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You still need a will even if you have a trust

Q: Why does a person need a will if he has created a trust?

December 30, 2012 12:00 am

Why not co-owner instead of beneficiary?

Q: I was wondering what is to keep someone who has money in an account that they wish to leave to a non-relative, from changing that person from primary beneficiary to co-owner? Wouldn't this solve the tax problem?

January 02, 2011 12:00 am

Don't let terms of art confuse you -- ask questions

One of my favorite movies was on television the other night: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." If you've never seen it, trust me, it's funny.

September 12, 2010 12:00 am

What to look for in choosing an attorney

Q: I am currently 62 and want to do some estate planning. How do I find an attorney? Does the bar association have a referral service? Should I look in phone book?

August 08, 2010 12:00 am

Don't give up too much control

Q: A relative has a living trust that establishes a trust for my son at her death. Can I amend my will so my son's share of my estate goes to the trust established for him by the relative? Is it better to create my own trust for my son? 

May 30, 2010 12:00 am

Dealing with frozen bank accounts

Q: My bank told me that when I die, my accounts will be frozen.  How are my children supposed to pay my monthly expenses such as the house payments and utilities until they settle my estate?  Do they have to personally make the payments for six to nine months until the estate is settled?

April 04, 2010 12:00 am

Take time to take stock

If you are a regular reader, you know that at the end of each year, I write a column to recap my year.  Sort of a Chris Yugo year in review.  My thought is by taking a few moments to review my year and how it might impact my estate plan; you will take a few minutes to think about yours.  A l…

January 03, 2010 12:00 am

Lots to consider with inheritance, gift taxes

Q: In my trust, I leave a substantial number of shares of BP stock to my children.  Is it a good idea to give my kids the stock now so that they avoid paying inheritance tax?

November 22, 2009 12:00 am

Death and taxes, part 2

Last week I wrote about the effects that income tax can have on a decedent's heirs. This week I'll talk about the so-called "death taxes."

July 19, 2009 12:00 am

Estate planning: Parents need to plan

This past week, I attended a school program presented by my 6-year-old twins' classroom. Connor and Logan each had a starring role in the program. Logan was a fierce Big Bad Wolf from Little Pigs' fame, and Connor was a serious Mr. Tooth Decay.

May 31, 2009 12:00 am

Estate Planning: Avoiding ancillary estates

Last week, I wrote about why I think it is a good idea to title your time share interests in the name of your trust. Since that column I have received several phone calls from people asking whether their out of state homes also should be titled in a trust. My general response has been, yup.

May 24, 2009 12:00 am

Planning for a timeshare not too tricky

Q: My wife and I own a timeshare. Should it be titled in our trust? If so, how do we go about doing that?

May 17, 2009 12:00 am

Deceased also benefit from planning

Here is the final column in my back-to-the-basics series. So far, we've discussed the dangers of not doing anything; the differences between wills and trusts, or, as we affectionately referred to it in law school, wills and thrills; and death and taxes.

October 31, 2004 12:00 am

The surest things in life are death and taxes

Here is column No. 3 in my back-to-the-basics series. I know that I've covered a lot of this in the not-too-distant past and I assure you I'm not beating a dead horse. I just think it's a good idea to cover the basics again. Just think, you can marvel your family around the Thanksgiving dinn…

October 18, 2004 12:00 am

Don't let your assets fall through the cracks

Well, here is my second column in my back-to-the-basics series. Although I've covered this in the past, I'm going to cover it again because I still find a general misunderstanding of basic estate planning.

October 11, 2004 12:00 am

Let's get back to basics of estate planning

I recently had an opportunity to speak to a group of folks who were interested in estate planning. Although I am asked to speak publicly a couple of times a year, I'm really not very good at it. I'm more comfortable speaking with people one-on-one than in front of a large group.

October 04, 2004 12:00 am

Costs of probate rest in attorney fees

This past week, a buddy of mine stopped me while I was working in my yard. I've known Andy since my family moved into our new home, about four years ago. The best way to describe Andy is experienced. Andy knows stuff. If you have a lawnmower that won't start, he'll know how to get it started…

September 27, 2004 12:00 am

Restricted Management Accounts serve large estates best

Q: I recently read an article about Restricted Management Accounts and how they can fit into an estate plan. Although the writer seemed enthusiastic, I'm not sure how or why they work. How can an investment account be an important part of an estate plan?

September 20, 2004 12:00 am

Land trusts provide many options

Q: A couple of years ago, we put our house in a trust as collateral for a commercial loan. Although the loan is paid off, we have left the house in trust. What are our options if we take the property out of trust?

September 12, 2004 12:00 am

Using 529s in an estate plan makes tax sense

Q: My financial consultant suggested using a 529 in my estate plan. Why would putting money into a 529 plan be better than gifting money to kids directly?

September 06, 2004 12:00 am

Try communication first to hammer out trust issues

Q: My uncle is the trustee of a trust my father set up for me. I don't think that he is following the terms of the trust. What can I do to make him comply with the trust?

August 30, 2004 12:00 am

Revocable living trusts should not effect taxes

Time to catch up on some of the questions that readers have sent me.

August 23, 2004 12:00 am

It's never too late to start planning ahead

Q: I've been reading your column for a while but I'm still not convinced. What is the worst thing that could happen if I don't make a will or trust?

July 19, 2004 12:00 am

Planning for a will challenge

Q: I have a will in which I leave the bulk of my estate to one of my three children. To keep the other two kids from fighting the will, I have been told that I should add a provision to my will that requires any child to forfeit his share if he challenges the will. Is this a good idea?

July 05, 2004 12:00 am

Withdrawing from 529 plan can be tricky

I received a question from a reader who wanted to know what would happen if he withdrew funds from a 529 plan for non-educational reasons. I asked for a response from Alan Swingler, head Centier Bank's investments department and a certified financial planner.

January 19, 2004 12:00 am

ESTATE PLANNING: Take time to grieve before making major decisions

This has been a tough week for my friends and clients. In a two-day period I had a client pass away and a buddy lost his father. The client's passing wasn't unexpected, but the death of my friend's father came as a shock.

September 01, 2003 12:00 am

Do your homework before choosing a personal representative

Q: Can I name all three of my children personal representatives in my will? If not, should I name the oldest one personal representative?

July 28, 2003 12:00 am
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