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Jennifer Short

How to Talk to Mom and Dad about Creating a Will

Despite the valid challenges of having conversations about death and dying, you should not avoid the topic. Your parents will pass away. at some point, and having a plan to care for their money and property when they pass away will preserve their legacy and help them care for those they love most. Having this difficult conversation will also ensure that your parents have a voice regarding their end of life or when they can no longer make financial or medical decisions for themselves. In the absence of conversations about these scenarios and a legal delegation of decision-making authority, state law governs what happens. Those default rules may not reflect your parents’ wishes. In addition, failure to have your parents’ wishes properly documented may result in their heirs having to engage in expensive and time-consuming court processes.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Chris Cornell: Show Me How To Live

Chris Cornell died in March 2017. He had his estate planning documents in order, but that did not avoid several legal filings against the estate. And four years after his death, there are still multiple disputes with the estate pending.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Reasons a Trust Might Terminate

Every trust, at some point, will end. The reasons why a trust might terminate can vary, but in general, termination occurs because the trust has accomplished its purpose, is no longer economically feasible, has distributed all of its property, is revoked, or is dissolved by the court because of a dispute or an illegality.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Aretha Franklin: The Queen Next Door

It has been three years since Aretha Franklin died and her estate is still being disputed. Four wills were found, two from 2010, one from 2014, and one from 2018. Each will gave different instructions for the distribution of assets, but a decision is yet to be made over which will, if any, is valid.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Tangled Titles: Homeownership, Property Deeds, and Estate Planning

Titles can often get tangled in the intrafamily transfer of homeownership. A tangled title most commonly occurs when the person whose name is on the deed passes away and a surviving relative continues living in the home without their name being on the deed. Until your name is on the deed, the home is not legally your property. A tangled title places you in legal limbo, creating many financial risks. Remedying a tangled title can be relatively straightforward if the homeowner of record was the sole property owner, they left a will, and the will specifies to whom ownership of the property passes upon the homeowner’s death.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Amy Winehouse: Back to Black

Amy Winehouse died young, aged just 27. It was initially thought that her estate planning was in place with rumours that her will had been updated after her divorce from ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. Sadly it turned out that this was not the case.

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Jennifer Short

What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts at Your Death?

If you have spent time creating, uploading, and sharing content, it is important to take a look now at what will happen after you pass away so you can determine your content’s future. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube all have their own policies. By properly laying out your wishes in your estate plan, you can provide guidance to your loved ones and reassurance that your legacy will live on.

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Gregory S. DuPont

Debbie Reynolds: Unsinkable

Debbie Reynold's death occurred just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, had died. Carrie was named as a beneficiary in Reynolds will. So what would happen now to Fisher's share in Reynolds $85 Million estate?

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Gregory S. DuPont

What if I Can Find Only Photocopies or Digital Copies of My Estate Planning Documents?

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 when the bank, title company, or court requests your original legal documents, and no one can find them? Well, that depends on the type of document (will, financial power of attorney, trust, or medical power of attorney) and your state's laws.

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Gregory S. DuPont

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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