The answer to this question is probably yes, but depends on your personal goals. A valid will tells the probate court how you want your assets distributed after you pass, but even with a will, an estate needs to go through the probate process and have the court approve the will before assets are distributed. This typically takes at least… Continue reading I Already Had a Will Drafted, Do I need to do Anything Else?
A common question in estate planning is: “How do I dispose of my ‘stuff?’” While bank accounts can have beneficiaries listed, and items like homes and vehicles can be titled over to a trust, passing on the jewelry, furniture, and antiques around our homes may be less obvious, but does not necessarily need to be… Continue reading “I Know What Will Happen to my Finances, but What Will Happen to my ‘Stuff?’”
Like we have discussed before on a previous post, every adult needs a Last Will & Testament or a Revocable Trust in place. However, more than half of all Americans have no planning in place! For simple estates, or at least the bare minimum for everyone, a Last Will & Testament is a good start. A Will… Continue reading Always have an attorney make your estate plan
As an estate planning attorney, most of my clients are meeting with me to help avoid probate as much as possible. I have written previous posts all about how to avoid probate. However, sometimes, probate can be beneficial in certain circumstances. A lot of estates go through probate, which is the court process to distribute… Continue reading Reasons to Choose Going to Probate
The attorney of Skillern Law Firm, PLLC, Penni Skillern, recently had a baby girl in January of 2015. Yes, that is why there was a lack of blog posts and updates on our website. The first thing she did when she was able to go back to work was update her estate plan to reflect… Continue reading Estate Planning for Your New Expanded Family
Most people that come into our office expect to need a "simple" estate plan. Usually, they mean a will, power of attorneys, and a living will. No trust, no tax planning, and no trust provisions for their children or other family members. Perhaps the initial motivator for this is the lower cost, but also the… Continue reading Should I Get A More Complex Estate Plan?
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
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
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?
In September of 2010, a non-lawyer wrote an article about her experience trying out four different will-making computer programs. This article appeared in the New York Times. After she got all four different wills drafted, she took the wills to an established estate planning lawyer in New York City, and had them reviewed. The results… Continue reading Why Online Wills Can be Harmful to Your Estate Planning