WHEN SHOULD YOU REVIEW & REVISE YOUR WILL OR REVOCABLE TRUST?

It is not unusual for clients to wait 20 years or longer before re-reading their wills or revocable trusts to determine if they still “work.” This occasionally creates expensive or frustrating problems. Continue reading

SELLING OR DISTRIBUTING THE DECEDENT’S RESIDENCE TO A BENEFICIARY

Executors usually liquidate all of the decedent’s property and distribute cash to the beneficiaries. Occasionally, however, a beneficiary wants to receive the decedent’s real property in kind, as part of his share. The beneficiary may already live in the property, or may want to move there in the future. Another example is vacation property. What might seem like a simple transaction can become contentious and complicated. Selected issues and recommendations follow. Continue reading

WHEN TO NAME A BANK AS EXECUTOR

Although banks were commonly named as executors many years ago, this is seldom true anymore. But it certain cases, it still makes sense.

If your children have issues with each other, the child named as executor will have a thankless job. The child’s siblings will be miffed that they were not appointed executor. They will continually contend the executor is acting out of self-interest or favors some siblings at the expense of others. Continue reading

WHO SHOULD I NAME AS EXECUTOR?

Choice of executor (sometimes known as “personal representative”) can be the most important part of your will.

In general, most married couples name the surviving spouse as executor. The more difficult choice is the executor upon the death of the surviving spouse. In a harmonious family, one or more of the children is usually a prudent choice. Which one? All things being equal, a child living nearby is a better choice than one living 1,000 miles away. Continue reading