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Wills and Estates

The subject of wills and estates is one that is often avoided, but one that should be made a priority for all families. No one thinks they are going to die before their time, whenever that is. But if you die without a will or trust, you are leaving all decisions regarding your estate and even your children’s guardian, up to the state. Let the attorneys at ExpertBeacon show you how to protect your assets and your family’s future. You’ll find expert advice on simple wills, living wills (medical power of attorney), power of attorney, living trusts and estate taxes.

How to correctly modify your will after having a child

The birth or adoption of a child is a cause for celebration in a family. Many parents will attest that the arrival of a new child causes a host of life changes. One of the changes that should be attended to soon after the child’s arrival is the updating of a will. While it’s difficult for a parent to contemplate what life would be like if he or she were not there to provide for a minor child, it’s nevertheless necessary to make provisions in the will so that the minor child is cared for and any assets for the child are managed properly.

Laura E. StegossiPartner

Laura E. Stegossi is Chair of the Trusts and Estates practice at Weber Gallagher. Laura has been recognized by the publisher of the Pennsylvania edition of Super Lawyers magazine as a “Super Lawyer”, an honor given to the top 2.5 percent of atto...

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A will helps control the distribution of your estate after death

Simple estate planning tools can be used to control the distribution of your estate after death or incapacity and may avoid the expensive probate and guardianship processes. If you die without a valid will, your property will be distributed to your heirs at law. Your heirs are determined by state intestacy laws which apply when someone dies “intestate,” i.e. without a will. These laws typically give your property to your closest relatives, beginning with your spouse and children, and then to more distant relatives.

Jessica L. Dunne Attorney

Jessica Dunne is an attorney at the law firm of Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson in Dallas, Texas. Jessica’s practice focuses on civil litigation in a wide variety of areas including medical malpractice, personal injury and employment disputes...

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Expert advice on deciding if a prenup is right for you

Many people think that prenups are only for the wealthy. It’s time to think again. While prenuptial agreements can be used to protect only one asset (such as a house, family business, pension or savings account), they can also be used simply to streamline a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are also common in second marriages where spouses want to make sure that their assets go to their adult children. Although some people still assign a stigma to prenups, it is important to consider their various benefits before entering into a marriage.

Andrew TaylorPartner

Mr. Taylor focuses his practice exclusively in family law and handles all matters of divorce, support and custody. He regularly argues cases before the Pennsylvania Superior Court involving complex family law issues. In 2011, Mr. Taylor was o...

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Create a postnuptial agreement to protect your financial future

If you and your spouse find that your financial situation has changed after a couple of years of marriage and you do not have a prenup, it is wise to draft a postnuptial agreement to plan for your financial future. Bring it to the attention of your spouse and mutually decide on a plan that is in your family’s best interest. Make it appealing to each other by discussing what you would both want to include in the agreement.

Brenda B. ShapiroManaging Partner

Brenda B. Shapiro is a Family Law attorney and litigator. She provides legal counsel to clients on family law matters, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, access and time sharing, post-dissolution, domestic v...

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Evaluate elder’s competency to protect their health and finances

Dr. Barry Cohn Licensed Clinical Psychologist Portrait Health Centers

Assessment of competency and capacity may be the single best protection you could recommend to your elderly family member to ensure that their intended wishes are fulfilled. Getting an assessment is easy, and it will help determine whether or not your elder is competent enough to be able to create a trust, make medical decisions regarding long-term care, and be able to make financial decisions regarding their estate and will.

Dr. Barry CohnLicensed Clinical Psychologist

Portrait Health Centers are multi-specialty clinics that employ the most cutting-edge and proven assessment protocols and treatment options available, believing that an Effective Treatment Depends On An Accurate Diagnosis. Individuals should not...

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What’s the difference between a will and a living trust?

Often times, the hardest part of doing estate planning for your family is simply getting started. But once you decide to move forward, the next big step is to decide whether the appropriate central document for your planning is a will or a revocable trust. Each has its pros and cons, so it is important to understand what each one does and how.

Eido M. Walny, J.D., AEP, EPLSAttorney at Law

Eido M. Walny received his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law in 2001. He earned an A.B. in political science, with honors, from The University of Chicago. Mr. Walny’s practice focuses on estate planning, asset protection, and busines...

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Helping you through probate

Probate is the legal process of administrating a deceased person's estate. It is very important that you know what to do and what not to do.

Michael BursteinFounder, Burstein Law

Michael Burstein’s practice is focused on estate planning, elder law and probate. He earned his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (the oldest law school west of the Mississippi) in 1987. At Hastings he was the Man...

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Newlyweds should prepare a will and discuss estate planning

Estate planning is never easy, especially for newlyweds. But it is essential that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that you and your new family is taken care of after you pass. This means setting up a will and speaking with an estate planner who can help you make decisions based on your current and future finances. If you are soon to be married or have recently married, this article will address some key estate planning issues that you should consider.

Lawrence M. PlouchaShareholder

Practicing for over 30 years in South Florida. Masters degree in Taxation. Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”...

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Ensure your pets are taken care of in your estate plan and will

Although many people consider their pets to be full-fledged members of their families, they often fail to include any special provisions for their pets in their estate plans. In the eyes of the law, your pets are personal property, like your toaster or your couch, which your beneficiaries can accept, decline, sell, throw away, or otherwise use as they wish. Unlike your toaster and your couch, however, you likely have strong opinions about how you would like your pets to be cared for if you become unable to take care of them yourself.

Daniel E. McKenzieAttorney at Law

Dan is an estate planning and small business attorney, with licenses to practice in Colorado and Illinois. He spent the first 10 years of his career as a litigator, helping people to recover money for injuries they suffered as a result of other ...

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Create a written will to protect loved ones and give you peace of mind

Putting your affairs in order is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. But writing a will isn’t actually as easy as making a list of your treasured items and deciding who should receive what. Because the decisions you make when estate planning will affect your descendants long after you are gone, make sure you’re aware of all the issues and potential pitfalls that are involved with will writing.

Linda AmatoAttorney-at-Law

Linda Amato is a New York City-based attorney. Her practice is exclusively devoted to estate planning and elder law. Before forming her practice, she worked with one Europe’s private banks. Linda has also practiced in the health care industry a...

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A revocable living trust will protect your assets and avoid probate

When it comes to estate planning, most people assume that as long as they have a will, they’re set. However, a revocable living trust may be a better alternative. A trust is property held by one individual for the benefit of another, and a revocable living trust is simply a trust created during an individual’s lifetime that they can change at any point before they die.

Though compared with a will, a trust may seem like a strange and unfamiliar option, but it can potentially facilitate the process of putting your affairs in order.

Linda AmatoAttorney-at-Law

Linda Amato is a New York City-based attorney. Her practice is exclusively devoted to estate planning and elder law. Before forming her practice, she worked with one Europe’s private banks. Linda has also practiced in the health care industry a...

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Should I leave assets outright or in a trust?

Whether you choose to leave beneficiaries cash or other inheritances by way of a Revocable Living Trust or a Will, many people struggle with the dilemma of whether to make such gifts outright or in trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Eido M. Walny, J.D., AEP, EPLSAttorney at Law

Eido M. Walny received his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law in 2001. He earned an A.B. in political science, with honors, from The University of Chicago. Mr. Walny’s practice focuses on estate planning, asset protection, and busines...

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Things to consider with a power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document where in a person grants another person the authority to act on his or her behalf.

Michael BursteinFounder, Burstein Law

Michael Burstein’s practice is focused on estate planning, elder law and probate. He earned his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (the oldest law school west of the Mississippi) in 1987. At Hastings he was the Man...

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