When Should I Contact a Probate Lawyer for Help?

After a person passes away, the probate process is used to conclude all of the deceased’s financial and legal affairs. Probate court overseas the distribution of the estate using a will or the laws of the state if there is no will. In theory, probate is meant to be a straightforward process, and over the years it has evolved to make things easier for people who are not familiar with probate. Unfortunately, probate Read More

Four Estate Planning Choices That Could Cause Trouble

One of the primary purposes of a will is to provide your loved ones with detailed instructions regarding the way you would like your estate to be divided. Typically, estates are divided among immediate heirs or other close friends or relatives who expected to receive a share of your estate.  When estates are shared equally or the inheritance structure was already anticipated, there are few problems, but in some Read More

Estate Planning to-do List Every Newlywed Should Have

Since the official announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry, royal watchers and wedding enthusiasts have been discussing every aspect of Meghan Markle’s wedding planning process.  From smartphone apps that let users try on her ring to releases of sketches of possible wedding designs, it looks as if the May nuptials are one of the most anticipated weddings of 2018. One aspect of wedding preparations that is not Read More

Tips for Creating a Will When Your Family Owns a Business

When an owner of a business passes away, a company may survive unaffected, but the majority of the time, sales and service suffers. A business that loses a founding member within the first few years of operation will experience a drop in sales of at least 50% and have a higher rate of failure. The founders of a company are usually the driving force behind the company and without their support, a business, especially Read More

Famous People Whose Estates Were Taxed Heavily

The latest changes to the federal estate tax exemptions have sparked a great deal of debate between those who support the measures and those who are concerned by what they view as more perks solely for the rich. Multiple loopholes that the accountants of the rich have found have led to the small percentage of estates affected by estate taxes usually paying only a small percentage of what they owe. However, some Read More

Advice for Including a Pet in an Estate Plan

In a nationwide pet owner survey, the American Pet Products Association discovered that 68% of all households in the United States own at least one pet. The number of families owning pets has increased steadily over the years and healthcare providers have started placing a larger emphasis on forms of pet therapy. Multiple industries that provide pet-centered products (insurance, clothing, toys, etc.) have experienced Read More

What Does a Will Actually do?

Numerous studies have shown that the majority of adults in the United States do not have a will.  Some believe the lack of estate planning is caused by the idea that wills are only for the rich, but in reality several celebrities including Howard Hughes and Prince have passed away leaving multimillion-dollar fortunes and no will. One of the primary reasons that wills are often neglected is because some are not aware Read More

Tips for Leaving Money to Your Children and Grandchildren

When famed comedian Jerry Lewis passed away in August of 2017 at the age of 91, many were surprised to learn that the celebrity excluded several of his children from his will. According to the comedian’s will, his only beneficiaries named were his second wife and widow SanDee Pitnick or, if something happened to her, his adopted daughter Danielle Lewis. Though Jerry Lewis’s actions were unusual, it is normal for Read More

Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples

Since the 1980s billionaire mogul Oprah Winfrey has played a large role in shaping the media industry. Throughout the years she has helped launch multiple careers, created her own network, and supported multiple charities.  Oprah has always openly discussed her personal life including weight challenges and her long-term relationship with Stedman Graham. Even though the two became formerly engaged in 1992 they have Read More

What You Need to Know About the Federal Estate Exemption for 2018

The United States federal estate tax is the tax that is placed on property transferred from a deceased person to his or her named or immediate heirs. The property that can be transferred includes real estate, stock, bonds, cash, and other assets. Since 1916, the federal government has relied heavily on the income received through estate taxes and has implemented several laws designed to prevent avoidance of paying Read More