How to Sell High Value Items Through an Auction House

How to Sell High Value Items Through an Auction House

An auction is an event where property or goods are sold to a group of competitive bidders.  As auctions are open to the public, there is often a wide range of bids, with bidders competing to win the items of his or her choosing.  Consequently, items sold at auction...
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 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. ...
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 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...
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 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...
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...
How Much Money Can I Inherit Before Having to Pay Taxes on It

How Much Money Can I Inherit Before Having to Pay Taxes on It

Typically, only large estates have to pay out taxes, it is likely that you, as a beneficiary, will not have to pay out any taxes. Inheritance Tax An inheritance tax is a tax the beneficiary must pay upon receiving an inheritance. Inheritance Tax – Federal Level...
What is a Legacy Letter and How to Write One

What is a Legacy Letter and How to Write One

The concept of a legacy letter has existed for over 3,500 years.  It is a letter or document, lovingly written to record your own personal stories as well as family stories to pass on to others. These stories create a platform on which to explain your values and life...
What is the Difference between a Will and a Trust

What is the Difference between a Will and a Trust

At some point, you have more than likely heard the terms will and trust, especially if you are looking at doing some estate planning.  Often, they seemed to be used interchangeably.  However, they do not refer to the same thing at all. Here are some key points to help...
What is an Ethical Will and How to Write One

What is an Ethical Will and How to Write One

An ethical will is a document that allows you to pass on your personal values, life experiences, and life lessons to your family.  Creating an ethical will is completely voluntary.  It is an individual choice for each person to decide whether this is a document that...