Duties of a Successor Trustee After the Grantor’s Death

A trust is a legal entity that a person creates to achieve various estate planning goals, such as managing assets, providing legal protections for property, and avoiding probate. There are multiple roles involved with the trust, so it is important to understand how they work. Key definitions include the grantor who creates the trust, the […]

Important Takeaways From Battle Over Aretha Franklin’s Wills

Almost five years after Aretha Franklin’s death in 2018, a court in Michigan has finally assessed the validity of the multiple wills that she left behind. The Washington Post reported that two versions were in dispute, one created in 2010 and another in 2014. Both were handwritten and similar in the sense that the Queen […]

The Art of Gifting in Your Estate Plan 

When you think of your estate planning options, your mind turns to creating a will, living trust, powers of attorney, and advance directives. You probably do not consider how gifting to others would offer benefits, but it may be a useful strategy in appropriate situations. The underlying reason is estate tax rules established by the […]

When is a Revocable Living Trust a Suitable Solution for Your Estate Plan?

With all the options available to create your personalized estate plan, it can be overwhelming to figure out which documents are the most important for your situation. A will is the cornerstone of estate planning, and powers of attorney are useful for incapacity, so these will certainly be on your list. However, some people may […]

What is a Self-Proving Affidavit in a Will? 

Most people are aware that a last will and testament is a way to dictate your final affairs at death, but they are not as informed about the specific purposes. The key functions of a will are to communicate your intentions about who will act as your executor, how to distribute assets to beneficiaries, and […]

Differences Between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament

There is no question that estate planning terminology can be confusing, and this is especially true when the same word is used to describe different concepts. Under the American Bar Association definition, a will is a legal document that distributes a person’s property at death. A living will is a document that states an individual’s […]

Estate Planning Checklist When You Have a Will

People across the U.S. are becoming more aware of the importance of estate planning, and a good percentage have taken the steps by creating a will. According to the Caring.com 2022 Estate Planning Survey, more than 33% of all adults reported that they had prepared one. Plus, the number of young adults with wills has […]

When to Remove a Personal Representative?

Probate and estate administration is a body of laws and concepts covering what happens when someone dies, either with or without a will. Almost all US states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) or at least some of its provisions, so it is useful as a resource when providing an overview. The process of […]

Four Things to Know About Creditor Claims in Probate

Four Things to Know About Creditor Claims in Probate

Many people operate under the misconception that debts will go away when they die, but that may not be true in all circumstances. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau clarifies that the legal and financial obligations of a decedent shift to the estate upon death, in the same way that probate assets become part of the […]

Four Things to Know About Testamentary Trusts

There are multiple types of trusts that individuals may consider as part of a comprehensive estate plan, and the variations among them mean you have great flexibility in creating an arrangement that suits your needs. One option is a testamentary trust, defined by the American Bar Association (ABA) as a structure that is established in […]