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Posts Tagged ‘will’

We can help protect your legacy.

We handle a great deal of probate cases at my office. In fact, if someone has passed away in your family, we can probably help you. However, whenever I work on these cases I often wonder why so many people allow their assets to go through probate. Did they not know there were other choices? Did they not know how expensive probate can be? I am also often saddened when I see a person’s Will that leaves the assets equally to all the children, but the assets pass outside of the Will and do not follow the person’s wishes. Below…

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Using a No-Contest Clause to Prevent Heirs from Challenging a Will or Trust

If you are worried that disappointed heirs could contest your will or trust after you die, one option is to include a "no-contest clause" in your estate planning documents. A no-contest clause provides that if an heir challenges the will or trust and loses, then he or she will get nothing. A no-contest clause may be a good idea if you have a beneficiary who may be upset by the property distributed to him or her. However, no-contest clauses (also called in terrorem clauses) only work if you are willing to leave something of value to the potentially disgruntled heir….

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Who Gets Access to Your Online Accounts After You Die?

You may have a plan for what to do with your physical belongings after you die, but what about your online accounts? In today’s social media-dominated world, a person's digital presence lives on online even after he or she is gone. But who has the right to access those accounts? States have begun addressing this issue with new digital access laws. Under current Facebook policy, if an account member dies, Facebook will remove the account at the request of family or put it into "memorial status," but it is very difficult for family members to get access to the account…

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When Minnesota’s State Sen. died in December 2001, his widow had more to deal with than her grief.

“He didn’t have a will, he didn’t have a trust, he didn’t have anything set up,” said Yvonne Prettner Solon, who followed her husband to serve the western part of Duluth in the state Senate and now is Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, states the Deluth News Tribune. Prettner Solon vowed to not leave her children in the same situation. Within three months, she had set up a trust and purchased long-term-care insurance, she said in an interview on Thursday. Now in her official capacity, she’s urging Minnesota’s baby boomers to take similar steps. Prettner Solon is spearheading the state’s “Own Your…

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Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage?

The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Whatever you decide to do, you may want to consult a lawyer to make sure your wishes will be carried out. Here are some things to think about: Estate Planning. Getting married can have a big effect on your estate plan. Even if you don't include…

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Powers of Attorney

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available–even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your "attorney-in-fact" — to act in your place for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated. In that case, the person you choose will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. Without a durable power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a conservator or guardian. That court process takes time, costs money, and the judge may not…

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Reasons To Creat An Estate Plan

Many people think that estate plans are for someone else, not them. They may rationalize that they are too young or don't have enough money to reap the tax benefits of a plan. But as the following list makes clear, estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or net worth. 1. Loss of capacity. What if you become incompetent and unable to manage your own affairs? Without a plan the courts will select the person to manage your affairs. With a plan, you pick that person (through a power of attorney). 2. Minor children. Who will raise your children…

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How To Contest A Will

You had a loving relationship with your mother and she always said she would leave everything to you and your siblings, but after she died, you discover she had recently written a new will, leaving everything to her housekeeper. Is there anything you can do? If you believe a loved one's will is not valid, you may be able to contest it. But proving a will is invalid is difficult and this process should be undertaken only if you are sure there is something wrong. Only certain people can contest a will. For example, you can't contest your friend's will…

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Preventing A Will Contest!

Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn't receive) under a will, he or she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may be impossible to prevent relatives from fighting over your will entirely, but there are steps you can take to try to minimize squabbles and ensure your intentions are carried out. Your will can be contested if a family member believes you did not have the…

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Can You Sign A Will If You Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

Millions of people are affected by dementia, and unfortunately many of them do not have all their estate planning affairs in order before the symptoms start. If you or a loved one has dementia, it may not be too late to sign a will or other documents, but certain criteria must be met to ensure that the signer is mentally competent. In order for a will to be valid, the person signing must have "testamentary capacity," which means he or she must understand the implications of what is being signed. Simply because you have a form of mental illness or…

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