Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Pets (It’s Not as Weird as You Think)

An orange cat chewing on one hundred dollar bills

If the phrase “estate planning for pets” calls to mind pampered heiresses with spoiled, fluffy dogs, or old ladies with wall-to-wall cats in their apartments, you probably think estate planning for pets is absurd or frivolous. But imagine for a moment the elderly widower whose dog has been a constant companion since his wife died, […]

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Keeping Retirement Benefits Out of Probate

Human Hand Drawing Retirement Plan Growth Concept On Notebook

Avoiding probate is a priority for many people when making their estate plans. Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying, gathering, and distributing a person’s assets after their death. While many states have simplified their probate procedures, going through probate can still be a time-consuming and costly process. Accordingly, most people try to keep assets […]

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What is a No-Contest Clause in a Will?

Last Will and Testament

Will contests happen much more frequently in the movies than in real life, but when they do happen, they can cause great hostility and turmoil in a family, not to mention the expense of probate litigation that diminishes the assets in the estate. What is a “no-contest” clause in a last will and testament, how […]

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How Can I Keep My Estate Plan Private?

Estate Plan File Protected by Padlock

Have you ever wondered, “How can I keep my estate plan private?” Probably not. But with the recent death of music legend Aretha Franklin, a revelation emerged: the Queen of Soul had no estate plan, not even a will. With multiple lawyers on retainer, and a life-threatening illness she had been fighting for years, it’s […]

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Should You Disinherit Your Child?

Older Mother on Couch Considers Disinheriting Son

If you are reading this article, it is likely that the question of whether to disinherit a child has been troubling you. Many considerations go into the question of whether you should disinherit your child. Perhaps your child has developed a drug or gambling problem, and you fear that leaving them money would simply feed […]

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Why Do I Need a Health Care Directive?

Unconscious Woman in Hospital Bed

When you think of estate planning, you probably think of making plans for disposing of your property, and possibly of appointing a guardian for your children. Most people do tend to think of estate planning as something they do to make life easier for their family after they die. While that is certainly true, you […]

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What Your Children Need to Know About Their Inheritance

Senior Couple Talking About Inheritance

There are many reasons aging parents don’t talk to adult children about their inheritance. They may not want to their children by talking about their own mortality. They may fear that, if their adult children know an inheritance is coming, they will be less motivated to work hard themselves. And, of course, talking about money […]

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You Have a Trust—But is it Funded?

Empty Safe because Trusted Isn't Funded

If you’re like most people, it was a challenge for you simply to make it to the office of an estate planning attorney to make an estate plan. When you walked out the door, you were relieved, because you’d finally taken care of this obligation to your loved ones. The estate plan went in a […]

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How to Update Your Estate Plan After Divorce

Couple's Hands Signing Papers to Update Estate Plan

If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you and your spouse created an estate plan to provide for your child’s well-being in the event something happens to either or both of you. Now you’re getting divorced, or newly divorced. How does that estate plan need to change? If reading the paragraph above made you […]

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Seven Signs Your Living Trust May Not Function as Planned

Living Trust Problems - Pen writing Error and Fix

Almost every estate plan can benefit from a living trust. There’s a lot to love about living trusts: they can keep your assets out of probate, allowing them to pass seamlessly to your heirs; they allow you to control and use the assets during your life, and even to place conditions on their use and […]

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