» Probate Court

How Probate Can Get Expensive

There are many reasons to want to avoid probate for your estate. One of them is that probate can get very expensive. One doctor's bill in a case in New Hampshire illustrates just how expensive. The story of Geraldine Webber's estate has bee… Read More
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One More Scary Halloween Story!

A Halloween riddle for you: What's scarier than ghosts and goblins to Americans 50 and older? Answer: Their finances. That's the upshot of the latest Country Financial Security Index, and two other surveys I've seen lately back it up.… Read More
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What Do The Uber-Wealthy Do with Their Money?

Art makes up 2.5 percent of the biggest estates and just 0.6 percent of those who had between $10 million and $20 million. A Picasso fetched more than $95 million in 2006. The superrich are different from the very, very rich. For one thing, they own… Read More
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Irrevocable Trusts May be the Answer to Tough Estate Planning Issues

The death of a loved one can create a lot of financial complexity. For families that have set up irrevocable trusts to facilitate the transfer of assets from one generation to another, the tax implications can be even more complicated. However, there… Read More
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California Court Upholds Trust that Gives Millions to Lady's Gardener

A Sonoma County bank overseeing the trust of a wealthy Kentfield divorcee who left a large chunk of her $8.5 million estate to her gardener and other non-family members will be allowed to dip into the fund to defend challenges from the woman's d… Read More
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Don't Let a Perfect Storm Ruin Your Plans for the Family Farm

In February of 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when a plane Holly chartered at the last minute crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event later became known as "t… Read More
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Want to Spare Your Kids From a Family Fortune?

From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations, goes the early 20th-century American proverb. Then there's the 19th-century British version: Clogs to clogs in three generations. And from Italy, date uncertain: From the stable to the star… Read More
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Estate Planning for Your Works of Art

Art investors are nearly always advised not to invest in art at all, but to collect it. Buy what you like, the conventional wisdom goes, not what you expect to increase in value. But collectors still must contemplate financial matters, especially rel… Read More
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Using A Revocable Trust as the Primary Method for Disposing of Your Estate

If you haven't considered using a revocable trust rather than a will as your main estate planning document, you could be making a critical mistake. A recent MoneyWatch article, “5 reasons you need a trust, not a will,” lists five reasons for… Read More
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Which Type of Trust is Right for Me?

Trusts can be a great way to update an estate plan, whether within a will or as a separate estate-planning tool. Trusts have a reputation for being something that most people don't have to worry about, with most seeing a trust as a vehicle for t… Read More
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