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Elements of mediating probate disputes

When an estate must pass through probate, the parties involved often have great difficulty reconciling an estate plan and with the probate process. If an estate plan does not properly account for probate, or if the decedent did not plan for probate at all, it may significantly alter the distribution of the estate to the various beneficiaries, and may stretch the process out far longer than necessary.

What does decanting a trust mean?

Often, establishing a trust is not the end of your estate planning concerns, especially if your wishes for your estate change after the fact. While it is not always possible to achieve exactly what you hope, depending on the nature of your existing trust and the terms you set in place when you established it, the law may provide ways that you can amend your trust and still enjoy many of its protections and benefits.

Reasons to replace your trust’s trustee

When creating a trust, one of the most important decisions you make is appointing a trustee to oversee the assets within it and uphold the trust's terms. This is a great responsibility for any person, and often leads to unanticipated conflicts between the trustee and the trust's creator or other parties, such as beneficiaries. Trustees enjoy a significant amount of power over a trust, a responsibility that not all individuals can truly handle well.

Should you make the beneficiary of your IRA a living trust?

It's important to pay attention to the beneficiary designations on all of your financial accounts. Failure to fill out such a designation properly -- or to update it after a change in circumstances -- could create a serious problem for your entire estate plan.

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