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April 2013 Archives

Man leaves behind $40 million, with no will, no heirs

A man who lived in a neighboring state has left a large sum of money after he recently passed away. The problem is he has no apparent will, and no living heirs. With an estate valued at approximately $40 million, the state will start an extensive search to see if the man ever had a will. They will also hire a genealogist to research whether the man has any living heirs.

Second marriages aren't exempt from estate planning needs

Estate planning is something that everyone should do. It can help a person tell their loved ones of their wishes and ensure that their assets are distributed to whom the person would want. In the United States, many people might find themselves divorced half way through life, and because many people live longer, they might find new love and remarry.

The generation without heirlooms

Families often collect things from previous generations in their family, hoping they will pass on the same family heirlooms to their children. This has been a way of showing loved ones how much they are cared about and that they can have a piece of their family's history. However, aspects of inheritance are changing with new generations. The parents of baby boomers, who lived through the great depression and World War II, were more sentimental in many ways than boomers and millenials.

An estate plan must be talked about so families can act

Estate plans are essential for people no matter what age they are. When a person goes through a life change, it is important that they review their estate plan and make sure it is still in line with their wishes. Although these estate plans are very important, it is equally important that key players in an estate plan understand their responsibilities. A person could create an extensive estate plan, but if family, friends and even the person's doctor are not aware the plan exists, it can be hard to implement when it is needed.

Google offers way to pass data to loved ones after death

Estate planning can be complex, depending on the level of detail that a person wants in their plan and how many assets they have. Now, Google has become the first major Internet company to offer its users a clear way of controlling what happens to data related to their accounts after their deaths.

Irish documentary show finds heirs in US, inheritance distributed

An Irish documentary on genealogy ended up bringing together long lost cousins who all lived very close to each other in the United States. The documentary is called "Dead Money" and featured the estate of a woman who had no apparent relatives, but an estate valued at $1.5 million. The woman didn't have a will, and according to Irish law, the estate would go to her closest heirs.

Trusts can be financial, legal documents

Trusts are unique documents. They can help people with both legal and financial matters. Depending on the type of trust that a person makes and who the beneficiaries and trustees are these documents might be able to help a family out financially if they run into financial trouble. Trusts can sometimes be protected from bankruptcy and other major financial changes such as divorce.

Estate plans have many elements, need regular updates

An estate plan is essential for everyone, no matter what stage of their life they might be in. Surprisingly, many people delay estate plans, well into the middle or late stages of their life. However, the sooner a person makes an estate plan, the better. These plans not only help a person pass on belongings, but also help a person assign guardianship of their children, if they have children, and help inform family and doctors of their wishes if they are not capable of making medical decisions for themselves.

Estate planning can prevent drawn out, costly family business battles

Families with businesses are proud of what they've accomplished. Many times parents who run a business will try to get at least one of their children, if not all of them to be a part of the family business with hopes that their children will take over the business some day. When an estate plan isn't in place, these dreams can fall apart after the parents pass away, leaving siblings to fight over how to run the business properly.

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