Wills Go Through Probate for a Reason

Wills Go Through Probate for a Reason image

Wills and trusts are sometimes thought of as equivalent estate planning tools that do the same thing, only with different processes. There is an important legal distinction between the two.

When planning for their estates, many people consider whether it is better for them to get a will or a trust. Much of this consideration centers on the probate process because many people assume that wills and trusts do the same things.

People know that wills have to go through probate, while trusts do not. Therefore, if they do not want their estates to go through probate, they should get...

Thinking of Doing Your Own Estate Plan?

Thinking of Doing Your Own Estate Plan? image

It is possible that with a little bit of reading and perhaps downloading a few forms, that you can create an estate plan for yourself. It is usually a mistake to do so.

Most people would prefer to avoid paying for the services of an attorney, if they can avoid doing so. This is true even in estate planning.

Many people think they have straightforward desires regarding who should get their assets after they pass away. As a result, they do a little bit of research and may download a form or two to guide them. After a few hours,...

You Do Not Need to Be Special to Leave a Legacy

You Do Not Need to Be Special to Leave a Legacy image

The obituary of an Indiana man who passed away recently has gone viral on the Internet. However, it was not because it showed how unique the man was but because it showed how normal he was.

Most obituaries are somber plain affairs that give a brief overview of the important events in the life of a decedent and their closest family members they now left behind. The obituaries are printed in the local newspaper and normally forgotten fairly quickly by everyone who was not close to the deceased.

Terri Ward’s obituary has earned him some postmortem fame on the Internet....

A Second Marriage Thanks to Alzheimer's

A Second Marriage Thanks to Alzheimer's image

People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease do not suddenly forget everything. Instead their memories fade over time leading to some unique situations, as the story of one couple in New Zealand illustrates.

Alzheimer’s works in ways that cannot be predicted. What memories will disappear and when they will disappear can often seem random.

Michael Joyce of New Zealand suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He had been married to his wife for 38 years and eventually the disease progressed enough that he forgot he was married. In most cases, this would be a cause of deep pain for Joyce’s wife.

It is...

What Is the Impact on Clawback of New Tax Law?

What Is the Impact on Clawback of New Tax Law? image

It is not yet known how the IRS will handle things if people make gifts now that will exceed the exemption limits that are scheduled for 2026, when the new exemptions will sunset to previous levels.

The tax cuts passed late last year include provisions that double estate tax and gift tax exemption limits. That is good news on multiple fronts for many people. It means that some of them will no longer have their estates subject to the estate tax and others can gift more than previously to help decrease the size of their estates.

However, the new exemption...