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May 2014 Archives

Digital assets should be considered when completing a will

In days gone by, the distribution of assets upon a person's death might be relatively straightforward. It is still true today that, when waiting to hear about what assets the beneficiaries of an estate might receive, there could be some hurt feelings or tension over who might receive a cherished item -- a beloved grand piano, for example, or a family heirloom desk.

Billionaire's cancer diagnosis leads to estate planning questions

The reason for having an estate plan in place is to make sure that your wishes are accurately conveyed after your death. For many people, this is a bit of a guessing game: We don't know how much time we have left. We have to make the arrangements well in advance so that when the time comes, there is no debate about our will or what our intentions might have been.

As expected, battle over Mickey Rooney's estate commences

Last month, in the wake of the death of actor Mickey Rooney, speculation began about the degree to which the late actor's will would be accepted by his family. The actor's estate was not very large, totalling only about $18,000. However, because everything was specified to go to one of the actor's stepsons, rather than his estranged wife or any of his biological children, a dispute about the will execution seemed likely anyway.

Sporting-goods in-laws fighting over spending from trust

Many families collapse into disarray after the death of a loved one. While much of this is due to family members trying to come to grips on the loss of a husband, brother or father, for example, after some time it often comes down to financial matters. It can be a source of conflict, for example, if a trustee is having a personal conflict with a trust beneficiary.

The benefits of having a revocable living trust

Not everyone believes that having a revocable living trust is necessary. After all, the federal estate tax exemption for individuals is $5.34 million and $10.68 million for married couples. However, the purpose of such an estate planning tool concerns more than just saving upon estate taxes. A revocable living trust can allow distributions to heirs without the assets having to go through probate and can thus be an effective means for distribution of assets.