Posts tagged with 'probate'

Scales of Justice

Most people think of probate (the process of collecting, managing, and distributing a deceased person’s money and property) as a private process. However, because wills are filed at the courthouse, probated estates become a matter of public record. That means your nosy neighbor Nellie can simply go down to the courthouse or hop online and find out about your probate. ...

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A parent holding hands with a child

The bad news: When a deceased person’s estate (all of their money and property) has to go through probate (the court-supervised process of distributing a deceased person’s money and property), it can be subject to a variety of costs stemming from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. Depending on the probate's complexity, fees can run into tens of ...

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Sun and Mountain Road

Today, many people are using a revocable living trust instead of a will or joint ownership as the foundation of their estate plan. When properly prepared, a living trust avoids the public, costly and time-consuming court processes of conservatorship or guardianship (due to incapacity) or probate (after death). Still, many people make a big mistake that sends their accounts and ...

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Scales of Justice

After a loved one dies, their money and property must be distributed to the right people, either according to their will or the state’s default distribution scheme (found in its “intestacy” statute). While most people want the settlement process to be done ASAP, probate can take between 18 and 24 months. Yes, you heard that right. The time delays create ...

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Elderly Couple and a Woman Talking to One ANother

Hoarding is more than just being a bit messy (or buying a six-month supply of toilet paper): It is actually a mental disorder causing some people to have difficulty discarding items, regardless of their value, and to experience severe distress even at the thought of it. If you have been named as the personal representative of a relative’s estate and ...

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Last Will and Testament

It is important to think carefully about your ability or willingness to serve as an executor or trustee for someone else. If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as the executor of his or her estate or as trustee of a trust he or she is creating, there are a number of factors you should consider ...

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Farmer pointing out at his field with bales of hay in it

Many people own property in more than one state. It is important to think about how that property will be handled as you create an estate plan.

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Hand Signing on a Paper

You may have heard of a revocable living trust (RLT), which is a commonly used estate planning solution. But what exactly are they, who is affected by them, how can they be changed, and what do they accomplish?

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