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Archive for the ‘Probate’ Category

Amy Winehouse Didn’t Have an Estate Plan, Leaving Behind a $6.7 Million Estate

Did you know that 66 percent of adults don’t have an Estate Plan? Whether you are wealthy or have a modest estate, proper estate planning is critical. When she unexpectedly passed away at age 27 with a $6.7 million estate, singer Amy Winehouse didn’t have any kind of Estate Plan in place. Winehouse may have wanted to pass money on to her brother, her ex-husband, or a charity of her choosing, but no one will ever know. Since she died without having any kind of Estate Planning, her entire estate was passed on to her parents under the laws of…

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What Can an Elder Law Attorney Do For Me?

Elder law attorneys serve as advocates for elderly or disabled clients and their families, providing counsel on a wide range of topics including health care, guardianship, and estate planning. Though it may seem that elder law attorneys are meant to handle extreme or unusual cases, everyone can benefit from the services of an elder law attorney. Here are four things an elder law attorney can do for you: Estate Planning Making sure your affairs are in order is essential, and having an experienced elder law attorney to guide you through the process makes everything easier. Because there are strict guidelines…

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Estate Administration

Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death.  If the person had a will, the will goes through probate, which is the process by which the deceased person’s property is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). The entire process, supervised by the probate court, usually takes about a year. However, substantial distributions from the estate can be made in the interim. The emotional trauma brought on by the death of a close family member often is accompanied by bewilderment about the financial and legal steps…

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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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We can help protect your legacy.

Don’t let your life savings be diminished by the high cost of probate or destroyed from ever increasing long term care expenses 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…

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The latest trend in gravestones is to change “here lies” to “here links.”

Barcodes much like the ones being slapped on advertisements and billboards are being affixed to headstones to provide mourners ways to connect with the dead online. Forget-me-nots and pansies may wilt, but websites live forever. When we think about how technology is changing us, we generally think of all the new things in our day-to-day lives (unless you happen to have read too much from Ray Kurzwiel). Now, it seems, technology may soon changing our ideas about death and grieving, too. Most of us have seen QR codes. You know, those funny arrangements of pixilated black boxes within a square….

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If you’re an executor for someone who died in 2010, mark your calendar for January 17, 2012. That’s the new date by which you must now file a key federal tax form.

If your last name is “Steinbrenner,” or you also are the heir to the estate of a decedent who passed in 2010, then you likely know that your assets stand at a crossroads and that the estate executor has a huge choice: to file for the estate tax or not to file? That, is the question. Formerly, the deadline was November 15, 2011, only a couple weeks out. Good news: Now, the deadline has been extended out to January 17, 2012. So, why is there even a choice to file an estate tax return anyway and why might it be…

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One of the most common estate planning mistakes that people make is joint ownership.

 Estate planning can be daunting. Once you get past the fact that your very mortality (and morbidity) is the triggering event, estate planning means taking stock of all you own and, what is often more important, how you own it. Yes, there are many degrees of ownership and each can make for some difficult wrinkles. One common phenomenon is joint ownership between generations. Not only is it common, but it can make for some unintended problems. Forbes recently ran a piece on some of these problems and the five reasons to avoid such ownership form. Let’s review some of the…

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Being asked by friends or family to be executor of an estate is a big honor, but the warm feelings can vanish once the job starts.

 Choosing an executor can be a difficult task, and in no small part this is because it means finding someone you trust to do as you would do. Oftentimes it is gesture of trust and respect made to a friend or family member. Neither the estate planner nor the would-be executor ought to forget, however, that serving as executor can be a fairly difficult role to play. The Wall street Journal recently offered some practical insights and advice on the topic, noting that to be named executor is both “an honor… and a pain.” Simply put, the executor administers a…

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