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estate administration & probate Archives

Do I always transfer assets through probate court?

If you learn that you are tapped to be an executor, the responsibilities that come with administering an estate can be overwhelming. After all, the process of legally transferring property and assets from the deceased to heirs or beneficiaries (and even creditors) is not something that people do every day. Also, if there are disputes over who is entitled to receive the property, this can be daunting.

The basics of self-directed IRAs

If you have not heard of a self-directed IRA, you are certainly not alone. Most people who are building wealth through IRAs, use the traditional means (i.e. Roth, Inherited, SEP or SIMPLE). However, most are unfamiliar with the concept of self-directed IRAs and the benefits of having them.

How to protect digital assets with proper estate planning

If you created your estate plan before 2005, chances are that it did not have any provisions dealing with the handling or distribution of digital assets. Don’t worry, if this describes the current state of your plan, you are not alone. Most estate plans created before then did not deal with these assets, since they are a relatively new aspect of estate planning. However, a large majority of people have now have email accounts, digital copies of important documents (such as deeds and contracts) as well as pictures and videos stored on a hard drive or in a cloud storage mechanism. 

Options for handling inherited homes

Inheriting property from a loved one may bring about a range of emotions. On one hand, you may be saddened by a reminder of what he or she left behind. On the other hand, it could be an opportunity to keep a part of your family’s history relevant for another generation.

Can you prevent an inherited IRA from being lost in bankruptcy?

People in the midst of creating an estate plan understand that the ultimate goal is to provide for others (especially vulnerable adults and children) when they are no longer able to do so. But part of the difficulty of estate planning is that the future cannot be predicted.

The basic reasons for will contests

We think of estate planning as a way to ensure that our heirs and beneficiaries have what they need in the event we pass away. While this might seem easy for those aspiring to leave assets, it may not be so for those who are slated to receive them. Beneficiaries may have very different ideas about what they are entitled to compared to what is articulated through a will.

Estate planning mistakes that you should avoid

Estate planning is not as simple as you may think. After all, you are trying to plan for the future that does not always go as you think it would, and you are trying to make sure that your current assets grow and are protected so that your beneficiaries will not be harmed by expensive estate taxes. However, even those with the best intentions may make mistakes in managing their estate plans. Through this post, we will highlight some common errors, so you won’t make them.

The apathy and disdain for the estate tax

With the federal income tax filing deadline approaching, there probably few people who are concerned with completing estate tax returns before April 18. After all, this tax is only applicable to estates valued at more than $3.5 million, and is required to be filed within a reasonable time after an estate proceeds through probate.

What should we be concerned about as our parents age?

Just as our parents wanted to protect us from harm when we were young, we have certainly want to do the same for them as they get older. Yes, we may help them understand technology and keep up with medical reports, but making sure that our parents (and other elderly loved ones) are not taken advantage of financially becomes that much more important as they get older, even if they have made good financial decisions for decades.  

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