As estate planning attorneys, we sometimes hear from a client that wants us to provide damage control. The individual does not know where to turn, because their last surviving parent passed away without any estate planning documents in place. There are things that we can do in many cases to mitigate the damage, but this is a tough situation that could have been avoided. They say that the only two certainties of life are death and taxes. With this in mind, everyone is prepared to file their … [Read more...] about Make Wise Estate Planning Choices
Often, the smallest things have the most sentimental value. Your grandmother’s silverware or your grandfather’s railroad watch could connect you to them in a special way. Your mother’s ring or your father’s Boyscout bugle could hold a special place in your heart. Your sports memorabilia could connect you to one of your children in a unique way. You may want those items to go to particular beneficiaries who will cherish their sentimental value as you have. There’s an easy and flexible way to do … [Read more...] about The Little Things May be the Most Important
When you lose a parent, it can be one of the most emotional times of your life. Despite the grief, there will be estate administration matters that must be addressed. If a decedent leaves a Last Will it will be admitted by the Court for a probate process. If the decedent died without a Last Will or living trust the estate will go through a similar probate process. Although each state has slightly different procedures and rules, there are a few common things you should know that may help you … [Read more...] about Does My Parent's Estate Have to Go Through Probate?
Most of us assume that anyone worth millions of dollars would certainly go to the trouble of creating a comprehensive estate plan, or at the very minimum a Last Will and Testament. As with many assumptions, that one would be incorrect. A surprising number of the rich and famous have died intestate, or without leaving behind a valid Will, including the following: Sonny Bono: Best known early on as half of “Sonny and Cher”, Bono later went on to become the mayor of Palm Springs, California and a … [Read more...] about The Rich, Famous, and Intestate
In many cases, you will know if someone has nominated you as executor in their Last Will and Testament because they will have discussed the appointment with you. Sometimes, however, a person fails to discuss their plans ahead of time, resulting in a surprise telephone call letting you know that you are appointed as the an executor. If this happens, what do you do? First, don’t panic. A nomination is just that -- a nomination. You are under no legal obligation to accept the position. If you do … [Read more...] about I’ve Been Named Executor of A Will — Now What?
A comprehensive estate plan that was well prepared will include a funeral plan. By creating a funeral plan you will spare your loved ones additional grief and ensure that your wishes are carried out. Once written down, be sure to leave a copy with the trustee or executor of your estate and your estate planning attorney. Consider including the following information in your funeral plan: How the funeral is to be paid for -- life insurance proceeds, a trust set up by you, a pre-paid funeral … [Read more...] about Creating a Funeral Plan
The voice behind the famous song I Will Always Love You, was found dead of unknown causes in the bathtub of her hotel room just hours before the Grammy Awards. The untimely death of the 48-year old singer/actress comes after a decade of personal troubles including drug and alcohol addiction as well as the end of her highly publicized relationship with Bobby Brown. Just hours after her death, sales of anything “Whitney Houston” started to soar. The ultimate value of her estate has yet to be … [Read more...] about Whitney Houston’s Estate Value Soaring After Death