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Have Questions? We Can Help! Read our Legal FAQ or Call Us Today!

Can't I just put my spouse's and my kid's names on everything and avoid probate that way?
  • In our opinion, this is not a good idea. If you place your children's names on your home or bank accounts as "joint tenants," you are essentially giving them a gift of a share in each asset. This could create taxation issues. Furthermore, if your children have difficulty with creditors such as the IRS or bankruptcy trustees or go through a divorce, your assets are now part of the child's assets and can be considered for purposes of asset distribution/allocation. Many other possible issues can arise, and we would be happy to discuss these potential pitfalls in a no-pressure consultation.

My spouse and I own everything together, so there is no need for a trust, right?
  • This is actually a bit misleading. While you and your spouse may be able to pass ownership between each of you without the need for probate at the first death, what happens if you both die at the same time? Or, in the alternative, what happens at the second death? In each of these scenarios, probate would be required. This would place a significant financial and time burden on your family. We would love to walk you through the process and determine what plan may be a good fit for you.

If I have a will do I need a trust?
  • First of all, congrats on getting some planning documents in place! This is an excellent first step! And the answer to the above question is "It depends." There are some major differences between wills and trusts. The primary difference is that a will must go through probate, be interpreted by a judge, and the process can take up to a year or more. A trust can be administered without probate (in most situations), does not require judicial interpretation, and may be administered immediately after death. There can also be a significant cost saving in the long run if you have a trust versus having a will. Reach out today for more details!

I'm young, so why do I need an estate plan?
  • It is our opinion that anyone age 18 or over should have some kind of planning documents in place. Even if they are very simple, having these documents can make incapacity or death so much easier on your family. Simple wills, powers of attorney, and other planning documents are available to ensure you get to dictate who can speak on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself.

Why do I need an estate plan? I don't own very much.
  • We hear this quite a bit. You would be surprised at all the things that can go wrong after your death if you do not have a plan in place. The state has a plan for you, and we've found that most people do not prefer the state plan. We'd love to sit down with you and discuss the details of your personal estate and what plan can be in place to give you and your loved ones peace of mind!

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