Most estate planning attorneys have some sort of horror story that he or she can share, if they are so inclined. An all too common one is that someone's property was left in a Will or Trust to people that the deceased did not even know. The spouses and children of the deceased then go to the estate planning attorney and ask for a way to fix the problem. This can happen when the deceased went to a non-specialist to get an estate plan. Non-specialists often have some form Wills and Trusts that … [Read more...] about Mistakes in Your Estate Plan
wills and trusts
Are you concerned your estate is going to go into litigation following your passing? Estate litigation is the process by which the estate is being contested by one or more parties. If you are worried about this happening with your estate, discuss your concerns with your estate planning lawyer. There are a number of ways to avoid these costly court proceedings. These include the following: Gift your assets: because so many fights occur over sentimental property following someone’s passing, … [Read more...] about Can You Avoid Estate Litigation?
Do you have your suspicions that one of your heirs might be dissatisfied with the way you’ve structured your estate plan? Are your children apt to fight over their inheritances? If you’re worried that your loved ones might be unhappy enough with your will to contest it in court, you might want to meet with an estate planning attorney and talk about whether a living trust would be a better option. Unlike a will, a properly funded living trust allows your assets to avoid probate. And, while this … [Read more...] about Worried About a Will Contest? A Trust May be the Way to Go
Karel Fortyn was 52 when he died of a stroke in early May. He was a life-long lover of reptiles, and he’d built a business around them: Fortyn was the owner of the Seaway Serpentarium in Ontario, Canada. The Serpentarium, operated out of Fortyn’s home, boasted a collection of more than 200 snakes and other reptiles – many of them rare species. Aside from his collection of reptiles, Fortyn left behind a former common-law wife and a brother, but, unfortunately, no Will. Now, his brother and his … [Read more...] about An Unusual Example of the Need for Estate Planning
Everyone needs a basic estate plan. This is a set of documents you put in place that helps to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled when it comes to the management of your personal life and your finances in case you become disabled, and that controls the distribution of your property when you pass away. The Makeup of a Basic Estate Plan Generally, a basic estate plan will include the following documents: A Last Will and Testament: You use your Will to express your wishes regarding how your … [Read more...] about Basic Estate Planning and Advanced Estate Planning: What’s the Difference?
When you’re making an estate plan, it’s easy to become so focused on making sure your large assets go to the appropriate individuals that you don’t pay enough attention to what should happen to your personal possessions. After all, your household “stuff” isn’t that valuable, so there’s no real need to address it as thoroughly as you do your big, financial assets, right? Wrong! Even though your personal possessions might not have much monetary value, certain items are likely to have an immense … [Read more...] about Who Will Get Your Personal Possessions When You Pass Away?
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?