Monday, August 25, 2014

Estate Planning: Talking With Your Family

Planning your estate can be a difficult and emotionally-charged process. How does one go about discussing an estate plan with those who it will affect the most—family?

As unpleasant and painful as a conversation about your Estate plan might seem, it is an extremely important topic to discuss with your loved ones. You need to make known what it is that you want, reconcile that with what it is that your loved ones want, and explain what is in your Will and what you would like your funeral arrangements to be.

It may be helpful to have an estate planning professional—such as us as your attorney—present when having this conversation. You could have a family-only discussion first, and bring your family to meet with us afterwards if you wish. It is important to be open and honest in your discussion. You may be concerned about potentially hurting someone’s feelings, but it is better to be frank and make your wishes clear now while you are alive to prevent problems from arising after you have passed.

Thanks to our years of expertise in handling estate planning, we at the Paton Law Firm, LLC can help make this challenging conversation easier. We can offer suggestions as to how to broach the topic of estate planning with your family, and how to handle any difficulties that may arise.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Estate Planning and Retirement Accounts

When planning your Estate, it is important to recognize that certain assets will be distributed to a designated beneficiary at death, rather than according to your Will. A common example of this is a joint bank account. Say a mother and her daughter have a bank account held jointly, with right of survivorship. If the mother dies, the bank account automatically passes in full to the daughter, or vice versa, even if the mother (or the daughter) left the account to someone else in her Will. In this instance, banking law supersedes the authority of the Will in determining the distribution of the decedent’s assets.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Estate Administration Part 3: Your responsibilities as the Administrator of the Estate

As mentioned in the previous post, here are the specific responsibilities that come with being the Administrator of an Estate:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Estate Administration Part 2: So you’re the Administrator of an Estate—now what?

You have received Letters of Administration from the Court…
You submitted all the required paperwork to the Surrogate’s Court and have been officially appointed Administrator of your loved one’s Estate. This is a great honor, but also carries a great deal of responsibility. To help you understand your responsibilities and to help you administer the Estate, we have prepared this memo.