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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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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 to Research

In preparing to make important life decisions the first thing to do is to research your options. You cannot make good decisions until you know...

Know Your Options

Estate planners often talk about creating the plan that meets the specific needs of the individuals they are advising. They ask what you want...

Estate Planning - How to Maximize Your Inheritance for Your Children and Your Future Income

Careful estate planning is the best way to maximize your inheritance for your children and your future income. Speak with an attorney today and...

The Larry Hillblom Story - Case in Point for Updating Your Estate Plan

Although you may not be familiar with the name Larry Hillblom, you have probably used the company he founded or at least heard of it. Hillblom...

Dealing With the Death of a Family Member - Common Steps That Must Be Taken

As much as we all wish that we would never be faced with the death of a close family member, it may happen at some point in time. In the midst...

Life's Not Fair for LGBT Couples

You have undoubtedly heard the old axiom "Life's not fair." We all know that it's true. We would like to believe that on some level, things even...

Watching the Trustee

Who Watches the Watchmen?" has become a modern classic line. In case you don't know, The Watchmen are a fictional group of superheroes. In their...

Stieg Larsson -- Another Example of Why Estate Planning is So Important

In case the name doesn‘t ring any bells offhand, Stieg Larsson is the author of the awarding winning novel turned movie, The Girl with the...

Doris Duke’s Estate Battle -- Why Contesting a Will is Sometimes Necessary

Most people have heard of the concept behind a Will contest, yet most have never been involved in one. A Last Will and Testament cannot be...

Qualifying for Medicaid without Committing Medicaid Fraud

For many senior citizens, the cost of medical care and services is a big concern. Often, healthcare plans that were in effect while working are...

Why You Should Not Put Property in Your Child's Name as Part of an Estate Plan

  By HG.org
An estate plan details what happens to a person and his or her property who becomes incapacitated or dies. Some people may wish to leave...

Who Should Be the Personal Representative or Executor if You Have No Family or Friends You Can Trust

When you make a will one of the most important and difficult decisions you will make is who to name as personal representative or executor. This...

Planning a Funeral as Part of Your Estate Plan

Planning for your funeral is an important aspect of having a complete estate plan. One of the goals for any estate plan should be to make...

When is Medicaid Planning Actually Fraud?

If you have heard claims such as “protect your estate assets and still qualify for Medicaid” and wondered about the legality of the claims, you...

Are You Aware of Medicare Limitations?

It is a rude awakening when you start to reach middle-age and find that you are not prepared for retirement. One of the reasons why far too many...

Payable on Death Accounts and Transfer on Death Accounts

Payable on Death or Transfer on Death Accounts may be an option to avoid probate and allow your beneficiary immediate access to your accounts....

A Lack of Estate Planning

Do you have a legal plan in place in case you should become mentally disabled or in the event of your death? If not, your family may face a long...

The Strange Language of Wills – A Quick Guide

Most people don't spend their daily lives dealing with the language of the law. Because of this, it’s important for anyone creating a Will to...

How to Minimize or Eliminate Taxation of Your Retirement Accounts at Death

While retirement accounts do provide healthy tax incentives to save money during one’s lifetime, most people don’t consider what will happen to...

Medicaid Planning and Filial Responsibility Laws

While planning for retirement, many people focus on the money they'll need to support themselves and their family after they stop working. What...

Crossing State Lines with Your Estate Plan

Moving to a new home probably means making long lists of Things to Do. If you’re moving across state lines, be sure to add an Estate Plan Review...

Can I Challenge My Mother’s/Father’s Last Will and Testament?

Losing a parent can be one of the most emotionally difficult times you will ever have to face during your lifetime. Sitting down to hear the...

An Example of Why Estate Planning is So Important

Although you may not know the name, you have probably read the novel or seen the movie based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which...

Warding Off Living Trust Disasters: Issues to Consider when Funding your Living Trust

A revocable trust can minimize or eliminate the supervision of probate courts; increase privacy, reduce expenses and costs; and simplify the...

Can You Really Become a Lord of the Scottish Highlands for Less than $50.00?

Some would have you believe that Scots law allows anyone to be the Lord of, if not all he surveys, at least a square foot of the Scottish...

Estate Planning Tools for Family Farmers and Ranchers

Family farms and ranches face some of the same estate planning obstacles as any other business; however, there are some aspects of estate...

What Do You Do if Someone Dies with Assets in the UK who is Not a UK National?

Summary of the process for obtaining UK probate if a non UK resident dies dies with a bank account, shares or other assets in the UK. Non UK...

How Anticipating Future Problems with Powerful Estate Planning Documents Can Save You Time and Money

This article discusses ways to beef up your California estate planning documents in order to minimize costs. Want to save money with wills,...

Living Trusts: Three Basic Components

Once you start to get serious about exploring your options regarding vehicles of asset transfer, you may recognize the value of revocable living...

Estate Planning Guide When Legally Separating

In some situations, a married couple may decide to separate legally, instead of divorcing. While a legal separation contains very similar...

When a Family Heirloom Threaten an Estate – 3 Tips to Avoid Conflicts

Some of the most contentious fights between family members after a parent dies are not over the big items or the amount of inheritance but...

Early Warning Signs for Arthritis

One out of every five adults, or about 50 million Americans, have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Though many of these people are...

Can I Challenge a Family Member’s Last Will and Testament?

A person’s Last Will and Testament may be the most important legal document that he or she ever creates. As such, it should be created after...

The Legacy of Dick Clark

There have been precious few individuals in the history of the entertainment industry who have had the type of impact that Dick Clark had over...

Is a Trust Better Than a Lump Sum Inheritance?

People who do not have a lot of money often dream about what they would do if they suddenly received a windfall. They think about how they would...

Wills: Avoiding DIY Wills - Bahamas Probate Issues

None of us can avoid life’s eventual certainty of death, but you can avoid substantial problems arising on death by making a Will. One of the...

Larry Hillblom - A Perfect Reason to Update your Will

Although not a new story, the story of Larry Hillblom bears repeating as an example of why estate planning is so important and why updating that...

Common Arthritis Red Flags

An estimated one out of every five American adults, or about 50 million people, will experience arthritis at some point. Though it's commonly...

What a Personal Property Memorandum Can Do for your Estate Plan

When you make a will as part of your estate plan there is a portion that is reserved for specific bequests or items that you want to give to a...

Educational Giving

Acts of generosity are beautiful things for the most part, but there is a reason to proceed with caution when you are planning your estate for...

May I Create a Joint Medical and Financial POA

During incapacity planning you may use a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Durable Financial Power of Attorney to handle your...

Divorce and Naming a Guardian for Your Children

It really doesn’t matter if you are divorced or married, naming someone to act as the guardian for your children is probably the most important...

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

When you are planning your estate it is important to address all of the matters that are relevant to people who are entering their twilight...

Issues in Social Security – Proof of Marriage

India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death. When she turned 62 she applied for widows benefits. Social Security requires as part...

Settle Your Own Affairs

Every new survey has a different percentage of Americans that do not have a Will or any other type of estate plan. The latest survey from Rocket...

Do I Really Need to Worry about Social Security?

We have all heard the warning for years now about the Social Security retirement system. Some analysts issue warnings that are dire predictions...

Settling an Intestate Estate

When an estate has a Last Will and Testament or a Revocable Living Trust, that document will determine which heirs inherit which assets. If...

Reasons Why Planning for Your Death is So Important

None of us really like the idea of sitting down and planning for our death, yet as the old saying goes “the only things that are certain in life...

Decanting Your Irrevocable Trust – Two Issues

An irrevocable trust by its nature is not one that is easily changed, which is why it's referred to as “irrevocable.” However, there are some...

Just and Equitable

Property settlement agreements are a great way for parties who are separating or divorcing to settle property issues amicably and to their...

When Should You Start Thinking about Estate Planning?

If you are even thinking about this question, the answer is probably NOW. You need to start the process of estate planning now. Especially if...

What Services Do Medicaid Lawyers Provide?

Medicaid is the federal program that provides healthcare benefits to a wide variety of people including uninsured individuals with low income,...

A3 – What is Living Probate?

When we die, our property typically goes through probate – a process where the courts read our Will (if we have one), appoint an executor of our...

How to Create a Family Tree

Creating a Family Tree is a helpful method to guarantee your estate plan encompasses all your wishes for distribution of your property. A...

Spendthrift Trusts Protect the Financially Challenged

If you want to leave money to a friend or family member when you die, but are worried about their financial acumen, you might want to consider...

How Often Should You Review Your Estate Plan?

For example, what if your incapacity planning documents are old and don’t include the appropriate HIPAA language. In the event that you become...

The Pros and Cons of a Pooled Trust

Everyone knows that long-term care is expensive, and it’s not likely to get more affordable in the near future. Figuring out how to pay for a...

The Basics of Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianship is a legal proceeding in which a ‘ward’ is found lacking in the capacity to care for themselves and legally authorizes a...

Can I Challenge a Will? 3 Questions

Not just anyone may challenge the validity of a Will. Though state laws differ slightly, all require that you be related to the Will in some...

Hire a Professional Trust Administrator

Not even the extremely wealthy are immune from basic estate planning mistakes. Time and time again, people name one child as a Trustee. That is...

How a Power of Attorney and a Revocable Living Trust Work Together

If you have a Revocable Living Trust, you know that it can serve as an essential incapacity planning tool. If you’re ever disabled – through...

Withdrawing Money from Your Roth IRA

One of the great things about a Roth IRA is that since you fund the account with after-tax dollars, amounts you withdraw from the account are...

Payable on Death Accounts: Simple, but Limited

You may hear about payable on death accounts and walk away thinking that these accounts are an ideal estate planning solution. After all, simply...

A Last Will Can Lead to Asset Erosion

It would be logical to assume that you can leave behind financial resources to your loved ones without losing money in the process. However if...

Founders Preserving Facebook Riches

Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz are two young men who are in possession of some extraordinary wealth. The Facebook founders are in a...

Advanced Age Can Bring Dementia With It

It may be human nature to avoid subjects that are not especially pleasant, and this is one of the reasons why people often procrastinate when it...

The Conservatorship of Britney Spears

How many people not named Britney does it take to manage Britney Spears' affairs? It turns out that the answer might be two. Recently, a court...

How to Handle an Unexpected Inheritance

If you recently received a letter or a telephone call telling you that you just inherited a small fortune from a long lost relative you probably...

Are Estate Planning Documents Public Record?

In recent years, the rate at which technology has developed is mind boggling. Just a generation ago, the internet was virtually non-existent....

Talk to an Attorney after Receiving an Unexpected Inheritance

Receiving an unexpected inheritance can sometimes feel a lot like winning the lottery. Suddenly, you have assets that you did not plan on...

Avoid Family Conflict by Hiring an Estate Attorney

Estate plans can have many different goals. At a minimum, an estate plan sets out what will happen to your assets after you pass away. One thing...

Don't Be Fooled by Estate Tax Changes

With the recent changes to the estate tax, many people have become confused about estate planning. Unfortunately, a lot of the confusion is...

An Introduction to Elder Law – 3 Issues

When you are making your estate plan you may hear the phrase “elder law” but not really know what it means. Elder law is simply the collection...

Building an Estate Plan Without Retiring

A good estate plan is one that takes into consideration all of your major life events, including a planned retirement and the money you'll need...

Estate Planning for Pets – Questions about Pet Trusts

A pet trust is a legal entity you create by creating a document that includes specific and legally required terms. If you use your Will to...


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