What Can I Do if the Estate’s Executor Is Not Administering the Estate Properly?

After someone dies, the property they leave behind becomes an asset of their estate. It can be any type of asset, including land, homes, jewelry or money. A will determines how those assets are distributed. To administer the estate, an executor is appointed by the court, usually designated by the decedent in the will. The executor is then charged with making sure the deceased's wishes are carried out by distributing the property and paying applicable taxes and bills. Anyone who is the executo...
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Avoiding Family Chaos: Why Your Adult Children Need Wills, Too

When a family member dies suddenly, it creates chaos in nearly every family. More often than not, disputes over property and money only intensify the grief everyone is already suffering. As older adults, it’s likely that we’ve taken steps to minimize that risk, such as maintaining an up-to-date will and setting up a family trust. However, have your adult children done the same? For younger adults, the time for needing a will can feel like a hundred years away, but for older adults, we’re ...
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Facing Your Financial Fears: Will & Estate Support for Women Over 50

If something were to happen to your spouse, do you know what assets and liabilities you have? For many women in the Baby Boomer Generation, the terrifying yet all too common answer is “no.” Oftentimes, couples write the first version of their will when they are starting a family and then revise it a decade or two later as the children grow. However, it’s common for husbands to take the lead in these revisions. Despite the good intentions, this scenario leaves many wives with a minimal underst...
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Leaving Assets to Underage Beneficiaries

Every parent wants to make sure their children will be taken care of if the unthinkable were to happen, and many grandparents or other family members often want their wills to include bequests to the younger generations in the family. However, there are special issues to consider when leaving assets to minors. Good intentions with poor planning rarely end with the desired results. Assets for Minor Children When planning for your children’s future, it’s important to consider what would happ...
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Disinheriting a Child From Your Estate

While Hollywood has glamorized disinheriting a child or grandchild, the decision to exclude someone from your will is quite complicated and emotional. There are four common reasons for removing an heir from your will: A pattern of behavior indicates the inheritance will be misused and/or cause added risk to the beneficiary’s life (for example, providing money for someone with significant drug or alcohol addiction). A split occurred and there is no longer a positive relationship, nor ...
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4 Signs That Your Family May Fight Over Your Estate

The loss of a loved one is often one of the most trying times you will experience in your life. From making funeral arrangements and navigating through the stages of grief to managing and settling the estate, it is easy for disputes to arise between family members. Fortunately, a majority of the disputes can be resolved amicably. To do so, it is essential to identify strategies to keep the peace in your family without the added worry of conflict among your heirs. Here are some warning signs t...
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How to Protect Your Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

As our society ages, there is naturally a rising concern over the physical, emotional, and financial security of our family members. With changes in technology, we are now conducting more business and financial management digitally. As a result, you should consider how you would protect your digital assets in your estate plan. Who will have access? How and where will you store your online passwords? These are vital questions to address as part of your estate plan. Before providing a loved one...
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3 Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney Now to Avoid Estate Disputes Later

Estate planning is a topic many people avoid because of its direct link to mortality; however, it is important to prepare and plan for your future heirs. Enlisting the services of a qualified estate planning attorney will save your loved ones time, money and sanity when it comes to settling your estate. But, hiring the wrong estate planning attorney may result in miscommunication regarding the division of your assets, disputes among your future heirs, and could cost you more money down the road....
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Effective Communication May Reduce Disputes between Executors and Beneficiaries

Estate Disputes- Understanding the Process and the Responsibilities
When a loved one passes away, it’s a difficult time for everyone involved. But often executors and beneficiaries are able to come together over a common goal: preserving the deceased’s legacy. Even so, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise between beneficiaries and executors during the administration and distribution of an estate. At times, these issues can result from a lack of knowledge and communication from the executor. Executors are often labeled as intentionally withholding informat...
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Joint Bank Accounts: Do You Understand the Risks?

Joint Bank Accounts: Do You Understand the Risks?
As our parents and family members age, there is inevitably a growing concern over their physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. Oftentimes, these aging individuals require assistance paying their bills and managing their finances, and they turn to a trusted family member, friend, or caregiver for help. This is both common and appropriate. Often, they go together to the bank or financial institution to get shared access to accounts with very noble intentions, and the teller provides a form ...
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