Search / Found (163)
Q: What happens if a child is born after executing a will? Is the new child included?
Q: I set up a trust about 10 years ago. Since then, I have spent down my estate and am unsure whether I should keep the trust for the limited assets I have remaining. My question is should I keep my trust and if so, why? How do I revoke it? Can my heirs just ignore it?
Q: My partner and I have been living together for almost 10 years. Is there anything special that we need to add to our wills?
Q: What happens if a person named in a will dies before the person making the will does? How is it determined who gets his or her share?
Q: I intend to leave all of my money to two charities but I'm concerned that my children will object. I'm worried they will challenge the will. Is there anything I can do to make sure that my wishes are carried out? Should I name someone other than a child executor?
Q: In researching claims, it appears that there are two statutes of limitations that could apply. One is three months and the other is nine months. How do you know which statute of limitations applies?
Q: Can I use a power of attorney to appoint different children to do different things? Does my daughter, who is on my checking account, also have authority over my IRA or can I name another child to take care of that? What about medical decisions?
Q: We have three children all of whom are married. One of our son's wives is nice, but we aren't sure that we trust her. How do we make sure she stays out of our estate plan? Is there anything we can do to make sure she doesn't inherit our property?
Last week I wrote about the importance of planning for your digital assets. If you read last week's column, you know that I feel this area of estate planning is going to become more and more important in the future. As we expand our online identities, planning for it is going to become inevitable.
I recently received an email from a reader regarding estate planning in a digital age. The reader had seen a news program on planning for digital assets and thought that it was something that I might be interested in. He was right.
Time to catch up on some of the questions that readers have sent in.
Q: My father passed away without a will. However, a few months before he died, he told us what he wanted everyone to get. Unfortunately, he never wrote it down. Is the fact that he told several of us what he wanted enough to carry out his instructions? I know the statements wouldn't revoke a…
Q: I don't have any family members that live close by. How can I find someone to serve as executor? Can the attorney act as executor?
Q: What is the best way to keep my family from fighting over my will? Should I put something to my will that disinherits any family member who causes problems? Should I just leave everything to one person and let him distribute everything?
Q: I have a will that leaves everything to my husband and then to my children. Are my two stepchildren included in the will or do I need to amend it? Will it make a difference if I adopt my stepchildren?
Q: My wife and I have two children. I want to leave everything to her and, if I outlive her, I want everything to be divided equally between my children. Do I really need a will if I want everything to go to my wife and then my kids? Won't that happen anyway?
Q: We recently lost a family member but we haven’t heard anything about an estate yet. We think we know who the attorney is. Is there any kind of a public search we can use to see if an estate is opened? When is the reading of the will determined?
For almost 12 years, I’ve been writing about basic estate planning.
Q: What is the best way to leave my home to my children?
Q: I have a living trust that I want to change. Do I need an attorney to draw up a new trust or can I copy the trust and make the changes that I want and have it notarized?
Q: My grandson and his wife have had their first child. To make sure that they get a will, I have offered to pay for it. Are there any other estate planning documents that new parents should have?
Q: I have three children. I don't worry about two of them. However, one of them has me concerned. He tries hard but can't seem to stay out of trouble.
Q: My mother passed away earlier this year. How do we take her name off of Dad’s home? Does Dad need to sign a new deed?
Q: My father passed away a few years ago. While digging in some old boxes, I found a stock certificate. How do I found out if this certificate is still good? If it is good, what do I do with it?
Q: After I die, I want to be cremated. However, one of my kids has already said she won't let that happen and she will fight to make sure that I am buried next to her father.
Q: You’ve written that probate laws vary from state to state and that Indiana’s laws can’t control property in another state. If that’s the case, how can an Indiana will control property located in another state? Do you need a will executed in the other state also?
Q: If you want to disinherit a person in a will, should you still leave them $1 to make it legal?
Q: After my parents die, I am the trustee of their trust. I know I have to have their property appraised. The home and the bank accounts will be easy to appraise, but what about the other property? How do I value the personal property and the stocks and bonds?
Q: I would like to establish a trust for each of my grandchildren, but I’m concerned about the cost. Is there a way to set up a trust for them without a lot of expense?
Q: Is it true that a spouse is removed completely from an estate plan in the event of a divorce?
Q: My wife and I have been considering setting up a trust. However, when we research them, it seems like there are 100 different types of trusts. Some of them seem to do the same thing only have different names. How do we know which type of trust we should use?
Q: My mother passed away several years ago and my father has recently started living with a woman. It seems unlikely they will marry. If he should pass away, what rights will she have to his home? How will we get her out if she won’t leave?
Q: I have been trying to get my parents to plan their estates. My mom is ready to go but my dad won’t even discuss it. Can my mom plan without my father being involved? Would it make more sense to convince him that this must be done?
Q: Is it true a second spouse has fewer inheritance rights than a first spouse? Is there any special estate planning required to avoid this?
When you think of bequeathing property to your loved ones, most people think of the money. Splitting up the wealth is one of the most important things that an estate plan does. After all, working hard so that we can leave a little something to our kids is as American as apple pie.
Q: Didn’t Indiana revoke the inheritance tax?
Q: What happens if I leave my property to someone in my will but give it away to someone else while I’m alive? Should I draw up a new will?
Q: My estate basically consists of my house and my bank account. My kids are on the house already. If I divide the bank accounts into three equal accounts and name one child on each account, will that separate my estate equally? Do I still need a will?
Q: My husband and I met with an attorney to update our wills. After discussing our family, the attorney told us that we needed a trust for our kids. We told him that we didn't want to spend the money on a trust but he told us we could set up the trust in the will. I think we left more confus…
Q: You recently wrote that you have decisions to make when setting up an education trust. Once you decide to set up one, what decisions need to be made?
Q: Is an affidavit of trust and a certificate of trust the same thing? It seems like the affidavit of trust simply states the terms of the trust. Why is it necessary?
Q: My oldest son turned 50 this year. He's not married although he's had a lady friend for many years. He doesn't have any children but he's really close with his brother's children. Whenever I talk to him about his estate plan, he says he'll be fine. I'm not even sure he's named beneficiari…
Q: My children think I should have a living will, but I'm nervous about making a decision now. What happens if I change my mind?
Q: I recently looked at my will and realized that some of my heir's names have middle initials and some don't. Is this going to be a problem?
Q: Can more than two people own property jointly? What happens if one of them dies? Are there any risks to the others?
This past weekend, I got to do something that I didn't think I would ever get to do again; I stood up in a wedding.
Q: My girlfriend and I have been living together for almost 20 years. We both have children from previous marriages and everyone seems to get along fine. We have created wills leaving everything to each other and then the kids equally. Since it is unlikely that we will ever marry, is there a…
Q: I'm the successor trustee on a parent's trust? Any advice?
Q: My husband is on my mother's checking account, which has about $1,500 in it. If she passes away, will he be able to write checks out of the account for expenses? I know his power of attorney will terminate but will the bank account have to go through probate?
Q: My husband and I recently went through a divorce. My attorney said I should make out a will, but I'm not sure I need one. Since I'm divorced, won't my property go to my kids anyway?
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