Top 5 questions about probate

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About half of the people who call me about probate cases are often experiencing emotions: grief, confusion, bitterness, and sometimes a sense of peace. Out of all of these, confusion tends to multiply the most when it comes to trying to figure out what to do next with the deceased loved one’s legal affairs and property. Continue reading

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On Casey Kasem, and avoiding massive probate battles

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On the radio yesterday, I heard the morning hosts discussing the deceased American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, and how his kids are trying to get a death certificate to go after the life insurance money coming to them. In response, one of the hosts commented “That’s awful!” But I argued back (into the radio speaker), “Hey, if Kasem’s kids were my clients, I might have advised them to do just that!” Kasem’s kids have been in legal battles with his spouse for the last year or more, and unfortunately, probate battles almost never go smoothly, and can happen in any family, not just with celebrities. Continue reading

Who takes care of my kids if I pass away?

Kids playing with marbles, photo by Tup Wanders (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Kids playing with marbles, photo by Tup Wanders (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Many people think about writing a will as something to put off for tomorrow, thinking that their kids are automatically going to get everything, and that’s that. But another aspect of a will that many people don’t consider is planning for who will step in to take care of your children if you pass away. Continue reading

Multiple Marriages & Inheritance

People in certain marital situations are at a greater need of a good estate plan.

Whereas many people believe that when they die, everything automatically goes to the family members they live with, that is usually not the case after a divorce and/or remarriage. The reality is that a marital dissolution causes consequences to your estate plan. Continue reading

Risky Do-It-Yourself Documents, Part 1: Wills

LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, and Nolo are all common suppliers of Do-It-Yourself legal services these days. All of these (and many more) offer a document production system that makes writing a will, a landlord-tenant agreement, an employment contract, or other documents as easy as a small software fee. But as many a lawyer will advise his clients that might be thinking about these services, he’ll still be there to clean up the mess when it eventually appears. Continue reading