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The Pros and Cons of Probate

In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often comes with a starkly negative connotation. Indeed, for many people — especially those with larger estates — financial planners recommend trying to keep property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the property of the deceased and his/her […]

  • Posted on: Feb 5 2017
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Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

As Ambrose Bierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” Obviously, ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in peace. In fact, […]

  • Posted on: Jan 14 2017
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3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

When you pass away, your family may need to involve the chancery court to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in only your name. Although having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, […]

  • Posted on: Dec 20 2016
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3 Tips for Overwhelmed Executors

While it is an honor to be named as an executor of a will or estate, it can also be a sobering and daunting responsibility. Being an executor (sometimes called a personal representative) requires a high level of organization, foresight, and attention to detail to meet responsibilities and ensure that all beneficiaries receive the assets […]

  • Posted on: Dec 10 2016
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What To Do After a Loved One Dies

If you’ve been appointed an executor of a loved one’s estate, or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your to-do list such as planning the funeral, coordinating relatives coming in from out of town and (eventually) meeting with a qualified probate lawyer, can be quite overwhelming. First and foremost, take care of yourself during […]

  • Posted on: Nov 21 2016
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Estate Planning: 4 Reasons We Run the Other Way

We understand that it is difficult to focus on estate planning; it sounds about as fun as having surgery. However, we also understand that we all want to make sure that our loved ones are protected and receive our hard-earned assets – regardless of whether we have $10 million or $10,000 and that those assets […]

  • Posted on: Nov 2 2016
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Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Confused about the differences between wills and trusts? If so, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick and simple reference guide: What Revocable Living Trusts Can Do – That Wills Can’t Avoid a conservatorship and guardianship. A revocable living trust allows you to authorize your spouse, child or other trusted person to manage your assets should you become incapacitated and unable to […]

  • Posted on: Oct 12 2016
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Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: How They Differ

Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is, as Martha Stewart would say, a “good thing.” However, many of us don’t take the steps to get that estate plan in place because we don’t understand the nuances between wills and trusts – and dying without either. Here’s what will generally happen […]

  • Posted on: Oct 4 2016
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