Legal-Ease: Avoiding probate one asset at a time

While this hasn’t always been the perception about probate, the probate process has improved significantly as a result of simplification of federal estate law calculation formulas as well as administrative efficiencies that have been implemented by our local probate judges.

Legal-Ease: Do I need a trust?

Trusts can be thought of as contracts. They allow people to impose rules on inheritances, minimizing or eliminating estate taxes, if necessary. The “trustee” of the trust can distribute the property owned.

Legal-Ease: Keeping up with the Jones’ estate planning

Our neighbors can inspire and motivate us to consider investments, vacations and other improvements for our lives. In addition to discussing potential improvements and purchases, it’s great when neighbors discuss their estate planning experiences to encourage each other to properly identify their wishes for their surviving family and friends. But it’s important to keep in mind that while your neighbor may have what sounds like a great plan in place, your life may be different enough that another model would be a better choice for your estate plan. It’s important to discuss your estate planning with an attorney who can help you make sure you’ve made the right choices.

Legal-Ease: Can I trust my trust?

Trusts must be prepared by attorneys as they’re legal documents. While many trusts are created by local attorneys, others are created by attorneys from outside of our area who offered a “free steak dinner” to discuss the protection of the client’s assets. The generic statements of “safety” and “protection” that were often mentioned in relation to the preparation of trusts for the last several decades are often misunderstood.