There are many different trusts used in the field of estate planning. We endeavor to provide explanations in some of our posts, and we will look at the Totten trust in this one. Payable on Death Account Back in 1904, there was a court case that was decided by the New York Court of Appeals called the Matter of Totten. Up until that time, you could not open up a bank account with a beneficiary that would inherit the account after your death. The court decided that there was no legal ground … [Read more...] about What Is a Totten Trust?
You should definitely know the basic facts about probate when you are making your estate planning decisions. In this post, we are going to focus on shortcuts that can circumvent the full process. However, we will start with a broad overview to help you see a complete picture. Estate Administration Most people assume that they should use a will to record their final wishes. This is certainly an option, and you name an executor when you are drawing up the document. They will administer the … [Read more...] about Are There Any Connecticut Probate Shortcuts?
The most common estate planning document is the simple will. If you express your final wishes in a will, the executor that you name would admit the document to probate after your death. This is a court supervised proceeding. During probate, creditors are notified about the decedent’s passing, and final debts are paid. The assets are prepared for distribution to the heirs, and the court determines the validity of the will. If everything goes smoothly and the situation is not especially … [Read more...] about An Overview of the Probate Process
There are numerous tools in the estate planning toolkit, and one of them is the life estate. We will explain why people use life estates in this post, but first, we will share some background information to provide context. The Process of Probate A will is not administered by the executor independently without any supervision. Under state laws, a will is admitted to probate, and the court presides over the administration process. It serves a purpose because creditors are notified, and they … [Read more...] about Why Would You Need a Life Estate?
You should have a general understanding of the estate administration process when you are engaged in your estate planning efforts. Most people think that they should use a will to facilitate asset transfers, but there are reasons why you may want to go in a different direction. A will is admitted to probate, which is the legal process of estate administration. The executor that is named in the document would be charged with the administrative tasks, and the court would supervise while the … [Read more...] about Can You Use a Transfer on Death Account to Avoid Probate?
There are different ways to facilitate asset transfers after you are gone, and you should understand the options for two related reasons. On one side of the coin, you make informed choices when you understand the facts, and on the other side, you avoid mistakes. With this in mind, we will look at the pros and cons of life estates in this post. Transfer of Real Property You can potentially use a life estate to arrange for the transfer of your home and other types of real property. If you … [Read more...] about An Overview of Life Estates
You sometimes hear bits and pieces of estate planning “advice” that is passed along by people that have good intentions, but they may not see the complete picture. This dynamic will often apply to probate and probate avoidance strategies. If you use a will to express your final wishes with regard to postmortem asset transfers, you would name an executor to act as the administrator. The will would be admitted to probate after your passing, and the court would supervise during the … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy: A Simple Solution That Can Go Awry
One of the most commonly held misconceptions about estate planning is the idea that you can no longer access or control assets that you convey into a trust. There is some truth in this, because there are irrevocable trusts, and you cannot act as the trustee if you establish this type of trust. However, the revocable living trust is in a different category. You can rescind the trust after the fact, and you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are alive and well. Let’s look … [Read more...] about Why Would You Use a Trust Instead of a Will?
Probate is the legal process of estate administration. If you use a will to direct asset transfers after you are gone, it would be admitted to probate. The executor that you name in the document would take care of the hands-on tasks, and the court would provide supervision. It should be noted that there is a simplified probate process in Connecticut that can potentially be used if the value of the estate is $40,000 or less. Otherwise, the full probate process would be necessary. This … [Read more...] about What Can You Do to Avoid Probate?
Before we address the question that serves as the title this blog post, we should explain why you may want to consider a living trust as the core document in your estate plan. This type of trust is revocable, so if you ever change your mind, you can dissolve the trust and take back direct personal possession of the property. It is unlikely that you will ever want to do so since you are using it as an estate planning device, but this can be comforting for some people. The ongoing control … [Read more...] about Can a Living Trust Be Contested?