Ways to Find a Decedent’s Will Part 2

A will is a public document, so, how do you get a copy of someone’s will? We covered the basics last month in “part 1.” We discussed that no one is normally given the right to access the last will and testament of someone who is still alive. While living, everyone’s will is their own personal property, and no one else is privy to it.

In regards to gaining access to the will of a decedent, how to accomplish this depends upon ...

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Recently Married? Why You Should Start Estate Planning

Spring and summer are marriage season. Everywhere you look you seem to find a bride and groom walking down the aisle. If you were recently married, go ahead – take a breather, enjoy your honeymoon – and then get serious.

While estate planning isn’t going to be on the top of mind during your early months of marriage, you may want to start thinking about it. Estate planning and financial planning are key to your future, so be sure to get ...

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Retirement Planning Basics

We all want to live out our glory days without the worry of financial burdens. The trick is to plan for retirement early and re-evaluate your situation often. Here are 5 Retirement Planning Tips:

1. Start Yesterday
The earlier you start saving the better. If you are able to put something aside each month, you should. Experts say that if you start saving in your twenties, you will be in a much safer place than if you wait until your forties.

2. ...

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Why You Should Avoid Joint Ownership with Your Children

A very common estate planning mistake is to maintain joint ownership between a parent and their child. We don’t mean a joint checking account; we’re talking about when a child’s name is added to a parent’s asset, such as real estate.

Why would you do this, you ask? Parents typically add their child to their assets to help pay bills or to avoid probate. Client also do this to help elderly loved ones who need assistance managing their assets.

We recommend against ...

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Eliminate the Cost of Probate with Proper Estate Planning

Probate is necessary when an individual dies without the proper estate planning documents and his/her assets exceed $150,000. The cost for probating an estate is based on the estate’s gross asset value, which generally means including all that you own, but nothing that you owe. See the chart below for an example of probate fees:

Gross Asset Value of Entire Estate Estimated Compensation to Attorney and Personal Representative WITHOUT Proper Estate Planning Probate Fees
WITH Proper Estate Planning
$400,000 $22,000 $0
$500,000 $26,000 $0
$700,000 $34,000 $0
$1,000,000 $46,000 $0
$2,000,000 $66,000 $0
$3,000,000 $86,000 $0
$4,000,000 $106,000 $0

By setting up a properly drafted ...

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