Reasons To Have An Estate Plan | Estate Plan Pros
Modest estate going through probate

A Tale of Two Estates: A Journey through Probate

John, a widower, owns his modest home with a small mortgage.  When he passes away, his three children find buried in all his papers a will instructing them to divide everything equally.  The oldest child, Bill, heads down to the realtors office to list the property.  And so the journey begins…At the realtor’s office, Bill discovers that with a will, he’ll have to open a probate...

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sky

In the Grand Scheme of Things, What Really Matters to You?

Several days ago, my family took advantage of the clear sky to go stargazing.  It doesn’t take long to be reminded of our incredibly tiny existence in the universe.  For some people they see that place as an excuse for not putting an estate plan in place – after all, they’re not going to be here, so what will they care? But that is the wrong question.  The better question is – will...

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Three Important Things A Will Does Not Do

There are many mistaken beliefs about what a will does for you. While they are an important part of an estate plan, wills have three major limitations. A will doesn’t avoid probate This sometimes comes as a shock to people – a will has to go through probate, meaning your heirs will have to wait months before the court approves the distribution of your estate, not to mention the extra expense and...

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Parents: Are Your Children Protected?

The first thing many new parents do is go buy life insurance. The next thing they should do is see an estate planning attorney. Why? Imagine your children are at home with a babysitter. A highway patrolman knocks on the door to let them know there’s been an accident, and you aren’t coming home. Will your children be well provided for? Too Many Relatives Tragic situations can be compounded by...

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Is a “simple will” going to cost your children thousands of dollars?

It is a common mistake to think that a will avoids probate.  Why is probate so bad?  Three words: time, money, and publicity.  And, if you have young children, you’ve probably left them unprepared and unprotected as well. Probate is Expensive Even a relatively small estate can face thousands in court costs, attorney fees and other fees.  An estate with a modest home valued at $300,000 can...

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The Shocking Truth About the Simple Will

The scene opens in an opulent room.  A strange collection of people shift nervously in their seats, waiting expectantly.  At last, a short man in a suit and spectacles steps in, and with great flourish, reveals The Last Will and Testament.  Shock and horror, triumph and exultation ensue. When most people begin to think about estate planning, that picture is in the back of their minds, and they...

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I’m A Single Guy With a Truck – Do I Need An Estate Plan?

Short answer: Yes, but it may not be what you think.  Most of the time when we talk about estate planning we’re talking about avoiding probate, and providing for your beneficiaries.  When you don’t have kids or much property, those aren’t really a big concern, but something else is. Staying in Control The biggest estate planning concern you have as a single person is: who will take care of things...

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IRS Tips for your End of Year Charitable Donations

‘Tis the giving season, and what better way to support your favorite charity than with a gift that saves you a little when April rolls around next year?  The IRS in a recent press release revealed key tips to help you keep those tax deductions. Tangible Gifts Donations need to be in good used condition or better to be tax deductible.  For items worth $500 or more, consider getting a qualified...

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Three Easy Ways to Lose Your Inheritance In a Divorce – and How to Avoid Them

Should your soon-to-be ex-spouse be entitled to half the value of your grandmother’s wedding ring that you inherited?  The grim reality of divorce statistics mean that the greatest risk to your child’s inheritance probably isn’t estate taxes or probate fees, it is that their marriage may hit the rocks. Mixing Money It is the easiest thing in the world to put that fat inheritance check into your...

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Terrible Two’s, Estate Planning, and College

Watching a young child learn to take that first step, say that first word, count for the first time, makes a parent swell with pride.  Parenting books and blogs with parenting tips are popular because parents want to do everything they can to ensure their child’s future success in life.  And most of that planning centers around the parent being there, helping each step of the way, as it should. ...

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