Losing a spouse may be one of the most difficult life events that any of us have to deal with. A spouse is a parenting partner, a co-CFO, a best friend and a beloved soul mate. Losing the person who supports you in so many ways can create an emptiness which can be...
Should Beneficiaries Also Serve as Executor or Trustee?
When someone creates a will or a trust of course they want to choose a dependable and trustworthy person as executor or trustee. For most people this means someone close to them—a family member or friend, or often the most responsible of their adult children. However,...
Joint Ownership A Dangerous Way to Avoid Probate
When asking about how to avoid probate, many clients have asked about the wisdom of adding family members as joint owners to bank accounts. While joint ownership will achieve the goal of avoiding probate, there are many dangers and drawbacks to adding family...
Frequently Asked Questions About Probate
What is probate? Probate is defined as “the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will. A probate interprets the instructions of the deceased, decides the...
Who Owns Credit Card Debt After the Death of a Parent?
Administering the estate of a deceased loved one can be complicated and emotional under the best of circumstances, but executors who take on this overwhelming task may find themselves facing more than just the demands of relatives and heirs—they may also find...
Tough Decisions Await Executors of 2010 Estates
If you are the executor of the estate of a decedent who died in 2010 you may think you’re in the clear. After all, there was no estate tax in 2010 right? Making distributions should be a piece of cake. Wrong. Because of the estate tax election available on the estates...
5 Essential Tips for Executors or Trustees
Serving as executor or trustee of a will or a trust is an honor... but it’s also a job—a BIG job—and not one to be taken lightly. The role of executor or trustee can be one of great financial power, but it carries with it a heavy fiduciary obligation. Fiduciary...
What Is Probate?
With all the recent news about what will happen with estate taxes, the process of probate has come up quite a bit. Sometimes probate is mentioned in a low-key, matter-of-fact kind of way; at other times it is presented as something scary, and to be avoided at all...
10 Phone Calls to Make After the Death of a Loved One
Coping with the death of a loved one can be a crushing task. There are so many things to do and details to remember; all of this at a time when each small task can serve as a reminder of your loss. At such a time it can be helpful to know that you’re not going through...
Can I Sue Someone For An Amount Of An Insurance Settlement That They Have Not Received Yet In Washington State?
They insurance settlement in question was supposed to go towards the burial of my mom, but my adopted sister is unwilling to sign the papers releasing her interest on the insurance policy, of which I am the executor. I am sorry for your loss. I have to give you a...
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