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Category Archives: Probate

When You Don’t Avoid Probate with a Trust

When You Don’t Avoid Probate with a Trust

A couple of years ago, a very nice couple visited with me in my office. They had moved from Wisconsin, where their attorney was also licensed in Florida and had just completed a revision of their revocable trusts and related pour-over will, durable powers of attorney, health care surrogates and living wills. They wanted me […]

What to Bring to the Attorney when a Loved One Passes

What to Bring to the Attorney when a Loved One Passes

It’s always a difficult time when you lose a loved one. Usually, one of the first places one visits will be the lawyer’s office that drew the will or trust. The will or trust isn’t usually read to a gathering of family “Hollywood style.” Rather, the lawyer discusses the administrative steps that the personal representative […]

Estate Administration and Short Term Markets

Estate Administration and Short Term Markets

Several years ago, I took on an estate-planning client, “Kevin,” who had worked at the Eastman Kodak Company for his entire adult life. He had earned stock bonuses in the company over the years, so that by his retirement a significant portion of his net worth consisted of Kodak stock. Kevin asked me to draft […]

The Pain of Loss

The Pain of Loss

One never knows whether something written in social media was fabricated or is actually attributed to the correct party. Nevertheless, I came across this post in Facebook about the loss of loved ones that I thought was both insightful and poignant: “Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) […]

Reasonably Ascertainable Creditors

Reasonably Ascertainable Creditors

When a loved one dies, whomever you name as the personal representative (executor) under the will or the trustee under a trust will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that your estate or trust satisfies any outstanding creditors upon your death. Creditors might appear in the form of credit cards, hospital or medical bills, […]

Do all Revocable Trusts Avoid Probate?

Do all Revocable Trusts Avoid Probate?

When you have a revocable trust, does that always mean that your estate will avoid the probate process when you die? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is “No.” Why is that? First, let’s review what the probate process is. Many people think that “probate” means “taxes.” Probate is not a tax. […]

Joint Accounts Don’t Count Towards Bequests

Joint Accounts Don’t Count Towards Bequests

“Stan” created a trust that first distributed the first $2 million to his wife, “Wendy” before making $500,000 bequests to each of his two daughters, Doris and Diane. When Stan created his trust, he considered the bequest to his wife to be enough for her to live off of the rest of her life, also […]

Death & Debts – Five Things Surviving Family Members Need to Know

Death & Debts – Five Things Surviving Family Members Need to Know

When a loved one dies, the last thing family members want to do is field calls from debt collectors. If you are the personal representative (executor) of the estate or trustee of your love one’s revocable trust, chances are you will have to deal with your loved one’s debts and creditors. But is it your […]