Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Article Archives

Estate Planning to Keep Hostile Family at Bay

January, 2017

George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” He may have been on to something. Families can bring us joy, but they can also bring us heartache. For most people, of course, family woes are mere annoyances-the parent who complains we never call, the crazy uncle who…

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Planning Your Digital Estate

Most Americans do not have a Will. They haven’t prepared a financial Power of Attorney, and they aren’t even sure what an Advance Directive is. If you are among them, then preparing an estate plan should be at the top of your to-do list.

But even if you have an estate plan in place, it may be missing a crucial element-provisions for your digital assets. These include the electronic data stored on your computer or smart phone, your Internet accounts like LinkedIn and Gmail, and your online pictures and documents.

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Probate in Equity Courts

| By Carl E. Eastwick

These days, a revocable inter vivos trust serves as the principal testimony instrument of many estate plans. The settlor of a trust of this sort retains nearly total control of the trust assets by retaining the unfettered power to amend the trust, and by implication also to revoke it. It matters not whether the trustee is the settlor or a third party. Thus, the beneficiaries of the trust possess but a tenuous contingent interest in the trust assets.

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Selecting Trustees and Executors

In the course of our estate planning work with clients, we will ask who the client wishes to designate as trustee of any trusts we are creating, and as executor (or “personal representative”) of his or her estate. These are the people (or entities) who will take legal title to, and control the property of the trust or estate until it is distributed. They are in a fiduciary capacity, which means that they can be held personally liable if they negligently or intentionally misuse the property entrusted to them.

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