Recently Lost a Loved One

Losing a loved one can leave you numb, confused, and overwhelmed. In addition to your own personal responsibilities, you now have to arrange a funeral or celebration of life and contact family and friends to let them know of your loved one’s passing. You have questions regarding your loved one’s outstanding bills and debts; how to gain access to the loved one’s bank accounts in order to pay creditors, accountants, and attorneys; and what will happen to your loved one’s assets.

Once you have had time to grieve with your family and friends, you should schedule a time to meet with an estate planning and probate attorney. The attorney can determine if the court needs to be involved and guide you through every step of the estate’s administration, providing you with as much or little help as you need. If there is a trust agreement, the attorney can also assist with its administration. Please know that you do not need to feel overwhelmed or afraid of your responsibilities, and you do not need to know anything about trust and estate administration—An attorney and other advisors can help you through the entire process.

Big events are the milestones of our lives, and they should also prompt us to begin or revise our estate plan. At other times, we look at our personal timeline and realize that we need to get serious about estate planning.

Celebrities often teach us great lessons on what not to do, and estate planning is no exception. Your estate plan will most likely not be as complicated as a celebrity’s, but it is important that everyone consult an estate planning attorney to keep the peace and ensure that your wishes are followed.

An attorney can help you make clear-headed decisions by providing wise counsel supported by the right legal documents.

Estate planning is making a plan in advance, naming the people or organizations you want to receive the things you own after you die, and taking steps now to make carrying out your plan as easy as possible later.

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Contrary to what you have probably heard, a will may not be the best plan for you and your family. That is primarily because a will does not avoid probate when you die.

Learn about the duties and responsibilities of a trustee and what needs to be done at the grantor's incapacity and death.

There are several options for who can be named as your successor trustee. Knowing the responsibilities of a successor trustee can help you make the best decision.

An estate plan, properly executed, can protect you as well as your family in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death. This eight-point checklist can help determine whether your estate plan needs help.

Making charitable giving a part of your estate plan is a great way to support your favorite charity without impacting your current lifestyle in any way.

A living trust that has been properly prepared and funded with your assets can provide many benefits for you and your loved ones.

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Trust funding is the process of transferring ownership of your assets from you to your trust. Learn more about this process and how it fits into your estate plan.

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Not everything you own will automatically go through probate. Assets for which title is held in your name only will need to be probated.

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When you establish a living trust, you name someone to be the trustee. Learn about the options you have for who you can name as your living trust trustee.

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There are many reasons why a person might decide to disinherit a would-be beneficiary. How to disinherit an individual depends on many factors including your relationship with that person and your state’s laws.

There are many reasons why a beneficiary might want to disclaim an inheritance.

Common estate planning myths, as well as the truth behind them.

Learn more about the family limited liability company (FLLC), a popular yet potentially confusing estate planning tool.

For family business owners, estate planning is crucial to the success of the business. If you have not already drafted an estate plan that includes the succession of your business, begin today.

The amount you will need to save for retirement depends on many factors including your anticipated lifestyle and how many years you have until retirement.

If you or your spouse served in the United States military, there are several pension benefits that you may be eligible for.

Because your successor trustee should be someone you know and trust, many people name one or more of their adult children in this position.

What is a living will vs a living trust? They are very different documents and do very different things. This article will help you understand the difference.

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Trusts come in many different varieties and serve a multitude of different purposes. Some of those are Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Credit Shelter Trusts, and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.

Estate administration is the process that occurs after a person dies. It includes collecting probate assets, paying creditors, then distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.

Without proper parental estate planning, a disabled child who is unable to live independently may be left extraordinarily vulnerable.

What to consider when you are thinking of disinheriting your child.

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The rules for what can and cannot be done with an inherited IRA can be complicated and confusing. Learn about three options to consider.

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How to determine how much life insurance you will need.

Learn the many reasons why it is important to have an advisory team for your estate planning.

Learn how discussing inheritance with children can help them be prepared to handle even a modest amount.

A family inheritance can mean more than just money; it can also mean passing down family values, traditions, and history to future generations.

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Beneficiary designations can be quite useful, but they need to be considered as part of your overall estate plan.

Having life insurance can give you peace of mind that if something were to happen to you, your family will be able to cover expenses and maintain the same standard of living.

Learn about the many factors to consider when planning for long-term care.

The tax benefits of setting up your own foundation can be substantial.

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The best time to create your estate plan is today.

Learn about the potential problems that can come with giving your assets away while you are still living.

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Learn about the five basic reasons why families fight over inheritance.

Most people don't think about how to hold title until the title company poses the question when you buy or refinance. Learn the most common ways to hold title to real estate.

A pour-over will is necessary in the event that you do not fully or properly fund your trust.

Rules from the FDIC clarify how you can ensure maximum FDIC insurance coverage. You may need to modify your planning to take advantage.

Learn how Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT) work and the advantages of GRAT planning.

Trusts can provide significant advantages to those who utilize them, particularly in protecting trust assets from the creditors of beneficiaries.