Receiving an inheritance is both an honor and a responsibility, and estate planning attorneys constantly see individuals who are just not ready to take that on appropriately. Unlike items of sentimental value, such as jewelry or family heirlooms, a financial inheritance was likely meant to be … [Read more...] about Monticello Estate Planning Attorney Asks: Do You Know How to Manage Your Inheritance?
There are several reasons that a will may prove invalid. It is important for testators to be aware of these pitfalls in order to avoid them. Improper Execution The requirements vary from state to state, but most states require a valid will to be witnessed by two people not named in the will. … [Read more...] about Five Common Reasons a Will May Be Invalid
The world of estate planning can be complex. If you have just started your research or are in the process of setting up your estate plan, you’ve likely encountered discussions of wills and trusts. While most people have a very basic understanding of a last will and testament, trusts are often … [Read more...] about Testamentary v. Inter Vivos Trusts
When a person dies with a Will in place, a Personal Representative or Executor is named as the responsible individual for winding down the decedent's affairs. In situations in which a Will has not been prepared, the probate court will appoint someone to that role. Whether you have been named or … [Read more...] about Responsibilities and Obligations of Personal Representatives
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, often made more stressful when one has to handle the affairs of the deceased. Certain tasks must be completed to administer the estate of the deceased. This may be a great undertaking or rather minimal work, depending upon the level of estate planning … [Read more...] about What to Do after a Loved One Passes Away
So, you have a will, but is it valid? A will can be contested for a multitude of reasons after it is presented to a probate court. It is in your best interest to have an attorney draft the will to prevent any ambiguity in the provisions of the document that others could dispute later. A will may … [Read more...] about Preventing Will Contests
Often estate planning focuses on the “big picture” issues, such as who gets what, whether a living trust should be created to avoid probate, and tax planning to minimize gift and estate taxes. However, there are many smaller issues, which are just as critical to the success of your overall estate … [Read more...] about Important Issues to Consider When Setting Up Your Estate Plan
A Personal Representative (also known as an Executor) is the person designated in a Will as the individual who is responsible for performing a number of tasks necessary to wind down the decedent’s affairs. Generally, the Personal Representative’s responsibilities involve taking charge of the … [Read more...] about What is involved in serving as Personal Representative?
We live in a society where most of us carry at least some debt, right up through the end of our life. So what happens to this debt after death? Are you one of many Americans concerned that, rather than inheriting wealth from a loved one, you will instead inherit bills? The good news is, you probably … [Read more...] about Do Heirs Have to Pay Off Their Loved One’s Debts?