What to Do When You inherit a House With a Sibling

When most people pass on, the most expensive item of their estate comes in the form of the family home. As such, they may think that the best idea is to leave that family home to split among their beneficiaries. They may believe that children will sell the home and split the proceeds, but that plan doesn’t always go according to plan. Many people form precious memories to places, and especially when a loved one passes away, they may try …

Last Minute Will Changes Increase the Likelihood of Estate Litigation

For some, they may estate plan early in their life, but also update their estate plan frequently. There is nothing wrong with this, as updating an estate plan is much more preferable to letting it fall out of date. However, as you get older, it strongly behooves you to limit how often you update your estate plan or at least set a schedule in which you go over it. While estate litigation can spring up from a number of issues, …

Myths About Revocable Trusts

When it comes to estate planning, you will learn all about trusts and how useful they can be in the estate planning process. However, while your lawyer will explain much about what the different trusts are and how they work, you may form your own ideas about what they can and can’t do. When it comes to revocable trusts, it is important that you understand these common misconceptions. Myth: Revocable Trusts Eliminate a Need for a Will and Probate The …

Selecting a Contingent Beneficiary in Estate Planning

The beneficiary you name during your estate planning will receive a particular asset. Usually, this might be a house or other tangible item. However, what happens when the beneficiary is unable to take possession of the asset? Why Should You Name a Contingent Beneficiary? If the beneficiary dies before s/he can receive the asset, have a backup who will step in. If there is no contingent beneficiary, you fail to leave your instructions for the disposition of the asset. As …

What is an Advance Directive?

When it comes to estate planning, it can include a myriad of your different wishes for what should happen after you pass away. However, estate planning isn’t always for after death, in the case of an advance directive, it can be for decisions that happen when you are still alive but need medical care. An advance directive can be drafted as part of the will or as a standalone document. In it, it can cover some crucial decisions for your …

Estate Planning Checklist For Newlyweds

Marriage is one of the biggest steps that a person can take in their life. Now, they are not just living for themselves, but for another person. However, while you should enjoy that honeymoon, eventually you have to come back down to the real world. Now that you are living for another person, you both need to plan for the future. It is unpleasant to think about, but there is no better time to do estate planning than after you …

Are There Alternatives to Guardianship?

Whether it is of a minor child or an adult with an illness or disability that allows them to no longer take care of themselves, filing for a guardianship will give someone legal authority to manage their affairs. However, guardianship can be undesirable from both sides. The ward may not wish to lose their full legal authority to someone else, and the guardian themselves may not also want to have to deal with the responsibilities and court appearances involved with …

Estate Planning When You Don’t Have an “Estate”

There is a common misconception when it comes to estate planning. Some think that an estate refers to their house or property, and if they don’t own a home or property, then don’t need to estate planning. However, while estate is another term for one’s property, estate planning is more than just who gets the house. Even if you rent or live with another person, you still have an estate that you need to plan for in case of your …

Partitioning Land in Probate

Often when it comes to probate, the most important asset is the old family home. It may be the home you grew up in, and it is sometimes likely that the children may not want to see that home sold. However, often that is a likely result of probate if the beneficiaries of an estate cannot come to an agreement on how to split the home. In these cases, often the courts will demand that the house is sold and …

When Are Estate Taxes Due After a Passing?

You know what they say – You always have to pay the tax man. Even if you have passed on, taxes must be paid out of your estate one final time. If you have a will, you can assign an executor who will settle your final debts, but if you pass away without one, the probate court will assign an individual. When it comes to estate taxes to be paid after an individual’s passing, there are only two major concerns …