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What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

Dying without a will is also called dying intestate. Wills are subject to state law, and as such, intestacy processes vary by state in determining whether a person's assets go to their spouse, children, siblings, or parents. The probate court…

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Why a Living Will is Important

A living will lays out your preferences for life-sustaining medical treatment.  It is often accompanied by a health-care proxy or power of attorney, which allows someone to make treatment decisions for you if you are incapacitated and the living will…

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Planning for Blended Families

Couples often bring children into a marriage from a prior marriage or union and then have children together. This is often referred to as a blended family. Blended families highlight the need for careful estate planning to make sure the…

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Passing on Family Values as Part of an Inheritance

Successfully addressing and legally formalizing inheritance of family values and assets can be challenging, especially if parents wait too long to begin instilling family values. Undoubtedly the best time to teach and empower your children as eventual inheritors of your…

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What is the Probate Process?

Probate is the legal process for authenticating a deceased person's will, reviewing their assets, paying their outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing what remains to their inheritors / estate beneficiaries. After an asset-holder dies, the court will appoint a valid…

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Being a “Fiduciary”

You may be asked to be power of attorney for a family member or friend. Your person may be planning for when they might become unable to take care of their affairs. For example, they might become disabled or incapacitated,…

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5 Things to Include in an Estate Plan

An estate is all the property owned both individually and jointly, including bank accounts, real estate, jewelry, etc., including any liabilities, or simply debts, owed on that property. Lack of an estate plan may mean a great difficulty to carry…

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