I believe everyone would agree that surviving your spouse can be a traumatic experience. My mother passed away this year after being married to my father for 54 years. He’s obviously going through a tough time, as I’m sure many readers can commiserate. But when you lose a spouse who had a revocable trust, remember
When a loved one dies, the last thing family members want to do is field calls from debt collectors. If you are the personal representative (executor) of the estate or trustee of your love one’s revocable trust, chances are you will have to deal with your loved one’s debts and creditors. But is it your
There’s much confusion for family members when a loved one dies with a revocable trust. Often they believe that the successor trustee can simply wrap things up and distribute the trust assets right away. That’s not the case. When all or some part of the decedent’s assets are held in a revocable trust at the
It’s always a difficult time when you lose a loved one. Usually, one of the first places one visits will be the lawyer’s office who drew the will or trust. The will or trust isn’t usually read to a gathering of family “Hollywood style.” Rather, the lawyer discusses the administrative steps that the personal representative
Dear Attorney: Why Didn’t You Tell Me Sooner That Auntie Died – And Where’s My Inheritance Check Already?
You can’t make this stuff up. I received a letter just this week that said, in essence “Why didn’t you tell me sooner that my aunt died – and why haven’t I received my inheritance check yet?” I almost forwarded a reply that read, “Dear Nephew – You should be ashamed of yourself that you
A few months after the death of her mother, “Janice” continued to manage her mother’s trust as if she were still alive. “Mom used to give each of my kids $13,000 a year – which is tax free – so I thought I would continue that.” The problem is that once someone dies, the provisions
When you have a revocable trust, does that always mean that your estate will avoid the probate process when you die? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is “No”. Why is that? First, let’s review what the probate process is. Many people think that “probate” means “taxes”. Probate is not a tax.
An often misunderstood concept under trust and estate administration centers on “letters of retention.” Letters of retention are common where beneficiaries of a trust direct a trustee not to sell something that the trust holds. An example would be where Dad, during his lifetime, worked for a publicly traded company, and accrued a lot of
A common question that I’m asked involves which expenses the estate can and should pay when a loved one dies. The question sounds something like this: “Craig, my father just died and I’m his personal representative. I’m flying in my wife and children, my sister and her family are all coming too. Can I pay
If someone dies when their home, residence or other mortgaged property is “under water”, what should the personal representative of the estate do? Should they continue to make the payments on the property to keep it current until it sells? What happens if the sales proceeds are not enough to cover the mortgage note? Should