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Comedian Jerry Lewis died recently at age 91. Unlike many celebrities, he apparently owned most of his assets outright and disposed of them through a will. That has a least two effects. One is that the estate must go through the time and expense of the probate process. The other effect is that the details […]
If you don’t have an estate plan, the government’s going to prepare one for you, and you might not like it. This article explains that when you don’t appoint a agent with a power of attorney or a successor trustee who can act for you when you start to fade, the government will appoint someone […]
Wills are public documents. They’re filed in a local probate court and available for anyone to view. That’s why many wealthy people hold the bulk of their assets through trusts that avoid probate. David Rockefeller, the last remaining grandson of John D. Rockefeller, died recently. A large part of his wealth was held through family […]
Many Estate Planning goals can be accomplished without wills and trusts. Using other tools can spare you some of the expense and complications of wills and trusts. These strategies also cause the assets to avoid the delay and expense of probate, transferring the title of each asset automatically to the person you intended. But these […]
If there has been a change in any one or more of the factors listed since the last review of your estate plan, then it is time to get in touch with your estate planner and update the plan. The marital status of you or any of your family members The birth or adoption of […]
As we roll into the last months of the year, many people take time to update their financial estate planning and put their financial houses in order. Revising or writing a will is an important part of the Estate Planning process. A will can decide who receives your property, on what terms they receive it, […]
I regularly point out that naming the wrong people as executors or trustees can ruin even the best estate plan. Most people put little thought into these decisions, often casually naming their oldest adult child or sibling. They don’t realize the burden of being an executor or trustee, even for relatively simple estates. This article […]
Many people don’t realize it, but their wills leave nothing outright to their spouse. Before the current high federal exempt amount was established, a standard will stated that a portion of the estate equal to the federal exempt amount was left in a bypass trust or other trust that benefitted the surviving spouse for life […]