What Is an Estate Planning Lawyer Responsible For?

There are many out there that believe they can handle estate planning on their own. While in some states it may be possible with just a notary to notarize your handwritten will, often you will still want to consult an estate planning attorney. They do much more than just draft up wills. It is better to think of an estate planning attorney as someone who can make sure your wishes are carried out legally. At a glance, estate planning seems …

Tricky Complications of Foreign Beneficiaries

Even if your family is built in the United States, chances are that you may have family members who moved abroad.  It is easier to move around now more than ever. This may mean that your daughter chooses to go teach abroad in Spain and live there,  or your son moves to Australia to be closer to his wife’s family. While it may not seem like a big issue, if you pass away and want to leave your estate to …

Creating a Master Document as Part of Your Estate Plan

Often when you think of estate planning, you think of all the legal documents that you need to create. While those are of the utmost importance, you should also consider creating a master document for your survivors. This “master document” is essentially a cheat sheet that can help decrease the stress and complication that goes along with finances after you pass away. It details all your bills, accounts, debts, and especially the logins to those accounts if they are online. …

Why Estate Litigation is So Much More Common in a Blended Family?

Estate planning is an issue that should be given its due diligence. However, even if you put forth your best effort into creating an estate plan for your family after your passing, if your family is blended, your chances of your estate ending in estate litigation definitely increase.  Why? It almost always comes down to blood. Disagreements between stepchildren or even step-parents are common. Even if they got along relatively well while you were alive, after you pass away there …

Special Needs Trusts: Five Things to Know

A family with a member that has special needs, whether physical or mental, has many challenges and worries. For many parents, worrying about what happens to their child with special needs after the parents pass away is one of them. Often times, parents disinherit their child with special needs, leaving additional money to other children or relatives with the expectation that those third parties will care for person with special needs. This leaves too much unsettled and too much at …

Can the Executor Sell a Home Inherited to Someone?

Nothing could be more exciting than inheriting someone’s house under their Will.  Often homes are not only the most expensive item in a person’s estate, but often we attach a lot of fond memories attached to a household. However, if you suddenly find a “for sale” sign on the lawn, if the executor of the estate allowed to sell the house when it has been designated to pass to you?  The answer is yes, but only in certain circumstances. The …

Estate Planning for Minor Grandchildren Beneficiaries

To many grandparents, their grandchildren are precious. You don’t want to miss a single moment of them growing up, but if you can’t be there, you also want to make sure that they have the best shot at life. For this, your estate can help take care of grandchildren if it is your time, but the issue is that there are special considerations that must be made for those that are still considered minors. So if you are estate planning …

Life Events That Should Trigger an Estate Change

When you do your estate planning, you do it in such a way that it is ironclad and will last a lifetime, however long that may be. While this should indeed be the way you do your estate planning, estate plans don’t last lifetimes. In fact, they should be reviewed and edited often during your hopefully long life. While you should look over it every now and then, there are actually specific life events that should merit looking and often …

Where Does Intellectual Property Fit Into The Estate Plan?

You might think you don’t have any intellectual property, such as things like authorship or trade secrets, but in today’s world, assets that you can’t actually touch are more common than ever. A popular example of this is those that retire and take up article writing as a hobby online to share their knowledge. Suddenly, they start to make a little money, then maybe a lot more over time. Alternatively, a more modern example that will become an issue in …

3 Life Events That Should Have You Revisit Your Will

Any time that we assist clients in preparing a Will and estate plan, we always advise them that they should think about reviewing their decisions every 3 to 5 years, or upon a major change in family circumstance.  While changes in family circumstance can be exciting, stressful, unexpected, etc., they often impact the decisions that you made under your Will and estate plan.  What are some common changes in family circumstance that might impact your Will? Birth The birth of …