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October 2017 Archives

How legal help benefits you with estate planning issues

In the last few weeks, we have talked about a lot of critical issues relating to estate planning. Charitable trusts can go a long way towards helping your loved ones. Wills, and the act of frequently updating them, can lead to a prosperous future for your beneficiaries. And your executors have a major responsibility to carry your estate through to the finish line.

How to shield your estate from the probate process

Probate is the process of proving your will, administering your estates, and disseminating the assets you own to your beneficiaries. It sounds simple and possibly advisable -- but in reality probate is a slog. It can be difficult to get through the probate process without months, or even years, passing. This is why it is often best for a grantor to do everything he or she can to avoid the probate process. Or, to put it another way, to package their assets in a way that most of their estate doesn't go through the probate process.

Do you really want to do that to your family?

The days, months and years following the death of a loved one can be very difficult. Not only are those left behind mourning their loss, there are often mountains of paperwork to deal with. While a bulk of estate settlement duties fall to executors, successor trustees or other fiduciaries, unanswered questions and unequal treatment of heirs can lead to confusion and hard feelings.

A charitable trust could spread good long into the future

You might think of a philanthropist as an extremely wealthy individual who holds a great deal of power, but that's not necessarily true. Anyone can contribute philanthropically to causes they care about, and that includes you. One great method of giving back is to establish a charitable trust in your estate plan.

What an executor should do if confronted by creditors

One important question executors might have in administering an estate is whether creditors can have claims satisfied by bringing lawsuits against the estate. After all, many people in this position may be confused about whether they could be personally held liable as the administrator of the estate, or whether a creditor may have a legitimate claim against the estate at all.

Will you be paying for your loved one's long-term care?

A study published this summer in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that the average cost to care for a dementia patient for just five years is more than $320,000. The cost of caring for a loved one who does not have dementia is over $130,000 on average. Unfortunately, the bulk of long-term care expenses are typically paid by the patients' families.

2 estate planning tools Hugh Hefner may have used for his widow

Hugh Hefner, of Playboy fame, recently passed away. He reportedly had an “iron clad” prenuptial agreement with his third wife that kept his fortune from his young bride. Yet, current reports state that the widow will “be provided for” after the death of her husband.

Now is the time to discuss nursing home plans with your parents

In recent blog posts, we discussed the importance of talking to your parents about their nursing home and estate planning strategies. This step is critical to making sure your parents have the care they need in their later years and that their assets are transferred according to their wishes.

Jerry's 'actual' kids left out of his will

In our prior post, we highlighted the importance of taking time have clear direction in a will to avoid inheritance disputes. This is because in times of sorrow, some may develop a sense of entitlement that may lead to disappointment when finally learning the contents of a will.

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