The Family Pack Rat Could Be Hiding A Fortune

The Family Pack Rat Could Be Hiding A Fortune

Most families have one—the proverbial pack rat who saves everything. His or her garage/basement is likely stacked full of boxes full of “important” things. When the family pack rat dies, the families first inclination may be to hire someone to haul away all of that “stuff.” After all, it can’t possibly be worth anything right?…

What to Expect During Your First Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney

What to Expect During Your First Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney

Statistics tell us that while the vast majority of people understand how important it is to have an estate plan, fewer than half of all Americans actually have one in place. Those who have yet to create an estate plan provide numerous reasons for their procrastination. One of the more common explanations centers on the…

Estate Tax Targeted In Budget Proposal

Estate Tax Targeted In Budget Proposal

Throughout 2012 people within the estate planning community were faced with a grey area concerning the federal estate tax. It’s challenging to plan ahead effectively when crucial information is unavailable. To explain, at the end of 2010 a legislative measure that has come to be known as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job…

Don't Make These Estate Planning Mistakes

Don't Make These Estate Planning Mistakes

While probate records can be accessed by the general public, when everyday people pass away there generally isn’t much interest in their estate planning efforts. However, things are entirely different when high-profile celebrities die. When you see other people make certain types of mistakes it can get your attention and you can resolve to avoid…

The Estate Planning Lessons to be Learned From Cinderella

The Estate Planning Lessons to be Learned From Cinderella

One of the most loved children’s fairy tales of all times is the classic “Cinderella.” We all remember Cinderella because, in the end, she lives happily ever after with the handsome prince. Her road to her fairy tale ending, however, is a bit bumpy. Cinderella loses her mother when she is very young. He father…

Estate Planning Implications of Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Law

Estate Planning Implications of Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Law

Minnesota recently joined the eleven other states that recognize same-sex marriages. This can seem like a huge win for those who would like to take advantage of certain estate planning benefits that are afforded to married couples. Clearly, when you are legally married in a particular state you gain certain benefits that are not afforded…

Estate Planning Applications of Roth IRAs

Estate Planning Applications of Roth IRAs

When you hear about individual retirement accounts or IRAs you are invariably going to envision a nest egg that you can tap into during your retirement years. Indeed, that’s what these accounts are usually used for, but a certain type of individual retirement account also has estate planning applications. First let’s take a look at…

Why "Do-It-Yourself" Estate Planning Often Backfires

Why "Do-It-Yourself" Estate Planning Often Backfires

In the age of electronics, people often turn first to their computers for information and only look to a professional if they cannot find what they are looking for online. Estate planning is no exception to this trend. Along with other types of legal documents, people are often tempted to download estate planning forms or…

Who Will Decide What Happens to My Remains When I Die?

Who Will Decide What Happens to My Remains When I Die?

Unfortunately, conflict over a deceased can begin as early as the moment after death. Before a probate is even opened to deal with the division of estate assets, family members could begin arguing over what will happen to your remains. Did you want to be cremated or buried? What happens is a spouse insists on…

Consumer Reports Evaluates DIY Estate Planning

Consumer Reports Evaluates DIY Estate Planning

Estate planning attorneys want to assist clients. For this reason, some people may be skeptical when legal professionals advise against the utilization of do-it-yourself estate planning documents. The reason why experienced estate planning attorneys, who have knowledge about the subject, don’t recommend going it alone is because they understand some of the hazards. The above…

Common Estate Planning Mistakes That Can Easily Be Avoided

Common Estate Planning Mistakes That Can Easily Be Avoided

The decisions you make in your estate plan will affect you and your loved ones for years to come. Creating your estate plan should be done with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that it is done properly. When you sit down to create your estate plan, consider the following common…

How Comfortable Are You With Your Estate Planning Attorney?

How Comfortable Are You With Your Estate Planning Attorney?

Most people do not spend much time thinking about the relationship they have with their attorney from a personal standpoint. When it comes to your estate planning attorney, however, your level of comfort and ability to communicate with him or her is much more important than you may realize. Of course you should choose an…

Charitable Gifting Through Your IRA Under the Agreement Reached by Congress

Charitable Gifting Through Your IRA Under the Agreement Reached by Congress

Many people feel that charitable gifting is an important part of their daily life. As such, they make a point of making charitable gifts to worthy causes each year. If you are one of these people, provisions in the agreement reached by Congress regarding the “fiscal cliff” may apply to you if you are also…

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Personal Property Memorandum

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Personal Property Memorandum

The assets that make up your estate are likely as unique as you are. For some people, their estate consists mainly of real property and investment accounts. For other people, their personal, tangible property has great emotional or monetary value. If you are one of these people, you may wish to consider including a personal…

Beneficiary Designations – Often Forgotten Once Named

Beneficiary Designations – Often Forgotten Once Named

Throughout your lifetime, you will likely be required to designate beneficiaries for a number of reasons. Often, once the initial designation is made, they are forgotten. Designated beneficiaries, however, play a key role in your estate planning. For this reason, you should make a point of remembering who you have designated and for what purpose….

Assets Uncovered After The Close of Probate

Assets Uncovered After The Close of Probate

What should you do when you uncover assets owned by a person who passed after their probate has closed? This article explains what to consider. Probate is the legal process by which a decedent’s assets are inventoried, valued and eventually passed to beneficiaries after death. As part of the probate process, personal representative must locate all estate…