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Estate Planning Blog

News & Tips From The Law Office Of Libby Banks.

Avoiding the Pain of Probate

Probate is a court proceeding used to settle the estate of someone who has no Will. However, a person that has a Will may also end up in probate court. That’s because a Will doesn’t transfer a person’s assets to his or her heirs automatically – it only states who should receive those assets. Probate is time consuming and expensive for a personal representative (or executor, as it’s named in many states). It can be an agonizing and long drawn out procedure. But it is avoidable – with the right estate planning tools, and specifically with the Revocable Living Trust. Couples often...

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Avoiding the Pain of Probate

Avoid Probate by using a Revocable Living Trust as your primary estate planning tool. Many people have big misconceptions of how a Last Will and Testament works. They assume that if they have a Will, their heirs will not have to go to court and file a probate. Instead, for the person who only has a Will, we do have to file a probate with the court at death. That’s because a Will does not transfer a person’s assets to his or her heirs automatically – it only states who should receive those assets. I often tell clients a Will is...

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Estate Planning for Incapacity

In my previous article I have reminded you that estate planning isn’t just about who will get your assets on your death, it’s also about who will manage your assets and take care of you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. With proper planning, you decide; without proper planning a court may get to make the choice. What do we mean by “incapacitated?” Generally speaking, we are referring to a situation where you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Incapacity can result from an accident or arise from health issues, such as stroke, heart attack or dementia. If...

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Educating Your Family About Your Estate Planning

It’s back to school time, so I thought I would write this month about educating your family about your estate plan. If you don’t have an estate plan, educate yourself at my seminar at Gentech  Support located at 402 E. Greenway Parkway. More information about that at the end of my article! If you have done estate planning or are in the process of putting a plan in place, it’s a good idea to educate the people who you have appointed as trustees or executors and also to your family about what you’ve done. Here are some of the primary items...

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Is it time to update your old trust?

I review many trusts, and some of them are quite old. After these old trusts were put in place lots of things have changed: the federal estate planning laws, the Arizona Trust Code, and of course, the situation of the people who are included in the trust. When so much has changed, it’s clearly time to update the trust. When we do an update, we usually do a complete amendment – called a restatement – of the trust. We keep the original trust name and date, and just note that it was restated as of the date we sign the new...

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To Keep Your Resolutions, KNOW YOUR “WHY”!

By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks Over the years, I’ve made many a resolution at the New Year. Some I’ve kept, others went by the wayside quicker than day turns into night. Why is that, and how can I really keep the resolutions that are important to me? I’ve contemplated that question and asked a few experts how to succeed with more of my New Year’s resolutions. One told me it all boils down to this: find your “Why.” The resolution may be to exercise regularly. Your plan: get up at six a.m. and get to the gym early every...

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2019 New Years Resolutions

By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks The Most Important New Year’s Resolution The new year is here, and along with it, a fresh start. You may have promised yourself to exercise regularly, eat right, spend more time with the kids, or have family time every weekend. Why do you have these particular goals? If you are like me, behind almost every goal I have is the desire to make sure I am taking care of my family. One of the most important resolutions you can make this year is to take care of your family by doing your estate...

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Why Use An Attorney for Your Will or Trust?

By Libby Banks, the Law Office of Libby Banks The other day a very savvy businesswoman I’ve gotten to know came in to take advantage of my free review of existing estate plans. To my surprise, she brought in a do-it-yourself Last Will and Testament. It named an executor and said who would get her estate, just as a Will should. But her Will was completely invalid because it wasn’t properly executed. Besides that, she did not have the other documents needed to ensure that if she were incapacitated, someone could step in to care for her and her finances. As...

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New Year’s Resolutions For You and Your Family

Estate Planning New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Family By Libby Banks, the Law Office of Libby Banks With the holidays upon us, it’s time to think about your New Year’s Resolutions. Experts tell us that we are more likely to meet a goal when we attach a date to it. To be sure you achieve your goals, set a date by which you plan to accomplish each activity that moves you forward. In the estate planning arena, here are several things you might consider putting on your list for 2018. Put a Will or Trust based estate plan in place....

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Estate Planning for Brady Bunch Families

By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks In first marriages, a couple generally has identical goals for their estate planning: take care of the surviving spouse for as long as he or she lives, then distribute what’s left to their children. But second marriages can be different. The blended family – his children, her children and sometimes their children as well – can require more complicated planning. Each spouse may have separate assets as well as their joint and community assets. Both usually want at least some of their assets to go to their own children after they die....

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