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  • Leaving Your Things to Friends After Your Death

    When considering your final affairs, you may find there are things that you would like to pass to people outside of your immediate family. In fact, maybe you want to leave everything to people outside of your family. Whatever the case, you will need to know how to direct the distribution of your assets in accordance with your wishes.

  • What Advantages Do Living Trusts Provide?

    Many people think that trusts are only useful for the wealthy, but this is not the case.

  • What Are My Rights as an Executor and Beneficiary?

    Executors and beneficiaries to a will each have rights and responsibilities as promulgated under state law. Both have important roles in the probate process and mechanisms to ensure that their rights are considered by the court.

  • Four Ways to Protect Heirlooms from a Family Feud

    The passing of family heirlooms from one generation to another should be a welcome tradition in most families, but unfortunately, this process can cause long-lasting family rifts if not done properly. There are many stories of families that have split over a silver tea service or a portrait of a long-dead ancestor.

  • Inheritance Laws

    Inheritance laws are determined on the state level. These laws come into effect when the person who died left no will or his or her will is invalidated due to not following legal formalities, being the product of undue influence or duress, the testator lacking the requisite capacity or for other reasons as determined under state law. Additionally, some inheritance laws take effect even if a valid will was left and if the will says something that contradicts state law.

  • The Disadvantages of a Living Trust

    Many financial service providers spout the advantages of a trust, promising that trusts can be used as an asset protection tool and can help your beneficiaries avoid the cost and expense of probate. However, living trusts also carry certain disadvantages with them, which should be carefully considered and weighed against the advantages.

  • Components of a Good Estate Plan

    A thorough estate plan should be designed to avoid probate, save on estate taxes, appoint someone to act for you if you become disabled, and protect assets if you need to move into a nursing home.

  • Can I Avoid Probate?

    Probate is a process in which a personís final affairs are wrapped up, debts are paid off and any remaining assets are distributed according to the terms of a will or the laws of intestacy if there is no valid will. During this time, assets are tied up as beneficiaries impatiently await their share. Probate can also be expensive and time-consuming. For these reasons, many individuals try to avoid probate through one or more of the following ways.

  • What Are the Laws of Intestacy?

    The laws of intestacy are the default rules that are followed to dispose of a personís probate estate after he or she dies. These laws are based on state statute. In order to avoid these laws, a decedent can make a will or otherwise dispose of the assets before or at death, such as through a living revocable trust or a testamentary trust.

  • Digital Assets in Estate Planning

    Many individuals account for their real estate, securities and tangible property as part of their estate plan. However, much of peopleís lives are now online, potentially leaving a personís digital assets unclaimed or even susceptible to theft. A comprehensive estate plan should address the handling of digital assets.

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