Your Successor Trustee is the person you’ll appoint to step in and take over the property owned by your Revocable Living Trust in the event of your disability or death. The person you choose will have an important and possibly complex job to do, and you’ll want to make your selection wisely. Here are just a few of the qualities you’ll want to consider when choosing a Successor Trustee: Organized: Your Successor Trustee will likely be in charge of financial accounts and investments as well as … [Read more...] about Qualities to Look for In a Successor Trustee
Wills and Trusts
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, and the experience can be all the more difficult when you don’t receive the inheritance you were expecting. Estate planning attorneys frequently get phone calls from potential clients who believe they were treated unfairly and want to contest a loved one’s will. However, just being dissatisfied with how you’re treated in the will – no matter how unfair that treatment might be – is not enough to successfully challenge a will. In order to … [Read more...] about Contesting That Will Might Not be as Easy as You Think
We’ve all heard of Will contests. Once a Will is admitted to Probate, a notice is published that lets the public know the Probate process is underway, and disgruntled heirs or beneficiaries who are unhappy with their share of a loved one’s estate have a chance to join in the already-in-progress legal proceeding to voice their discontent. Of course, there are rules that must be followed, and specific facts that have to be proved in order to win a Will contest, but filing a Will contest – and … [Read more...] about Can a Trust be Contested?
If you’re a parent, you likely put a lot of time and careful thought into choosing a guardian for your children when they were babies or toddlers. But, as time passes and your children grow, the person who initially would have made the perfect guardian might not seem like such a great choice. For example, the grandmother or grandfather who was in perfect health ten years ago might be in a nursing home now. Or, the close family friend whom your children adored when they were preschoolers might … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Update: Time to Choose a New Guardian?
When you’re establishing a trust, you’ll need to choose an initial trustee, and at least one successor trustee. Especially in the case of a Living Trust, you’ll most likely serve as initial trustee, and you’ll likely name your spouse to serve as successor trustee. But what if you’re not married, or you know that your spouse is not the best choice? In this case, you’ll want to choose your successor trustee wisely. Once your successor trustee steps into that role, it’s not easy to get him or … [Read more...] about Choose Your Successor Trustee Wisely
When you die leaving behind a will, your executor is the person you choose as the representative of your estate for purposes of probate. Depending on the size and complexity of your estate, your Executor’s job might be relatively simple, or it might get quite complicated. Here’s an overview of the basic duties of an executor: File the appropriate documents with the court to open probate Notify the beneficiaries named in the will (and sometimes heirs not named in the will) that your estate … [Read more...] about What Will My Executor’s Duties Be?
One of the ways that a will can be successfully challenged is to prove that the person making the will (the “testator”) was under “undue influence” at the time the will was made. This essentially means proving that someone injected himself or herself into the testator’s life, and had so much power over the testator, that the testator’s will reflects not the desires of the testator, but the desires of the person controlling him or her. In order to win on a claim of undue influence, the person … [Read more...] about Definition: Undue Influence
If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, and your child receives government benefits because of his or her disability, then simply leaving an inheritance to your child through your will is not enough to take care of him or her. In fact, planning your estate in this way might do more harm than good. Why? Because, as you know, your child is only allowed to have very limited assets. So, even if you leave him or her a small inheritance, say, $5,000, your child can lose essential … [Read more...] about Have a Child With Special Needs? You Need More Than a Will
One of the benefits of choosing a revocable living trust over a will is that, in many cases, when the trust maker passes away, his or her trust can be settled quicker and more efficiently than a will can be probated. So, exactly how long does it take to settle a trust? The answer is, “it depends”. There are a lot of factors that, taken together, determine how long it will take for your successor trustee to transfer the property in your trust to the appropriate beneficiaries. Here are a few … [Read more...] about How Long Does it Take to Settle a Revocable Living Trust?
A holographic will is one that’s handwritten. Some states recognize holographic wills as valid, and some states don’t. And among the states that accept holographic wills, there are a variety of requirements. In Texas, a holographic will is considered valid as long as it’s entirely in the handwriting of the person making the will, and it’s signed by him or her. Of course, the person making the will also has to have the necessary intent, plus the legal capacity to make a will. Sound like a … [Read more...] about What is a Holographic Will?