Aretha Franklin:  Too Much Estate Planning

Aretha Franklin: Too Much Estate Planning

Too little estate planning can put your heirs in a bind and tie up your estate in time-consuming and costly probate litigation. But as the legal saga of Aretha Franklin’s estate shows, too much estate planning—in particular, planning that introduces uncertainty about...
Who Will Care for Your Child When You Cannot?

Who Will Care for Your Child When You Cannot?

As a parent, you are responsible for the care of your minor child. In most circumstances, this means getting them up for school, making sure they are fed, and providing for other basic needs. However, what would happen if you and your child’s other parent were unable...
If My Will Is Filed with the Court, Will It Go through Probate?

If My Will Is Filed with the Court, Will It Go through Probate?

Death is a personal and private affair that affects the deceased’s close family and friends. However, there is at least one aspect of death that may require state oversight: probate. Probate is the court-supervised process of either (a) carrying out the instructions...
What Happens With Your Will When You Die?

What Happens With Your Will When You Die?

Upon the death of the testator—the person who made the will—probate will be opened if the testator died owning accounts or property in their sole name and without a properly completed beneficiary designation form. Probate is the court-supervised process in which the...