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what if only photo copies of estate planning documents.jpeg

Although some attorneys make it their standard practice to retain and store a client’s original will for safekeeping as a service, that trend is becoming increasingly rare. As more law offices make efforts to “go green” by storing only digital copies of legal documents, they are giving their clients the responsibility of keeping their original documents safe. So what happens ...

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Mickey Rooney:  Nine Lives

Not every estate dispute is about money. When Mickey Rooney died, he disinherited all but one of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his wife. There were no great sums of money to feud over, so why did his family fight at all?

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Multigenerational Wealth Transfer Checklist

Studies estimate that 70 percent of family wealth is lost by the end of the second generation and 90 percent by the end of the third generation. To help your loved ones avoid becoming part of this statistic, you need to educate and update your extended family about your wealth transfer goals and the plan you have put in place ...

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John Lennon:  The Eggman

Julian Lennon sued The John Lennon Estate for his share in his Father's $800 Million fortune. A lengthy and expensive 16-year legal battle ensued. Yoko Ono got full control over Lennon’s estate, his original song rights, and his image with no provision made for Julian in Lennon's will.

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questions to ask when choosing a fiduciary

For some people, choosing trusted decision makers is easy; for others, it may be more difficult due to tense family circumstances, geography, or the lack of living family members. While most advisors and attorneys counsel clients to choose family members or close friends, this may not always be an option. But have no fear. You can consider hiring someone if ...

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Philip Seymour Hoffman:  A Most Wanted Man

When Philip Seymour Hoffman died, he left behind a will that was over a decade old. The will had been drafted by his real estate attorney/CPA rather than someone who specialized in estate planning. In spite of having three children, a trust had only been set up for the eldest son and the hefty fortune that was left to his ...

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Trust Decanting

What happens when, after a trust has become irrevocable, a situation arises that appears to undermine or conflict with your intent as the trustmaker? Are you stuck? Thankfully, no. A variety of tools exists to help handle unforeseen circumstances that might have negative consequences. Decanting is one of them. This tool is increasingly being used to remedy situations where a ...

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Stephen Hawking:  The Grand Design

In June, Professor Stephen Hawking’s estate struck a deal with the University Library in Cambridge and the Science Museum to receive some of his possessions in lieu of inheritance tax. Acquired items included his wheelchair, a pair of his glasses, scientific bets signed with a thumbprint, papers on theoretical physics and even his scripts from The Simpsons. How did this ...

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Estate Planning Myths

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. Making the decision to move forward with an estate plan requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever, stopping many people in their tracks. Others talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to create an estate plan because of the following common myths: only the rich need ...

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James Brown:  The Payback

An end is finally in sight for the disputes over James Brown's estate. The singer's heirs have fought over the estate for the last 15 years, resulting in a dozen lawsuits that tied up the singer’s publishing rights and intended charitable endeavors.

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