How to Build Freedom From Court Interference Into Your Estate Plan

It’s clear why you might want to avoid court involvement in your estate for financial reasons, knowing that probate can quickly get costly and time consuming for those involved. But there is an emotional component to it as well. Your assets are just that: yours. And the idea of them being discussed and deliberated on …

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What happens to your student loan when you die?

Student loan debt is a part of life nowadays for most people, which is especially true for students obtaining advanced or professional degrees. As of 2017, the total national student debt is now over $1.4 trillion.  On average, college students graduate with $17,126 in debt for their degree. Students are not alone in their debt …

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Bad States To Die In

The federal estate tax has been in the news recently after the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which doubled the exemption amount for estate, gift an generation-skipping taxes. In 2018, individuals can shelter $11.2 million, and couples can shelter $22.4 million from these taxes. Many states have done away with estate taxes …

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What to Do After a Loved One Dies

If you’ve been appointed an executor of a loved one’s estate or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your grief – not to mention your to-do list, including tasks ranging from planning the funeral, coordinating relatives coming in from out of town and (eventually) meeting with a trust administration or probate lawyer – can …

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Why a Trust Is the Best Option to Avoid Probate

As Ambrose Bierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” Obviously, ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in …

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Pros and Cons of Probate

The word “probate” often comes with a starkly negative connotation.  Financial planners often recommend trying to keep property out of probate no matter the size of your estate.  However, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the property of the deceased and his/her heirs, and in a few cases it may even work to an …

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3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs

The bad news: probated estates are subject to a variety of costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. Depending on the probate’s complexity, fees can run into tens of thousands of dollars. The good news: probate costs can be reduced by avoiding probate. It’s really that simple. Here are three simple ways …

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How to Avoid Sending Your Loved Ones (and Assets) through Probate

Many people are using a revocable living trust instead of a will or joint ownership as the foundation of their estate plan. When properly prepared, a living trust will avoid the public, costly and time-consuming court processes of conservatorship or guardianship (due to incapacity) or probate (after death). Still, many people make a big mistake …

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