Why Your Estate Planning Project Must Morph into a Process

Many people put their estate plan on their to-do list as a one-time project: “Create estate plan” or “Meeting with lawyer 10:30 a.m. Thursday for estate plan.” Thinking of your estate plan as a single project or task to complete and move off your list is a common...

Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

While things like cheese get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts. Maybe you’re the beneficiary of trust created by your great grandfather over seventy years ago and that trust no longer makes sense. Or, maybe you created an irrevocable...

Who Is Your Beneficiary? Marilyn Monroe Ultimately Had No Idea

Who Is Your Beneficiary? Marilyn Monroe Ultimately Had No Idea When creating a last will and testament, it’s important to know your beneficiary. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Marilyn Monroe, one of the world’s most famous icons, didn’t seem to have any idea to...

HELP! Probate Is Taking Forever!!

After a loved one dies, her estate must be settled. While most people want the settlement process to be done ASAP, probate can take between 18 and 24 months. Yes, you heard that right. The time delays create unnecessary stress. 5 Reasons Probate Takes So Long There...

Are Handwritten Intentions Enforceable? Princess Diana Thought So…

Princess Diana of Wales was one of the world’s most loved celebrities – and one of the richest. Her tragic death in 1997 was world news. The majority of her estate, reportedly worth $40 million at the time of her death, was divided between Prince William and Prince...

What To Do When 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...

Want to Give the Kids an Early Inheritance? 4 Things to Consider

If you’re thinking about giving your children their inheritance early, you’re not alone. A recent Merrill Lynch study suggests that these days, nearly two-thirds of people over the age of 50 would rather pass their assets to the children early than make them wait...

What To Do When a Disability Throws Your Estate Plan Into Chaos

As poet Robert Burns mused centuries ago, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Despite thoughtful effort and a concerted strategy, you cannot prepare for every emergency. A car accident, sudden illness, workplace injury or chronic medical condition can...

3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Lessons to Learn from Them

With all the wealth accumulated by the rich and famous, one would assume that celebrities would take steps to protect their estates once they pass on. But think again: Some of the world’s richest and most famous people have passed away without a will or a trust, while...