Your Last Will and Testament is likely the most important document you will create during your lifetime. When creating your Will you must make a number of important decisions relating to the disposition of your estate assets after your death. You will also need to make another, equally important, yet often overlooked, decision – your choice of Executor. All too often people appoint someone as the Executor of a Will without giving the matter much thought, a mistake that can have far-reaching … [Read more...] about What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of an Executor?
The death of a close family member, particularly your mother, is never easy. Unfortunately, in the midst of your grief and suffering there are practical and legal matters that must be addressed, such as the probate of her estate. Dealing with probate can be a frustrating and time consuming endeavor under the best of circumstances; however, what happens if someone contests your mother’s Will? A Will contest can turn a relatively simple probate into a lengthy and costly process. In the State of … [Read more...] about What Happens If Someone Contests Your Mother’s Will?
For most people, the thought of their family members and loved ones fighting over their estate assets after death is not a pleasant thought. Unfortunately, however, that is precisely what does occur far more often than people realize. A Will contest must be based on a credible allegation that, if true, would invalidate the Will submitted to probate. In truth, however, most Will contests are secretly (or not so secretly) fueled by the emotions of someone who was left out of the decedent’s Last … [Read more...] about Will a No-Contest Clause Prevent a Will Contest?
If you have recently lost a close loved one you are likely going through a period of grief and heightened emotions. At some point, however, you may also begin to consider the practical and legal ramifications of your loved one’s death. For example, you may begin to wonder what your loved one left you in his or her Will. Because you may be reluctant to ask about your inheritance for fear that asking may sound insensitive, you may start wondering “How can I find out what my inheritance is?” There … [Read more...] about How Can I Find Out What My Inheritance Is?
Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, died recently after being kept alive for six months in a medically induced coma. Bobbi Kristina’s death leaves behind more questions than answers, including speculation about how much of Whitney’s fortune is left and who will receive it now. One thing that is clear is that had Houston left behind a complete estate plan, instead of simply a very old Last Will and Testament, Bobbie’s life might have been simpler and her tragic death may have been … [Read more...] about What Will Happen to Whitney’s Estate Following the Death of Bobbi Kristina?
What should you do if you have a Last Will and Testament that you wish to change or revoke? One thing people frequently try to do when they want to revoke a Will is to simply write the words “Revoked” on the document; however, that may not accomplish what you intend it to – in fact, it may not accomplish anything. Understanding why you should never write on your Will is important. Your Last Will and Testament typically serves as the foundation for a comprehensive estate plan. Like most legal … [Read more...] about Why You Should Never Write on Your Will
Your Last Will and Testament will likely serve as the cornerstone of your estate plan. In fact, your Will may be your entire estate plan if you are young and have yet to create a more comprehensive estate plan. People often make the mistake of using “do-it-yourself” Will forms found on the internet or in local stationary stores instead of working with an experienced estate planning attorney when they create and execute a Will. Doing so can create a long list of problems for beneficiaries and … [Read more...] about What Is a Self-Proving Will in New York?
Most estate planning lawyers will tell you the one opening line they hear most often is, “I'm not even sure I need to have a will.” To that end, we explain that a will covers far more than one's finances. There's a lot at stake and ensuring your wishes are met and your loved ones are seen to in the event of your death is what a will is really about. A properly defined estate plan will legally protect and then distribute your property based on your wishes. If for no other reason, you should … [Read more...] about The Role of a Will in Your Estate Planning Efforts
There is nothing more frustrating for us, as humans, to not be able to grasp a concept or understand what we’re reading. When it comes to legal terminology, as estate planning attorneys, we usually don’t hear from a client until they’re ready to hurl the paperwork out of a fast moving train. And that’s OK – that’s what we’re here for and it’s our job, as legal professionals, to eliminate the confusion. That said, one of the most frustrating aspects of the law sector as a whole is the end of … [Read more...] about Funding, Retitling and Other Confusing Estate Planning Terms
The National Institute on Aging defines Alzheimer’s disease as, “ an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.”. Experts say as many as 5.1 million Americans have some degree of this disease. It’s the most common cause of dementia among older people; dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning. There are varying degrees of dementia, like … [Read more...] about Alzheimer’s Strikes: Now What?