Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

Setting up a revocable living trust is quite often the best, most comprehensive option for avoiding probate. Often touted as an alternative to a will, a trust is a legal structure that permits management of your assets by a trustee on behalf of your beneficiaries. A living trust is established while you are still alive, as opposed to being created upon your death. Read More

Do I Really Need a Will?

A will puts you in charge of directing others on your wishes and distribution of assets upon your death. Without a will or other estate plan – referred to as intestacy – you have no control and your state’s rules determine who gets what after your death. Even if you have a trust, jointly owned property, or have named beneficiaries on your insurance, a will is important, even as just a “backup” plan. Read More

Your Estate Plan is About More than Your Money

Money is often the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, however the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even more to family members. Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding your money, property, and belongings. 

There are several ways that you can tell your story though your estate plan and pass your values to the next generation.
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Joint Property Perils

People often set up bank accounts and real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other automatically inherits the property by right of survivorship, without the property having to go through probate. Joint ownership of property is perceived to be easy because bank accounts can be opened as joint accounts and when buying real estate, title can simply be taken as joint tenants. Read More

3 Reasons an Irrevocable Trust Should be Modified

Many people believe that an irrevocable trust cannot be modified. However, changes in the law, family, trustees, and finances sometimes frustrate the trust maker’s original intent. Sometimes an error in the trust document itself is identified. When this happens, it makes sense to consider trust modifications, even when the trust is irrevocable. Here are three examples of when an irrevocable trust can, and should, be modified or terminated. Read More