Estate Planning Law Articles

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

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...
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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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Buyer Beware: Bankruptcy Now has More Strings Attached Than Ever

Information for homeowners about the reality of bankruptcy. All home buyers, particularly in light of the real estate collapse of recent years,...

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...

How Can I leave Money to My Grandchildren without Spoiling Them?

Anyone with a substantial amount of assets eventually asks this question.Wanting to protect and provide for your grandchildren when you die is...

Is a 55% Death Tax Fair?

Some people within the estate planning community call the estate tax the "death tax" because it is a tax that is levied because you passed away...

How to Pass Down a Large Inheritance and Not End Up With a Spoiled Beneficiary

Knowing that you are in a position to leave behind enough money to provide for your loved ones when you die is a wonderful feeling. However,it...

Some Observers Decry Estate Tax Rate

Where do you draw the line when it comes to a tax rate? This is an ongoing question that is always being debated among lawmakers. However, even...

New Study Reveals Deadly Risk of Loneliness

Adding to the increasing mountain of evidence which shows that remaining socially connected and interacting with others is key to maintaining...

Many Ignore Words to the Wise

When it comes to retirement and estate planning a lot of people in America seem to be ignoring the advice that is routinely and constantly given...

Ongoing Choices Have Everything to Do With Retirement

People are free to make their own choices in life and you ultimately have to live with the results. This is something to keep in mind when you...

Is a Last Will Really the Economical Choice?

There are individuals who are under the impression that using a last will is the most economical choice when you are planning your estate. They...

Estate Planning for Owning Real Estate in More than One State

Owning Real Estate in multiple states is a dream for many, but a reality that many have already achieved. This means you could have a residence...

Retirement is Expensive - Are You Getting Prepared?

Retirement should be looked at as an expense that you must prepare for well in advance. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement...

Keep Bills Low during Retirement

Statistics indicate that a significant percentage of people who are reaching their 60’s are not financially prepared for retirement....

Finances are Key

Estate planning extends into areas beyond arranging for the eventual transfer of your monetary and physical assets to your heirs. All of the...

You Do Not Have to Leave a Dollar to Disinherit Someone in an Estate Plan

There is a popular misconception that is part wives tale part urban legend that the best way to disinherit someone, particularly a child, is to...

The Role of an Estate Executor or Administrator in Pennsylvania

When a relative or other loved one dies in Pennsylvania, his or her estate must be properly administered and closed pursuant to PA law. The...

Extend a Hand, Reduce Tax Exposure

If the value of your estate is such that you will be exposed to the estate tax, you may want to consider transferring resources to family...

Planning is Key for GLBT Community

People who are involved in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships may not get legally married in the state of Ohio. However, you do have...

Elder Financial Abuse

While much effort has gone into bringing public awareness to the prevalence of child abuse over the last few decades, the frequency with which...

Keeping Active After Retirement With a Part-Time Job

As thousands of baby boomers enter retirement every day, many of them are finding their ideas of what retirement would be like are very...

Are You Responsible for Your Parent’s Care?

In some sense, most of us feel emotionally or culturally responsible for taking care of our aging parents in both a physical and financial sense...

Don't Procrastinate When Updates Become Necessary

Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to estate planning, and truth be told making final arrangements is indeed a unique endeavor....

What About Your Email?

How often do you use your email account? I bet a lot more than you did 5 years ago. You probably have some important business that is conducted...

Think Before Challenging an Estate Plan

The first reaction that most people have when they learn that they have been cut out of a deceased relative's estate plan is to want to fight....

Why Should You Include Your Children or Loved Ones When Making an Estate Plan?

Most view making an estate plan as a private activity that is between a lawyer and the client. There is a veil of confidentiality that allows...

Retirement May Not Come Easy

If you sit around waiting for retirement to arrive you may be waiting for a very long time. As the baby boomers reach the typical retirement age...

Kinkade Case Apparently Headed to Court

Is a Will that you execute by hand when you are "three sheets to the wind"valid? This is an interesting question and it is one that is going to...

How to Get Probate in the UK for a French National

A brief explanation of how to get probate in the UK for a French person owning assets in the UK at the date of death, and what to do if it is...

Kinkade Estate: Handwriting Analysis Suggests Intoxication

You have to be aware of the possibility of challenges to your estate planning documents when you are making preparations for the future. This is...

Trust Administration: An Overview

There is no reason to automatically assume that you should use a Will when you are considering estate planning. A Will can seem like a simple...

HIPAA Authorization as Part of an Estate Plan

You may think that an adequate estate plan consists of a will or living trust coupled with a durable power of attorney and a healthcare power of...

Who You Should Name as an Alternative Personal Representative or Executor in Your Will

One of the most difficult choices that has to be made when you make your last will and testament is who will be the personal representative or...

It Takes Work to Disinherit a Spouse

The goal for some in a marriage is to make sure that the person they marry gets no inheritance from them when they die. Whatever the reason, it...

Role and Responsibilities of a Personal Representative

A Personal Representative (sometimes called an administrator or an executor) is a person who is given the responsibility of settling the estate...

Estate Plan - Common Mistakes You Don’t Want

Although everyone’s estate plan is unique,there are a number of common mistakes that can cause your loved ones unnecessary grief down the road....

Updating Your Will When Getting Married

Getting married is a time when there is enough to worry about. There are a million things that need to be done for just the wedding. After the...

How Do I Get International Probate for Someone Domiciled Outside the UK?

A short article explaining the process for the next of kin of someone who lived outside the UK to get probate in the UK. There has been a vast...

Easily Misused Estate Planning Terms

Wills and Living Wills are key parts of any good estate plan. However, though the two sound similar they serve very different purposes. A Living...

Becoming Incapacitated Without a Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is meant to be in place to allow you to make healthcare decisions for yourself when you are no longer able to...

The Best Time to Make a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Living Will and Healthcare Power are the most important estate planning documents that you can make. This is for the simple fact that they...

Estate Planning Questions That May Make You Uncomfortable

Your estate plan is intended to be an individual, and highly personal, set of documents. Your estate plan decides some of the most important...

Have Ontario’s Courts Dispensed with Strict Compliance with the Formalities of Execution?

The legislatures, courts and Law Reform Committees in Canada have provided different policy reasons to justify strict compliance with the...

Pending Loss of Estate Tax Portability A Concern

When this year comes to a close we are going to be looking at an entirely different lay of the land when it comes to the estate tax parameters....

Girlfriend of Painter Kinkade Presents Holographic Wills

There are a few ways to create a Last Will, one of which is a holographic Will. This sounds rather high-tech, but in fact the reverse is true. A...

Two People, One Exemption?

The federal estate tax is applicable to everyone as an individual, so each person is afforded an individual exemption. The current amount of the...

Disinherited Party's Right to Support in Ontario Canada - Gifts Mortis Causa

Spouses & children who are disinherited often commence applications for dependant’s relief under Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act. Even...

Probate Language Oddities

To someone looking in on probate law from the outside, it often appears as if probate lawyers and judges use very strange terminology. Some of...

Estate Planning in 2012 - What Changes Should Be Made to Your Estate Plan?

What is the best approach for your estate plan and tax savings strategies in 2012? There are plenty of planning opportunities in 2012,...

Consider Potential Fallout When Making Plans

When you record your final wishes you are merely asserting your decisions in private. If you are keeping things confidential nobody will know...

Portability Provision Slipping Away

There are some changes to the estate tax parameters pending at the end of this year when the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization...

Arthritis Warning Signs

As we get older, our bodies tend to develop specific types of medical conditions that are much more common in the elderly than they are in...

What is a Resulting Trust - Canada

The recent British Colombia Supreme Court case of Borkenhagen v. Kessler (FN 1). It is a worthwhile read for those interested in area of estates...

Are You at Risk for Becoming One of the Sandwich Generation?

The sandwich generation is a relatively new term that applies to anyone who is at risk of being “sandwiched” between aging parents and young...

Be it Ever so Humble…

As you live in your home over the years, you can become attached because so many memories seem to be ingrained into the very structure itself....

Record Your Wishes to Reflect Current Relationships

People who get divorced are not remarrying with the same frequency that they did some years ago according to current census statistics. This of...

10 Useful Tips for Surviving Spouses

The death of a spouse ranks at the top of a list of stressful lifetime events. If you survive your spouse, you’ll need to make sure you take...

What is Estate Tax Exclusion “Portability”?

The estate tax exclusion is the amount of financial assets that you can pass on to your heirs before the federal estate tax is applied. At the...


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