When Joint Bank Accounts Become Problematic

Many people incorporate joint accounts into their financial and estate plans in order to keep the account(s) out of probate. As a recent article explains, however, joint accounts can become problematic. Joint accounts provide the account holders with a right of survivorship of the account. Essentially, a right of survivorship means that when one joint… Read More »

Tips for Successor Trustees

Under California law, there are certain steps that a successor trustee must take in order to keep himself out of legal trouble. A recent article discusses several of these steps. First, in accordance with California Probate Code Section 16061.7, a successor trustee must provide written notice of their succession within 60 days of the death… Read More »

Do You Need a Living Trust?

Living trusts are touted as a solution to the cost and time associated with the process of probate. As a recent article explains, however, living trusts are often sold to individuals who do not need them. Living trusts are typically not cheap, either. Whereas a simple will generally costs around $300, an estate plan with… Read More »

Don’t Assume Your Heirs Know Your Final Wishes

Many people avoid common estate planning techniques because they believe that the beneficiaries of their estate are already aware of their wishes. As a recent article explains, however, making this assumption is often a big mistake. Without an estate plan, a person cannot be certain of what will happen after his or her death. Leaving… Read More »

Google Follows Digital Estate Planning Trend

Beginning in early April, Google users will have an easier time preparing their digital estate plans. As a recent article reports, Google has recently launched its “Inactive Account Manager,” which may be utilized by users to direct what happens with the data they have stored in Google applications after their death. Google applications include Google… Read More »

Maintaining Your Will Now May Avoid Battles Later

When 1970s pop star Gerry Rafferty died in 2011, his death ignited a lengthy legal battle over who would inherit his estate. The ensuing battle should serve as a reminder that maintaining your estate plan is just as important as creating it. Rafferty drafted his will in 2007. The will named his daughter and granddaughter… Read More »

How To Pay Your Trustee

Some trusts may be silent on the issue of how much and when to pay the trustee for their services. Some trustees may not want to be paid because they feel uncomfortable writing a check out of the trust and to themself. Other trustees want to be paid, but the beneficiary is unsure of how… Read More »

Seattle Woman Attempts to Make Estate Planning Painless

A Seattle mother of two has set out to make estate planning less daunting for ordinary people. Her web site, “get your stuff together,” encourages people to manage their affairs while they still can. According to “get your stuff together” creator, Chanel Reynolds, “It takes really just a few hours now, rather than a pile… Read More »