Tag Archives: Probate

ASK TOM: Do I Really Need a Lawyer For Estate Planning?

In a culture of Do-It-Yourself, does it make sense to retain an attorney to complete your estate planning? We are all aware of the availability of legal documents on the Internet and the ease with which you can purchase a legal package to complete your own Will and some related documents. I read an article in a reputable business magazine a few years ago in which the writer evaluated five different Will packages she obtained from the Internet or the local office supply. All of the Will packages were recommended as legal in her state. After completing the five Will...Read More

You May Regret Transferring Assets To Your Children Now

Parents often think about transferring assets to their children outright or as joint-tenants during their life.  They may believe that the transfer will avoid probate and make it easier for the children upon the parent’s death.  Lifetime transfers are sometimes used as an estate planning tool in limited circumstances and may avoid probate; but, for most of the population these transfers could trigger unfavorable consequences. There are several problems associated with an outright gift of an asset to a child or children.  What if you regret your decision or realize later that you need the asset for your daily needs? ...Read More

When Should Your Estate Planning Documents Be Reviewed By An Attorney?

Although a comprehensive estate plan should not require frequent extensive review, we recommend that a periodic review of your estate plan is made to ensure that your plan is still in compliance with the law, and that your personal or financial situation has not changed. The rule of thumb in the industry is that you review your estate plan every year and that an estate planning attorney reviews your estate plan every 3 years. There are several events that may trigger the necessity to make changes to your estate plan:  Marriage or divorce; Birth or adoption of a child; Death...Read More

Planning In Second Marriages

We all know someone who is in a second marriage and many of us are in a second marriage.  Second marriages can be exciting and fulfilling while at the same time present special planning challenges. A second marriage may include his children, her children, and sometimes our children.  How will the new spouse be provided for in the estate plan?  Can the assets of each spouse be protected for their respective children while still providing for the new spouse? The competing interests are between the children of the first spouse to pass away and the surviving spouse. Estate planning challenges...Read More

Can I Prevent My Children From Fighting Over My Personal Assets After I Die?

Chances are, you own items of personal property that have monetary and sentimental value, such as jewelry, antiques, art, heirlooms, furniture, and sporting goods that you want a certain child, grandchild, relative, friend, charity, or other organization to receive after your death. Perhaps you are not concerned about the distribution of certain items, but would like harmony in the way distributions are made and want to provide for some orderly way for your belongings to be divided after you are gone to avoid the horror stories that you have heard.  Frequently, experience in your own family about heirs fighting over...Read More
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