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Who Should You Name as Fiduciary of Your Estate Plan?

The concept of “estate planning” is more than simply determining what family member may “inherit” a coin collection or ensuring that whatever money may be remaining after your death is split evenly among your children. It is much more complex; requiring both education and professional legal assistance to do properly.

While this article is not meant to provide a comprehensive examination of all the different types of estate planning documents or provide any sort of legal advice, it is meant to provide some insight and education from my experience as an attorney and trust officer so you can make your…


The Benefits of a Unitrust

Some estate plans feature a trust under will that is created to provide an individual with a steady stream of money and, upon the death of that individual, distribute what is left in the trust to another individual. For example, a husband, in his will, may want to create a trust to provide his second wife with periodic payments for the rest of her life and, at her death, have whatever is left in the trust distributed to his children from his first marriage. A historically common way to do this is to instruct the trustee to pay the…


The Estate Planning Essentials

There are three essential legal documents that help to ensure safe passage of your property to your heirs. These documents are also recommended to ensure that your best interests are kept at the heart for your medical care, charitable bequests, and in the event of incapacity. In years past, a family lawyer would handle these tasks for you, however, the Internet now provides many additional web-based services. Here are the basics you need to know before getting started whether you take a traditional, in-person or more modern, online approach.

The essential three documents for estate-planning are: a Will, General Durable…


Distribution of Contract Assets at Death

Many people believe that their will is the sole defining document for distribution of all their assets after their death. While the will is an important document and goes a long way to establish an estate plan, it cannot, and frequently does not, control the distribution of all assets.

Every estate has two kinds of assets – probate assets and contract assets. Probate assets are generally owned unconditionally and are distributed at death according to a will. Contract assets, such as life insurance, 401ks, IRAs and revocable living trusts state in the contract what is to happen to those assets…


Don’t Overlook Incapacity Planning

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. – William Jennings Bryan

It is often said that we take more time planning our vacations than we do our future. While it may not be a fun topic for discussion, it is important to have plans in place should you become physically or mentally unable to manage your own affairs. Doing so in advance will ensure you are able to provide input on how things should be managed.

When you review the…

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