The word "probate" is often associated with estates. But not every asset that passes to your estate is a probate asset. Only assets owned in your sole name at death — or assets co-owned with others where they do not automatically assume your share of ownership — are considered probate assets. For instance, if you own 100% of your house alone, then your house is a probate asset. If, however, you … [Read more...] about Are All Assets “Probate” Assets?
What Makes a Last Will and Testament Legal?
Many people think that they can simply write their will on a piece of paper and have someone witness it to make it legal. However, there are certain things that are required to take place for a last will and testament to be legal. Without knowing this information, a person can think that they are doing things in the best interests of their loved ones but have no idea that they really aren't … [Read more...] about What Makes a Last Will and Testament Legal?
Avoiding Probate Due to Joint Tenancy
Going through the probate process can be very frustrating for the loved ones you leave behind after your death. Although you can do things to try to make the process easier by having a valid will, the probate process can still be very long and drawn out. For this reason, many people opt to create a joint tenancy situation as a way of avoiding probate. A joint tenancy simply means that someone … [Read more...] about Avoiding Probate Due to Joint Tenancy
Estate Planning for the Blended Family
There can be a lot of joy and excitement in a second marriage. There can also be a lot of angst about bringing two families with children together. Sometimes it goes very well, while it can be very challenging at other times. Aside from the logistics of blending a family, there are estate planning issues that also need to be addressed early to avoid confusion and conflict down the road. When you … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for the Blended Family
Why Parents With Young Children Must Focus on Asset Protection Early
When parents are busy taking care of the day-to-day needs of their young children, they're not often thinking about asset protection. After all, many people start out in their young lives without a lot of assets to speak of. However, there are many considerations that you need to make if you have young children to take care of. Protecting what assets you do have and preparing kids for the future … [Read more...] about Why Parents With Young Children Must Focus on Asset Protection Early
Got Creditors? A Revocable Living Trust Is Not Enough
As anyone who has lost a home or other assets to a judgment creditor can tell you, it can pay to have an asset protection plan. If you’re ever sued by a creditor or anyone else, and the person who sues you wins a money judgment in that lawsuit, then they become your “judgment creditor”. A judgment creditor has the right to take your property in order to collect the judgment they’ve received … [Read more...] about Got Creditors? A Revocable Living Trust Is Not Enough