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  • Leaving a Legacy of Love

    Anne and Bill are a wonderful example of parents who prepare for the inevitable. Both are in their mid-70s, and in relatively good health, but their two children and several grandchildren live far away. They knew that when something happens to them, their children would have to journey to get there and assist. Wanting to make life easier for their kids, they decided to make sure their wishes were known.

  • I Want All My Property to Go into a Trust So That I Can Avoid Creditors

    The issue of creditor avoidance is very complicated, with federal law, state statutes, IRS rulings, and court rulings all weighing in about who gets what when there’s not enough to go around. Start reading the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, move on to your state’s statute of frauds, and then the Fraudulent Transfer Act, and you will be peeling only the first few layers of the onion.

  • I Don’t Want the Government to Get My Property

    Some people fear this will happen if they die without a will. Others have heard rumors about death taxes, and they think this is the “guvmint’s” final money grab as you’re taking your last breath. The latter concern—estate taxation—actually affects only about 1% of us, which is the topic for another blog. The first scenario could affect any of us, however.

  • My Husband and I Own Everything Together—Why Do I Need a Will?

    Most spouses do own everything together, 50/50. But the real question is, how? Are they joint tenants with right of survivorship, or tenants in common? (See Misconception #1.)

    If they’re joint tenants, then the property passes automatically to the surviving spouse, with no need for a probate. If they’re tenants in common, the property of the first spouse to die will pass to others according to that person’s will. If no will can be found, the property passes to others per state law, the subject for next week’s blog.

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