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Avoiding Probate with Non-probate Assets

In the event of death, some assets of a deceased pass to those who inherits those assets by will or by law.  These assets pass under the protection of the law and the courts, and the transfer requires proof (probate) of who is entitled to them.  These are probate...

Should I Serve as Executor? 4 Surprising Dangers

It feels like an honor to be appointed an executor in a will–and it is.  Someone trusts you to perform a very important task.  But if asked, should you serve as executor?  Here are four things to consider before agreeing: Basics An executor is appointed by a...

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT LIVING (REVOCABLE) TRUSTS

Terminology. Living trusts are technically called “revocable trusts.” They are also informally called “living trusts” because the trusts can be set up and operate while someone is living. They are generally revocable, meaning that they can be revoked or changed in...
5 Time Critical Things to Do When a Family Member Dies

5 Time Critical Things to Do When a Family Member Dies

The death of a family member can be expected or sudden. Either way, it’s never easy. Here are five time-critical things to consider if a loved one dies. Families and situations are different, so they may not all apply. 1) Inform family members and close friends of the...
What If There Is No Will?

What If There Is No Will?

There is no question that the most reliable and inexpensive way to make sure the heirs you intend get the property you intend is to have a properly written will (or properly written and managed trust). But what if your family member has died without one? Actually, all...
Ten Important Things for Older Parents to Consider

Ten Important Things for Older Parents to Consider

An unfortunate truth for parents having children later in life is that they may not live to see their child grow to full adulthood. Or be around to help. Here are ten important things to consider, although they may not all apply to a given situation. 1) Child’s...
Ghosts in the Courtroom

Ghosts in the Courtroom

As a young trial lawyer, I chafed waiting my turn in the probate courts as the cases were called one after another. I had other cases and clients demanding attention. But I gradually began to wonder about the people who had died and whose affairs were being settled....