Most people know how to put beneficiary designations on their accounts to skip that asset from going to probate. Most of the time, it is a one or two page form that the financial institution provides you. (See more about that at our post about Beneficiary Designations). However, one type of asset that is often… Continue reading How to Handle Titled Transportation Vehicles to Skip Probate
Most couples, especially married couples, get their estate planning done together and draft them accordingly. Most of the time, married couples will get a Family Trust, rather than two individual Trusts, and all the beneficiaries/executors/trustees are listed as each other. After the unfortunate event of a divorce, it is extremely important to get your estate… Continue reading It’s Important to Update your Estate Planning After A Divorce
Most people know what life insurance is and what it does for you. However, if you do not, let's go over the basics. Life insurance is insurance that you can pay a monthly fee for that will pay a beneficiary an amount of money after you pass away. The amount of money paid at the… Continue reading Life Insurance And Your Estate Planning
One of the most common questions I receive from clients is the question of beneficiary designations and how they relate to their Will or Trust. One important thing that must be said is that beneficiary designations, including IRA's, life insurance, annuities, bank accounts, etc., go outside probate and the trust. What is said in the… Continue reading Beneficiary Designations
If you have children who are minors, it is very important to 1) get a will and 2) choose a guardian to take care of them should you pass away before they are the age of majority. This can be a very, very difficult choice, especially if the father and mother do not agree on… Continue reading How to Choose a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)
Many people who create a Revocable Living Trust fail to understand what happens to the trust after they are gone (for more information about types of trusts, see Let's Talk Trusts). One of the most common misconceptions is what happens to a Revocable Living Trust after the trustmaker or "trustor," or the person who created… Continue reading What Happens To My Trust After I Pass Away?
A lot of clients seem to be under the misconception that, if your will is valid, self-explanatory, and clear as to your intent, then it does not need to be probated. However, your Last Will and Testament is not effective until it goes through probate. It does not matter if it is clear and unambiguous!… Continue reading Why Does My Will Need To Be Probated?
When creating any type of trust, the creator of the trust (called a "trustor" or "settlor") needs to nominate someone or an organization to be their trustee. Usually the Trustor nominates himself or his spouse to be the original trustees, but some may nominate their bank, attorney, financial planner or children to be a trustee.… Continue reading Duties of a Trustee
One common scenario that estate planning attorneys encounter is clients who believe that deeding their home to their children solves the problem of avoiding probate. Most retired individual's main asset is their home, which many have paid their mortgage off. Such a situation is common for many of our clients, and the attorneys at Skillern… Continue reading A Common Error to Avoid Probate
There is currently a legal battle in the federal courts regarding a Federal law mandating that marriage is between a man and a woman. EdiTh Windsor challenged the federal law in DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) as unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held… Continue reading Edith Windsor’s Fight for Same-Sex Marriage Recognition