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What to Include in a Simple Will

Almost always, a simple will is the will of choice for you. A simple will is a single legal document that applies only to you (unlike a joint will for you and your spouse). A simple will describes [more…]

Status of Your Will: Testate or Intestate?

If you have a valid will, you are said to die testate, meaning you have spelled out your intentions completely and legally in your last will and testament. A will status of intestate [more…]

Beyond the Simple Will: Other Kinds of Wills

Although the simple will is right for just about everyone, you do have other options for your will. Other types of wills, along with the drawbacks of each, include: [more…]

How to Make Your Will a Reflection of Your Wishes

Even the simplest wills are filled with confusing legal terminology. Discuss your will requirements with an attorney: Cover the value of your estate and your tax situation, the individuals and institutions [more…]

Reasons Why You May Want to Change Your Will

Your will is a living document. Although a will’s intent is to provide for what happens to your estate after you have died, your will needs to change as your life changes. Don’t make the mistake of putting [more…]

Using Will Substitutes to Reduce Estate Taxes

Why would you want to use a will substitute (a legal agreement that transfers ownership upon your death) rather than your will for certain property? Property covered by a will substitute is transferred [more…]

Going Beyond a Will: Other Estate-Planning Documents You Need

Even with all your assets properly titled, your beneficiary designations in order, and a will or revocable living trust in place, you still have a few very important issues to take care of and documents [more…]

Will and Trust Items to Keep Track Of

You’ve gone to the necessary trouble of drawing up your will and perhaps creating a trust. Now you need to make a list of the locations of important papers and make sure that you and at least one other [more…]

People Who Can Help with Your Estate Plan

The professionals who help you set up your will and trusts can be useful not only during the creation of these documents, but also later on if you want to make changes. They can be invaluable resources [more…]

When to Review Your Estate Plan

You should review your estate plan, including your will and any trusts, on a periodic basis to be sure that your inheritance planning is consistent with your needs and goals. In addition, review your estate [more…]

How to Prepare for a Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer

You want your will and trust to be legal, so it makes sense to meet with a lawyer to form your estate plan. Lawyers who specialize in estate planning can help you cover all contingencies and help make [more…]

How to Plan for Incapacity in Your Will and Trust

It’s not easy to think about, but your will and trust(s) need to include provisions that go into effect if you become incapacitated for any reason. Your executor and your heirs will be grateful for your [more…]

Wills & Trusts Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Taking the time and attention to write a will and set up a trust — or a couple of trusts — are acts of generosity that your heirs and loved ones will appreciate in their time of grief. To do it right, [more…]

What Your Family and Executor Will Need to Know

You’ve considered your family and loved ones by drafting a will and creating an estate plan, so make sure they’ll be able to take advantage of all your careful planning! Do they know that you have a will [more…]

Why Every Canadian Should Have a Will and Estate Plan

Why do you need a will and an estate plan? It may not be fun to think about, but after you’re gone you won't have a say in some pretty important matters unless you let your wishes be known. Who will take [more…]

Wills & Estate Planning For Canadians For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Worried about what will happen to your assets after you pass away? These articles will help you plan for your future with tips on how to reduce your estate taxes, helpful information on whether or not [more…]

How to Petition for Probate of a Will

To start the probate process, you will need to petition for probate of the will. These guidelines can vary state by state. However, generally, the first step is to file the decedent’s will in the probate [more…]

Who Can Petition for Estate Administration when No Will Exists?

If the estate’s decedent dies intestate, without a valid will, you may need to file a petition to serve as administrator. Check the law in the state of the decedent’s estate to determine what type of estate [more…]

Who Administers Estates When Someone Dies or Needs Representation?

Estate administration includes several kinds of fiduciaries, people who administer the assets or property of another person. The type of fiduciary often depends upon the deceased's will and heirs. If an [more…]

Who Can Inherit from an Estate?


Determining who inherits the assets of a decedent’s estate is usually simple if the estate has a valid will, because the will sets out who the assets go to. However, wills can be fuzzy if they're not [more…]

When to File a Last Will with a Probate Court

As an estate administrator, you assume responsibility for the decedent’s will. You also decide whether probate court administration of the decedent’s assets is necessary. [more…]

Things to Remember When You're Writing Your Will

Basically, probate is the method by which your estate is legally transferred after you die. When planning your estate and writing your will, keep these tips in mind to help the probate process run smoothly [more…]

DIY or Not: Wills and Estate Planning

When it comes to the people you love, you’d do almost anything to ensure they’re taken care of.

Even fill out forms.

And if you have loved ones, there are a few crucial financial forms you will need to fill [more…]

Executor's Duty: Informing Surviving Spouse of Decision Rights

Surviving spouses may have some important rights to collect on and decisions to make with regard to the will and the decedent’s estate. There are a few important rights, allowances, and decisions the surviving [more…]

Estate Settlement with or without a Will

Estates that have a valid will are classified and treated differently than estates without a valid will. If an estate has a will, you must file a petition with the probate court to have the will admitted [more…]

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