HG.org Legal Resources

Estate Planning Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.


Does My Family Need a Trust?

Just about every family out there can benefit from a Trust in some way. In fact, a Trust is not something designed specifically for the rich and...

Five Steps to Avoid and Minimize Probate and Trust Disputes

Litigators can be beneficial when there are disputes over probate and trust litigation. Probate and trust litigation can turn families into...

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages: An Overview

When you are engaged in the process of retirement planning, you are going to want to be apprised of all of your options. With this in mind we...

Estate Planning and the Types of Power of Attorney

There are many different types of power of attorney; in fact, there are so many that someone could be easily overwhelmed when trying to decipher...

Ways to Keep Your Estate Plan Simple

You can’t take it with you. This is one of the simple, inalienable truths about dying, and, like it or not, your relatives know this. So if you...

Trust Can Play a Role in Pet Planning

Some people want to provide for minors or adults who are incapable of making their own decisions when they are making preparations for the...

An Explanation of Unified Gift/Estate Tax

levy that is imposed on gifts that you give to others if they exceed a certain amount. Every year you can give as much as $13,000 to any number...

Who Will Care for Your Pet After Your Passing?

Because of the fact that pets live relatively short life spans as compared to humans, you may think that it is not necessary to consider the...

T-Shirt Estate Plans

Have you ever purchased a one size fits all T-shirt? I'm not sure why companies make these things. They don't actually fit anyone. They are...

Claim Your Inheritances

Most people do just about everything they can legally do to get as much money as they possibly can. This makes it amazing when someone appears...

Someone is Wrong on the Internet

There is an old Internet meme that shows a picture of a man looking at a computer while a woman stands in a doorway behind him The picture is...

A Post for Men

Forgive me, ladies, but this is a post for the men in the audience. You can read it, but it is not for you. This post is for men who spend any...

How Do You Provide for Pets When Planning Estate?

If you were to get yourself a dog or cat as a senior citizen you may be taking a very positive step. It is not uncommon for elders to experience...

What You Need to Have Together Before You See Your Estate Planning Attorney

An important question to ask before you see an estate planning attorney to make a will or living trust and all of your other planning documents...

What A Common Law Marriage Does To Your Estate Plan

Common law marriage is still in practice in Alabama ,Colorado, The District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode...

SSA Requiring Benefit Recipients to Go Paperless

Many people within the elder law community are concerned about the future solvency of the Social Security program. Indeed, given the rapid aging...

Digital Planning: Communicate Relevant Information

Estate planning in the digital age is going to require communicating relevant information to your executor or personal representative. These...

Pet Planning: Provide for Your Pooch

You must think everything all the way through when you are interested in being totally and comprehensively prepared for the inevitable. With...

Estate Plan Considerations for Those Who Are Expecting

Pregnancy is one of those significant life events that cause us to make a great many changes in our lives. One thing to which being pregnant...

Motivational Estate Plans

Perhaps some of your family members are not as motivated to make something out of their lives as you are. It is frustrating when that family...

Cancer Strikes When You Don't Expect It

I have an old friend that I only know through the Internet. I'm not sure how we met. It was a long time ago. It was probably through a mailing...

Financial Discussions When Mom and Dad Get Old

It can be very difficult for adult children with aging parents to accept that the people who raised them are now coming to the age where they...

Why Should I Use a Living Will Registry?

A living Will registry is a good idea. It’s like an insurance plan that covers your wishes instead of your property. Although the subject matter...

What Are Reverse Mortgages?

Older Americans often use reverse mortgages to buy long-term care insurance, pay for medical treatments, finance home improvements or supplement...

Why You Need a Will or Trust

State law governs the distribution of your estate if you do not have a will or trust in place. Did you know that your spouse may receive only...

Three Estate Planning Instruments You Need Right Now

Depending on your needs, estate planning may be a simple or complex process. We believe that these three instruments are essential to protecting...

Answering Unified Tax Questions

The estate tax and the gift tax are unified under the tax code. We would like to provide a basic explanation with regard to what exactly this...

Expanded Medicaid Might Impact Private Plans

There is no doubt that you have heard a great deal of information bandied about regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)...

Singapore Business Law - Protect Your Assets With Keyman Insurance

Have you ever considered whether or not your business could continue without you or your key employees? “Keyman Insurance” is an insurance...

Singapore Business Law - Refinancing (Money Saving Tip)

The recent economic downturn have resulted in many of us tightening our belts. For most of us, this means having to forgo our annual overseas...

Unified Exclusion Applies to Estate Plus Taxable Gifts

You may have heard the term "unified exclusion" if you have started to do any research into the field of estate planning as you look ahead...

Protecting Your Assets from Expanding Nursing Home Costs

Nursing home costs are rising, which could be detrimental to your financial health should you find yourself in need of nursing home care, or...

Shedding Light on Unified Gift/Estate Tax

The taxes that are imposed on transfers of assets are something to take very seriously when you are interested in wealth preservation. These...

Will Updates Can Require Care

It isn't uncommon for a new client to walk into an estate planning attorney's office and ask if the attorney can make a quick update to a Will....

Pet Planning Solution: Pet Trusts

Estate planning involves making provisions for those that you care about, and with this in mind you must remember to include your pet. Yes, pet...

What to Do With Personal Items in Your Estate Plan

Many times it is not the big assets such as the house or bank accounts that cause fights among family members when an estate is divided....

Estate Planning for a Child That Provides Caretaking Responsibilities

When parents of get older and have multiple children, one child may provide caretaking responsibilities for the parent. These added duties...

The Gift Tax, the Estate Tax and Your Family's Future

It is important to be aggressive about tax planning in light of the heavy toll that the federal estate tax can take on your legacy. To be able...

Can Creditors Attack a Family Member's Inheritance?

It is a good idea to think things all the way through when you are engaged in the process of inheritance planning. Getting resources into the...

DIY Legal Documents Objectively Examined

Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys are licensed to provide legal services to their clients. They are bound by professional guidelines. That...

Don't Wait for an Estate Plan

The Jefferson’s was always one of the funniest television shows around. It's still funnier than most of the shows that have come afterwards....

Reverse Mortgages vs. A Line of Credit – Which is Right for You

For many elderly Americans, the golden years are fraught with concerns over money instead of spent sitting on the front porch sipping iced tea....

Deciding What Age a Minor Heir Will Receive Their Inheritance in an Estate Plan

Although it is difficult to think about your own mortality, if you have minor children under the age of eighteen then it is something that you...

Probate Avoidance Would Have Helped Hemsley

There are certain pitfalls that go along with this and you should be aware of them before making any final decisions. During probate anyone who...

Unification of Gift and Estate Tax

To be able to proceed intelligently when you are planning your estate you must have an understanding of the relevant tax laws. There are those...

Estate Planning When One Child is More Successful

Some families are blessed with a child that is extremely successful in terms of wealth. This condition can make planning an estate more...

Don't Wait Until After the Election

On our blog, we have recently been posting about the Presidential candidates proposals for changing the estate tax and investment taxes. The two...

Retiring Without Spending Everything

Many people have a very similar problem. They want to know how to save enough for their own retirement and still have money left over to leave...

Are All Conditional Gifts Valid?

There is nothing unusual about making an inheritance conditional on something else. Conditional gifts are as old as estate planning itself. For...

Lawyer Accused of Forging Power of Attorney, Murder in Dad's Death

An interesting case in Missouri has made headlines recently regarding the use of an alleged forged estate planning document resulting in...

Should I Appoint Co-Trustees?

For many people, a comprehensive estate plan includes one or more trusts. Trusts offer numerous advantages such as flexibility, control and both...

How to Protect Against Identity Theft

In today’s digital age, identity theft is a serious concern for everyone. Not only is stealing an identity potentially easier in the electronic...

Estate Planning and Former Spouse Beneficiaries

The process of divorce is extremely emotional and stressful for people, so, as a result, it is quite easy to overlook important details. One...

Recent NBER Findings Can Provide Motivation

Sometimes you can be motivated by the difficulties that others have experienced and avoid the pitfalls that led them into unenviable positions....

Achieve Three Objectives With Alaska Trusts

It is nice to be able to achieve multiple objectives through a single action and in many cases this can be done in the financial planning field....

Types of Probate Property

What does it mean when an attorney tells you that something is probate property? What about non-probate property? If you don’t know, then you...

Hidden Assets That Warrant an Estate Plan

One of the most common reasons people give for not creating a comprehensive estate plan is that they do not believe they have enough assets to...

Do Not Underestimate the Size of Your Estate When Making an Estate Plan

Making an estate plan is an important step in taking control of your financial life, but you must have an accurate and complete picture of your...

Will Writing to be Regulated in the United Kingdom

Why regulation of will writing in the UK is a good thing. Good news. In the UK will writing is going to be regulated by approved regulators....

The Dangers of Estate Plan of Jointly Titling Bank Accounts with a Child

When one is coming up with an estate plan there is a common practice that some people engage in. That practice is putting their name on a bank...

Celebrity Estate Planning News: Hemsley Will Contested

We like to pass along news about the estate planning successes and failures of celebrities from time to time and there is an interesting...

Legal Professors Examine DIY Last Wills

When you are looking for the facts with regard to products and services a highly respected go-to resource is Consumer Reports. Their website and...

Will Your Funeral Be What You Wanted It to Be?

For many of us, how our funeral is handled when we die is important. You may have very specific ideas about what type of service you want and...

Consumer Reports: Don't Go DIY Route with Last Wills

When websites that offer do-it-yourself estate planning documents started to appear and advertise aggressively licensed attorneys began...

Legal Professors: Do-It Yourself Notions Not a Viable Substitute

Consumer Reports magazine tackled a subject that is near and dear to estate planning attorneys recently and we would like to pass along the...

Challenge to Actor's Will Demonstrates Probate Pitfall

People sometimes choose to take steps to enable the future transfer of their assets to their loved ones outside of the probate process. When you...

Sharing Information With Your Estate Planning Attorney

When you finally decide that it is time to make your estate plan you will have to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. There...

Trusted Source: Do-It-Yourself Last Wills Are Not a Good Choice

Estate planning attorneys will tell you to take pause before assuming that you can simply and easily execute your own estate plan using...

When You Need to Update Your Will, Use Caution

If you have created a last Will and testament you know that it took some time and effort to create a document that served your individual...

Scratch Below the Surface before Using Joint Accounts

There are times when you may hear someone make the case for a simple solution to a complex problem and find yourself buying into this...

Co-Ownership of Property and Avoiding Probate – 3 Questions

Question 1: Are There Different Types Of Co-Ownership of Property? Yes, and not all types of property co-ownership avoid probate. The different...

3 Tips for Vacation Planning and Your Estate Plan

The average American probably spends a lot more time planning for a vacation than they do planning their estate. If you haven't already done so,...

Honoring Your Last Wishes – Are You Sure Your Family Will Do So?

When it comes to honoring your last wishes regarding your funeral and burial, are you sure that your family will do so? What if you want to be...

Help Relatives Now, Reduce Future Tax Burden

Success is the name of the game, but unfortunately the fruition of your financial goals can present some tax challenges. If your assets exceed a...

Early Action Leads to Comfortable Retirement

When you are a young adult you have a unique opportunity. You can make the choice to begin saving for retirement early on during your career. If...

A Grandfather's Privacy

A client recently shared a story with me. He explained that when he was a young child, he used to spend a lot of time at his grandparents'...

Choosing the Estate Plan You Want or the Estate Plan You Need

There comes a time when you must decide what your estate plan will ultimately look like. Plans for your estate come in many different forms, but...

Joint Accounts? It's Not That Easy

There are those who decide that opening a joint account or accounts is a substitute for a properly constructed estate plan. After all they...

DIY Savings Can Be Costly in Long Run

Sometimes you make a decision that seems like an economical one at the moment, but this attempt to save money can actually have the reverse...

Do You Have a Spendthrift Heir?

If you have a spendthrift heir you may want to take steps to make sure that this family member does not burn through his or her inheritance too...

NBER Sheds Light on Plight of Many Seniors

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently took on the subject of retirement preparedness. There are some 10,000 baby boomers applying...

How Do I Get UK Probate for an Australian Citizen?

If you are the executor of an Australian person who had assets in the UK you may have to get the Australian grant of probate resealed in the UK...

It's Your Choice: Plan Now or Pay the Price Later

When you are a younger adult you may well have a difficult time wrapping your head around the concept of aging. It can seem as though retirement...

Surprises Are a Bad Thing for an Estate Plan

Everyone likes a good surprise from time to time. There are some situations where a surprise can be welcome. An estate plan is not one of these...

Why Do Estate Planning Attorneys Not Provide Their Pricing Upfront?

When a person calls an estate planning attorney, they will likely ask for the cost of their services. Instead of getting an upfront price you...

Easily Avoidable Estate Planning Mistakes in PA

While it is possible to effectively complete your Pennsylvania estate planning without the guidance of an attorney, the slightest error in...

Estate Planning and Your Internet Identity

These days many of us spend a lot of time online.The emergence of the Internet has made it possible to socialize with people all over the world...

Wartime Veterans May Face Look-Back Period

There are certain benefit programs that senior citizens often rely on such as Medi-Cal that have upper resource limits. You cannot qualify for...

Kinkade Estate Battle Could Last a Year or More

A lawyer involved in the Thomas Kinkade estate battle has said that the case could drag on for a year, and possibly more, according to a story...

Estate Tax to Impact More Americans in 2013

There was once a time when being a millionaire implied that you were truly of the upper crust.The commonly held wisdom was that a millionaire...

Marshall Estate Will Not Go to Anna Nicole Smith's Heirs

Estate planning is not a matter of visiting a legacy planning attorney one day,drawing up some documents, and then tucking them away in a...

Grantor Retained Annuity Trust Strategy Used to Perfection

One of the things that separates professionals from others is the fact that professionals have the right tools for the job and they know which...

Probate News: British Entertainer Winehouse Had No Will

They say that you should not always believe what you read, and along these lines we have some celebrity estate planning information to update....

Dementia: Yes, It Can Happen to You

Some people are prone to adopting the "it will never happen to me" point of view, but these are the same individuals who often find themselves...

Dovetailing Disabled Adult Child Benefits with Supplemental Security Income Benefits

A short window exists for a special needs child who is near age 18 to qualify for SSI by meeting the definition of disability. There is a...

What You Should Know About Guardianship, Living Wills, and Power of Attorney for Older People and Their Families

Introduction - Adults who become incapable of caring for themselves, their property or their dependents may have a -guardian appointed for them....

When Parents Reach Old Age, Bringing Up Finances Can Be Difficult

As life spans continue to increase and more people are living in extended family environments,many are having to deal with financial issues that...

Estate Planning Tips for Your Vacation

Whether you took a summer vacation this year,are planning on traveling for Labor Day,or are planning some time away for the holidays you...

Minors and Conveyances

  By Gunster
Mary Smith contacted me to assist her in the sale of a vacant lot owned by both Mary and her son, Michael. Mary originally went to a local title...

Ice Cream, You Scream, Heiress of Carvel Screams ‘Trust Fund’ Here in Palm Beach

Nearly two decades on, the legal battle over the assets of the Carvel ice cream franchise, founded here in West Palm Beach, continues, with West...


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