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What is Trust Funding?

Question:  I want to create a trust to provide for my children and avoid probate, but I've heard I have to fund it.  What is trust funding? Answer:  Trust funding is the process of re-titling assets out of your name and into the name of your trust.  Do not be [...]

7 Non-Tax Reasons to Plan

There is a common misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy so they can minimize their tax liabilities.  While this is one part of estate planning, it is certainly not the only part.  Even if someone isn't wealthy or concerned about taxes, there are a number of important [...]

Top 5 Legal Challenges Facing Michael Jackson’s Estate Executors

Hat Tip to Danielle and Andrew Mayoras of Trial & Heirs for this great article! Many people never stop to think of how hard a job it is to administer the estate or trust of someone who passes away.  Often, it's a thankless job, filled with headaches.  That's certainly been [...]

Four Ways Americans Are Hurting Their Retirement

In general, Americans tend to be pretty optimistic.  Even in this struggling economy and difficult job market, most American workers will say that the future looks better and that good times are on the way.  Most American workers are also optimistic that their financial situation will improve next year and [...]

Small Estate Affidavit Qualifying Amounts Increase

Arizona law provides that certain "small estates" may avoid probate by using a small estate probate Affidavit.  Recently, the dollar amount of assets that qualify for the exemption increased. Previously, if a decedent owned $50,000 or less in personal property, the decedent's heirs could use a Small Estate Affidavit for [...]

Time to Update Your Trust

Countless surveys reveal that the majority of Americans do not have all of the necessary estate planning documents in place.  In fact, most people don't have any estate planning documents at all.  One of the big reasons for this is because dying or becoming incapacitated is is the bottom of [...]

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