Determining a guardian for your children can be a difficult decision. Your children’s guardian will have the authority to make or influence all parental decisions for your children including where they live, the schools they attend, church practices, and more. Making preparations and instructions in advance can ease the transition for those you and/or your spouse leave behind.→ Read More
Family Concerns in Estate Planning
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If I die, I do not want my spouse to remarry until our children are grown. Is there anything I can do?
Spouses cannot control the actions of the surviving spouse from the grave. In fact, most states will even strike down instructions placed in prenuptial agreements that give such instructions, given that the agreement becomes void upon your death. Keeping this in mind, you can still persuade your spouse to avoid remarrying through the use of conditions placed on the inheritance.→ Read More
My wife is a stay at home mom. What estate planning arrangments should I make to prevent her from needing to work if I die?
Protecting a spouse who has never even worked outside the home or obtained the education to sustain an income in the event of your death requires excellent estate planning through the use of life insurance and a trust, both good tools to protect your family.→ Read More
Probate is a long process that publicly sorts through your family’s assets. On average, probate can take anywhere from nine months to two years. During the first period of probate proceedings, your family’s assets will be frozen. This means that none of these assets can be withdrawn, transferred, or sold. If you family requires money to cover living costs, they will have to petition the court for a living allowance. That allowance can be denied by the court, leaving your family without access to your assets for a period of time after you die. If this scenario makes you feel uneasy, there are legal avenues available, but the solution requires action on your part.→ Read More
Ensuring that your children are well cared-for in the event of your death is usually the very first provision of a simple will. This ‘guardianship provision’ requires specific language to ensure that your children are both cared for and that they properly inherit under your will. The first part of the guardianship provision is the naming of all members for your immediate family. Naming the family members assists the children’s personal representative in finding nearby relatives and locating assets.→ Read More
In a community property state, upon death, spouses have the right to dispose of their share of community property in whatever way they see fit. A deceased spouse can distribute both their separate property and their share of the community property in a will. In non-community property states, a spouse is not automatically entitled to half the interest in all property acquired during the marriage. This is because both spouses do not necessarily own all property acquired during the marriage. Rather, ownership is determined by whose name is on the title or by establishing which spouse’s income purchased the property, although courts seek an equitable distribution of such assets.→ Read More
Most people want their pets cared for after their death. It is important to make such arrangements in your estate planning documents. Click here to learn how to plan for the care of your pets.→ Read More
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