How Will My Property Be Distributed If I Die Without A Will Before My Divorce is Final?

If you and your spouse are planning to divorce, you probably wouldn’t want your property distributed to him or her if you died while your divorce is pending. But if you don’t have a Will and die while married, your estate will be divided according to a statutory formula that doesn’t take into account theRead More

Should I Name My Executor As The Beneficiary of My Financial Accounts?

I received an email from a client over the weekend that alarmed me. So much so that called them on a Sunday afternoon to make sure remedial action was immediately taken. When I transmit my clients’ legal documents, I always remind them that Wills do not control the disposition of assets such as retirement plansRead More

What Rights to Beneficiaries of Transfer on Death Deeds Have During the Homeowner’s Life?

A transfer on death deed is a beneficiary designation for your home. It works like a beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy or a retirement plan. If you sign a transfer on death deed and record it before your death, your property will pass to a designated beneficiary after you die without the needRead More

Should I Name My Estate as the Beneficiary of my IRA?

A client was confused. He knew that the federal estate tax only applied to estates in excess of $11 million, so he didn’t understand why significant taxes were due on an IRA he inherited from a relative who did not have a large estate. After discussing the matter with him, I discovered that his relativeRead More

Can a Small Estate Affidavit Transfer Title to Homestead Property?

A small estate affidavit is a legal document that can be used to transfer property to heirs without a formal probate. Heirs can take advantage of this procedure only if: The deceased person died without a Will; At least 30 days have passed since the date of death; No person has filed an application toRead More

Avoiding Guardianship in Old Age

A few weeks ago, a client alerted me to an episode of the John Oliver show about guardianships gone wrong. A guardian is someone appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person who is unable to make responsible decisions regarding his or her daily affairs because of their age, disability, injury, orRead More