What is an End of Life Vigil

What is an End of Life Vigil

A vigil is defined as a period of time when an individual or a group remains in a place and waits, prays, etc.  An end of life vigil is when an individual or group stays with a person during their last hours.  While many hospitals and hospices often have vigil...
What is an Estate Sale

What is an Estate Sale

In its essence, an estate sale is large garage sale, one in which the majority of one’s assets are sold at the same time.  Most estate sales happen after an individual has passed away.  However, they are also useful when an individual is downsizing. Keys to...
What is a Trust Company

What is a Trust Company

A trust company is a legal corporation that acts as an agent, fiduciary, or trustee for an individual or business in order to administer, manage, and eventually transfer any assets to the beneficiary.  The word ‘trust’ in the name trust company refers to...
What are the Largest Tax Implications of an Inheritance

What are the Largest Tax Implications of an Inheritance

Losing a loved one is always incredibly difficult, and the grieving process is long and complicated.  However, one bright spot can be receiving an inheritance.  It is important to remember, though, that there are possible tax implications related to an inheritance. ...
Where Should I Hold my Loved One’s Funeral

Where Should I Hold my Loved One’s Funeral

Unfortunately, we all face the inevitability of losing a loved one.  Everyone reacts differently; the grief process is unique for each individual.  In the midst of the grief comes the need to make an abundance of decisions.  One key decision is where to hold your...
What is an Estate Planner

What is an Estate Planner

An estate planner (also called an estate lawyer or estate planning attorney) helps individuals choose the appropriate options for maintaining their estate after they pass away or become incapable of making the decisions themselves.  An estate planner is an attorney...
How to Stop Your Deceased Loved One’s Mail

How to Stop Your Deceased Loved One’s Mail

Losing a loved one is a deeply painful process.  While the grief is fresh, many parts of everyday life are put on the back burner.  Unfortunately, after a loved one passes away it eventually becomes clear that there a myriad of details, both large and small, that must...
What is a Letter of Testamentary

What is a Letter of Testamentary

The probate court is the institution that issues letters of testamentary.  A letter of testamentary is a legal document giving an individual the power to act as the executor for an estate.  As the executor, you need to present this letter of testamentary and a copy of...
How to Cancel Your Deceased Loved One’s Driver’s License

How to Cancel Your Deceased Loved One’s Driver’s License

Experiencing the grief of losing a loved one is all consuming and emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting.  It also requires a large amount task work, both large and small, that must be handled in some manner.  One item that must be addressed is how to cancel...
What is Embalmment And How Does it Work

What is Embalmment And How Does it Work

Embalmment is the treatment of a dead body to temporarily preserve and prevent decomposition.  The practice of embalming became popular in the 1800s in order to preserve human bodies for scientific study.  The demand grew in the 19th century as more individuals wanted...
What is a Fiduciary And Why Would I Need One

What is a Fiduciary And Why Would I Need One

A fiduciary is an individual that acts on the behalf of another individual to manage his or her assets.  Being a fiduciary means being ethically bound to act in the best interests of the other individual. A fiduciary is an individual who is obligated legally to act in...
What is a Mediator And How Are They Used When Settling an Estate

What is a Mediator And How Are They Used When Settling an Estate

Mediation is an interactive, structured process in which a neutral third party helps two or more parties resolve any conflict using specialized negotiation and communication techniques.  All individuals or groups involved in the mediation process are encouraged to...
What to do With My Loved One’s Car Lease After They Die

What to do With My Loved One’s Car Lease After They Die

In years gone by, people typically bought a car and drove that car until it died a natural or unnatural death.  They then started the process all over again by purchasing another new or used car.  This is often no longer the case as we live in a society where everyone...
What is a Stepped-Up Basis for Inherited Property

What is a Stepped-Up Basis for Inherited Property

According to the Internal Revenue Code, when a beneficiary receives an asset from a benefactor after the individual passes away, that asset typically receives a stepped-up basis.  This is the market value of the asset at the time the benefactor passes away.  The...
Do All Wills Go Through Probate

Do All Wills Go Through Probate

When people hear the word probate, visions of drawn out, expensive court proceedings often come to mind.  However, this really is not the typical case.  Probate is often a simple procedure, taking six months or less, in which a judge ultimately gives legal permission...
How to Name a Legal Guardian for your Children

How to Name a Legal Guardian for your Children

No one wants to think about his or her own mortality, and no one especially wants to think about someone else raising his or her children.  However, once you have children, the right thing to do is sit down and decide whom you want to raise your child or children if...
What To Do When a Loved One Passes Away at Home

What To Do When a Loved One Passes Away at Home

Keeping our sick loved ones at home is becoming a more common occurrence.  Consequently, our society is experiencing more deaths of loved ones in the home.  This can be very upsetting, especially if you don’t know what to do when it happens.  While we can never be...
What are Intestacy Laws

What are Intestacy Laws

Intestacy is defined as the state of dying without having a will.  The estate of any individual who dies intestate (i.e. dies without leaving a will behind) must go through the probate court.  The intestacy laws of the state will then determine who will be the...
Best Investment Accounts For Seniors

Best Investment Accounts For Seniors

Even as we age, and are looking towards end of life decisions, financial matters remain important.  Deciding on the best investment accounts not only helps your own peace of mind, but can also ease any burden placed on your loved ones in the event of your passing. One...
Do I Need Both a Will and a Trust

Do I Need Both a Will and a Trust

If you have a have a trust, do you also need a will?  Even if you transfer the majority of your property through a living trust or other estate planning tool, you should also have a will.  Without a will, any property that isn’t passed along to beneficiaries by those...
What is a Will and Do I Need One

What is a Will and Do I Need One

Everyone over the age of 18 (or 21 depending on where you live) should have a will.  Why?  A will is the most important estate planning document there is, and, yes, everyone has an estate! What is a Will? A will tells others where you want your property to go after...