Just the FAQs, Ma’am (Vol. 1)

Just the FAQs, Ma'am (Vol. 1) Living Trust vs Will

FAQs to Basic Estate Planning Questions Living Trust As part of getting back to basics for people searching for basic estate planning answers, I’m going to cover some basic questions that come from Henry W. Abts III’s book The Living Trust in Appendix G. While the questions are coming from the book, the answers are […]

What Probate Attorneys Don’t Want You to Know

Probate Attorneys - What the Don’t Want You to Know

Follow The Money I’m seeing more attorneys these days at least reference a revocable living trust when speaking with their clients if they are asked about estate planning options. However, it is still the norm if clients call up a law office and ask to get a Will done that attorneys will just go through […]

7 Things NOT to Put in Your Will

Last Will & Testament - Seven Items to Keep Out

Last Will & Testament A Last Will and Testament is supposed to be a way to communicate your wishes after you’re gone… but there are a lot of “extra” things DIY people (and even some attorneys) put into Wills that really don’t belong there and could cause problems down the road. Why shouldn’t you be […]

My Mom is on Her Deathbed… What Do I Do?

Beneficiary - No Will Moms on Deathbed

No Will – No Beneficiary Unfortunately, many people leave planning their estate to the last minute, or they never make a plan at all. In this edition, Jeff examines options and advice from other attorneys to a son on Reddit trying to frantically get his mother’s wishes in place as she lies on her deathbed. […]

How Much Does Probate Cost?

How Much Are Probate Costs

Probate Probate costs a lot. When given the statistics, my clients are usually appalled that their estates going through the probate court system would cost so much. On average, the probate court system will eat up about 4-10% of an estate. Many states allow a standard 5% fee for an executor or administrator, but in […]

But The Will Says …

But the Will says ...

The Lasts Will & Testament When it comes to a Last Will and Testament, it only controls what ends up in probate. This review of a Reddit thread in r/estateplanning makes it clear that a Will does NOT control everything. In this post, Jeff is reacting to a post from Reddit R/Estate Planning. This is […]

What is a Testamentary Trust?

Testamentary Trust - What is it?

Testamentary Trust A testamentary trust is basically language written into a Last Will and Testament that holds and manages estate assets for a beneficiary over a period of time beyond the probate estate being initially settled. Unfortunately, this has a lot of drawbacks depending on state law. A testamentary trust may mean that the beneficiary’s […]

Should I do a Will or Trust

Should I do a will or trust

This question of a will or trust comes up all of the time when it comes to estate planning. Unfortunately, many attorneys and other professionals try to cram and squish this very subjective square peg into an objective round hole with a sledgehammer. The fact is that there is no simple “one-size-fits-all” number answer to […]

I Want a Revocable Living Trust

I Want A Revocable Living Trust

I Want a Revocable Living Trust… Do I Need a Will? “Well, if you have a Revocable Living Trust, don’t you also need a Will?” the other attorney asked. “Yeah, you need a Will,” I responded. “Ah ha!” the other attorney exclaimed as if he has just made some profound and overriding point to justify […]

Declare Independence From Probate

Independence from Probate

I wrote this blog back on Independence Day, but I wanted to share it with everyone. I Want You to Declare Independence From Probate I know it sounds like a stretch to compare our country’s independence to estate planning, but hear me out on this. In 1776, our colonial leaders decided they didn’t want government […]