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Estate Planning Awareness Week: The Importance to You and Your Loved Ones of Having an Estate Plan

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2021 survey conducted by Caring.com, only 33 percent of adults in the United States have [..]

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Trust Funding: Is Everything Titled Correctly?

Working with an attorney to draft a trust agreement for estate planning purposes is an important step. But just getting the document drafted and signed is not enough. For any trust to be effective, you must complete the process of funding your trust as soon as you can. But what exactly is funding? A common [..]

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Important Questions Your Estate Planning Attorney Will Ask You

For many people, the thought of meeting with an estate planning attorney strikes fear into their hearts. It can be uncomfortable to even consider the possibility of no longer being able to manage your own affairs, let alone no longer being alive, with your property and accounts passing to someone else. For far too many [..]

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Britney Spears: A Cautionary Tale about Conservatorships

  Even if you do not listen to pop music, it has been hard to ignore the recent news about Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney movement trending on social media. What is this movement all about? And why should average Americans care?   In 2008, pop singer and superstar performer Britney Spears had a widely [..]

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Questions to Ask When Hiring a Fiduciary

  A comprehensive estate plan consists of several documents that accomplish three important things. First, they lay out your wishes for the handling of your money and property during life and at death. Second, they explain your medical wishes if you are no longer able to make them yourself or communicate them to others. Third, [..]

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What Do Executors and Successor Trustees Do?

Executor’s Duties An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is the person who is named in a will, appointed by the court, and responsible for probating the will and settling the estate. Depending on the state, an executor may work under court supervision or may use so-called “independent” administration for an unsupervised probate. Typically, a [..]

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Do you need a Trust?

Do you really need a trust?   Although many people equate “estate planning” with having a will, there are many advantages to having a trust rather than a will as the centerpiece of your estate plan. While there are other estate planning tools (such as joint tenancy, transfer on death, beneficiary designations, to name a [..]

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Do you need a Will?

Most Americans do not have a simple will as part of their estate plan. You might believe that a will is only for the rich and famous, and not the average person who has a far smaller net worth. On the other hand, you may think that a will is entirely unnecessary since you have [..]

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