you may have a lot of questions. This may include questions about what makes a will legal and valid. You want to make sure that your will meets all legal requirements so that your wishes are respected. Take a look at the information below to learn more. If you have any questions or if you’d like help creating a legally valid will, meet with an estate planning attorney. In order to create a will, you must be at least 18 years of age. Children … [Read more...] about What Makes a Will Legal?
Believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, the State of Nebraska has recently proposed legislation that would grant the executor of a decedent’s estate access to social media, e-mail, micro-blogging, and other similar accounts. The legislation would not apply to accounts that have been specifically addressed in a decedent’s estate plan with instructions regarding who should control the account; however, all other accounts would fall under the control of the estate executor if the … [Read more...] about Social Media and Estate Administration
We don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and says, “Yippee! Today, I’ll call an estate planning lawyer to discuss creating a comprehensive estate plan.” However, we do think you should consider creating a plan that addresses all you Why? Consider this solid estate planning lesson from the estate of author, Stieg Larsson, who wrote the incredibly successful Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. No Estate Plan Larsson died, suddenly, at age 50; he had no estate plan. None. What he did have was a … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Lesson from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Don’t Procrastinate
In California, certain small estates may not be subject to probate, instead they may be able to take advantage of less costly "small estate procedures." As of January 1, 2012, there is a new definition of "small" estate. The new limit is $150,000 in non-real estate assets and up to $50,000 in real estate. If your assets otherwise subject to probate don’t exceed these amounts, your estate may be able to avoid for expensive and time consuming formal California probate process. However, depending … [Read more...] about New California Probate Exemption in 2012