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Considerations When Choosing Beneficiaries

  Beneficiaries are a crucial part of your estate plan. They are the people or organizations that will ultimately benefit from your estate when you pass away. Your beneficiaries can receive money or anything else you pass down to them, such as Social Security disability, savings and checking accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and […]

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Heirs and Contingent Beneficiaries

  When the Titanic went down in 1912, several women chose to remain on board with their husbands. One was Ida Straus, whose family co-owned Macy’s Department Store. Although Titanic-scale disasters are extraordinarily rare, you should nevertheless include a contingency beneficiary in your will or trust in case life or death serves up something unexpected. […]

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The Wisdom of Establishing Payable-on-Death Accounts

Payable-on-death accounts (POD) — sometimes referred to as transfer-on-death accounts (TOD) — are a type of account that, at the owner’s death, allows the money remaining to pass directly to the beneficiaries named by the account owner. They offer an easy way to keep money out of probate. Establishing payable-on-death accounts is easy. Just properly […]

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Living Trust and Estate Planning papers

Do You Need a Trust?

  According to the 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Survey by, only 34 percent of Americans have an estate plan. The primary reasons respondents gave for not participating in estate planning are: Procrastination Believing they need more assets Not knowing how to make an estate plan An estate plan is a comprehensive set of legal documents […]

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a scale with one side reading "taxes" and the other side reading "living trust & estate planning"

What To Know About Trusts and Taxes

For all intents and purposes, a trust is considered its own entity. Trusts are legal documents, but they are also taxed separately from those to whom the assets within a trust will be distributed. People who are in the process of planning their estates rely on trusts because trusts serve as protection over the assets […]

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Questions to Ask Before Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney

Prior to making an appointment with an estate planning attorney, ask yourself a few questions to come prepared to the meeting. If you don’t know the answer, come with prepared questions for your attorney. Doing this will ensure the best use of your time and money. What makes up my estate? Your estate consists of […]

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doll couples with house and money bag

Give Your Heirs a Fair Shake

For some simple estates, all you may need to do is split your assets in equal proportions among heirs. In other instances, however, you have more complex issues to confront: How can you apportion a family business, especially one to which all beneficiaries do not contribute the same sweat equity? How should you approach real […]

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How to Deal With Estate Litigation

Death is just the beginning. When a loved one passes, navigating through the probate process can dredge up unresolved emotions and family conflicts, all intensified by grief. As survivors find themselves rehashing the past, the settlement of probate can ignite long-buried resentments. If the parties have been looking for a fight for years, probate unleashes […]

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Estate Planning: Know the Basics

When beginning your estate plan, your first task will be to inventory what you own. You may be surprised by all the tangible and intangible assets you have accumulates. Estimate some values, but you may want to obtain an appraisal on your home and statements from financial accounts. You will then need to work with […]

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