Three Reasons to Avoid Probate

When you pass away, your family may need to sign certain documents as part of a probate process in order to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in your name only and you have not  completed a...

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The Pros and Cons of Probate

In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often carries a negative connotation. Indeed, for many people—especially those with valuable accounts and property—financial planners recommend trying to keep accounts and property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the deceased’s accounts and property as...

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Why a Trust Is the Best Option to Avoid Probate

Ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the deceased’s passing are so seamlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family and other loved ones to grieve and remember the deceased in peace.

In fact, the whole business...

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What Is a Nongrantor Trust?

Every trust has at least one grantor, also known as the trustmaker, i.e., the person who creates the trust. So, it can be confusing when terms like grantor trust and nongrantor trust are used. It is helpful to understand that neither of these terms refers to the existence or nonexistence of the...

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What To Do if Your Trustee Is Unresponsive

A trustee has a duty under the law to communicate with beneficiaries and keep them reasonably informed as to the progress of the trust administration. Depending on your state’s law, such duty to inform may require the trustee to give beneficiaries a copy of the trust document, provide information regarding the anticipated...

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