Keyword Search Result: probate

To probate or not to probate….

The Facts: I am named executor in my brother’s Will. He died recently and his assets include a bank account and a house. Someone told me that since I am the named executor, I can close the account and sell his house simply by presenting the Will. The Question: Is that true? The Answer: Absolutely […]

Consistency Is the Key

The Facts: My mother’s Will contains provisions that are inconsistent with other documents she has signed and with what she told my sister about the distribution of her estate. The Question: Are the Will provisions void or are the other documents unenforceable? The Answer: Unfortunately, the situation you’ve described is quite common and often creates […]

Who Can Dispute the Will?

The Facts: My sister died recently. In her Will she left 50% of her estate to friends and 50% of her estate to a charity. I feel she should have left her estate to her family. The Question: As her sibling, can I contest the probate of her Will? The Answer: Whether you can contest […]

Your ‘To Do’ List Should Include Updating Your Will

We all know that time flies by and that important things are sometimes put on the back burner as we rush around taking care of our day to day responsibilities. We have also all heard heartbreaking stories about people who had every intention of revising their estate plans but, failed to take the necessary steps […]

Is Probate Always Necessary?

Depending on the type of assets owned by a person at the time of their death, and the value of those assets, probate may not be required, even if the person died with a  Will. If the only assets the decedent had in her own name are valued at less than $30,000 and do not […]

There are Always Strings Attached….

Thinking about putting your children’s name on the deed to your house? Think again. Although giving your children your house and reserving for yourself a life estate may seem like an excellent strategy to avoid probate, there are significant downsides. The most obvious is the loss of control. Once you put your children’s names on […]

What is the Role of the Executor in Settling an Estate?

The Facts: Some people who have been named as executors told me their jobs were quite simple while others complained about all the time and effort it takes to administer an estate. The Question: What are the responsibilities of an executor and why does the complexity of the process vary so much? The Answer: The […]

Will or Beneficiary Form: Which Controls?

The Facts: I was told that the money in the joint account I have with my son and the money in my IRA will not be distributed according to my Will when I die. The Question: Is that correct? The Answer: Yes, that is correct. Many people mistakenly believe that, following their death, the provisions in their Will […]

Who is Required to Get Notice of the Probate of My Will?

The Facts: My father died 2 years ago. My mother is receiving hospice care. In her Will my mother leaves her estate to me and my sister. Her Will provides that my estranged brother who has not been seen or heard from by anyone in the family for over a decade is not to receive anything. […]

Children’s Inheritance When a Parent Dies

The Facts: I was married for 20 years and have two sons ages 19 and 13. I am now divorced and my ex-husband has remarried. Despite the settlement papers we signed in connection with our divorce, my ex never paid child support or contributed to my sons’ education expenses and has not been part of my […]

What if a Beneficiary Dies Before Me?

The Facts: My mother’s brother, Frank, never married and did not have any children. He died with a Will that left everything to my mother. Although Frank and my mother had a brother, John, Frank did not mention John in his Will. Unfortunately, my mother died a year before Frank. I am my mother’s only heir. […]

Who is the Record Owner of Your Property?

With low interest rates and a glut of properties on the market, an increasing number of clients are looking to purchase real property. Many of those clients are purchasing the property with friends and family members and have questions about how best to take title to the property. Since joint ownership of property can take […]

What is Probate?

As an attorney that focuses on estate planning, I am frequently asked what “probate” means. Technically, probate is the court procedure by which a decedent’s Will is either proved to be valid or found to be invalid and unenforceable. However, many people use the word probate in a more general sense to mean the process […]

Wills vs. Living Trusts: What’s Right for You?

The saying that nothing is certain except death and taxes is not accurate. The fact that taxes will increase is also a certainty, as is the fact that many people try to avoid paying taxes. Unfortunately, some attorneys take advantage of the public’s aversion to paying taxes and convince people that living trusts, also known […]