Digital assets should be considered when completing a will

In days gone by, the distribution of assets upon a person's death might be relatively straightforward. It is still true today that, when waiting to hear about what assets the beneficiaries of an estate might receive, there could be some hurt feelings or tension over who might receive a cherished item -- a beloved grand piano, for example, or a family heirloom desk. When the estates of today are settled, Read More

Billionaire’s cancer diagnosis leads to estate planning questions

The reason for having an estate plan in place is to make sure that your wishes are accurately conveyed after your death. For many people, this is a bit of a guessing game: We don't know how much time we have left. We have to make the arrangements well in advance so that when the time comes, there is no debate about our will or what our intentions might have been. Sometimes, however -- for better or worse -- we Read More

As expected, battle over Mickey Rooney’s estate commences

Last month, in the wake of the death of actor Mickey Rooney, speculation began about the degree to which the late actor's will would be accepted by his family. The actor's estate was not very large, totalling only about $18,000. However, because everything was specified to go to one of the actor's stepsons, rather than his estranged wife or any of his biological children, a dispute about the will execution Read More

Sporting-goods in-laws fighting over spending from trust

Many families collapse into disarray after the death of a loved one. While much of this is due to family members trying to come to grips on the loss of a husband, brother or father, for example, after some time it often comes down to financial matters. It can be a source of conflict, for example, if a trustee is having a personal conflict with a trust beneficiary . This is the situation playing out for a family Read More

The benefits of having a revocable living trust

Not everyone believes that having a revocable living trust is necessary. After all, the federal estate tax exemption for individuals is $5.34 million and $10.68 million for married couples. However, the purpose of such an estate planning tool concerns more than just saving upon estate taxes. A revocable living trust can allow distributions to heirs without the assets having to go through probate and can thus be an Read More

Giving all your money to charity might let you avoid disputes

There are a few ways that a person can have a say in their affairs after their death. In many cases, wishes that a person has expressed might be modified or even ignored. However, having a will that makes a person's wishes clear can go a long way toward ensuring that those desires are carried out. Having a confusing or ambiguous will can make the probate process confusing and potentially divisive for surviving Read More

Not keeping tabs on beneficiary arrangements can cause heartache

On our Queens probate and estate administration blog, we talk frequently about the necessity of getting one's affairs in order. Making sure that our estate is in order by taking the necessary steps can ease the estate administration process after we're gone. One thing in particular that people need to pay attention to is the beneficiary arrangements on accounts such as individual retirement accounts, such as Read More

Fight over Mickey Rooney’s estate likely only just beginning

We often write on our blog about issues that celebrities run into when their wills are made public after their death. Due to their large estates, thanks to a lifetime of movie star salaries, there can be bitter fights among heirs. The estate of screen legend Mickey Rooney, who died recently at age 93, is experiencing some of these issues -- although his estate wasn't nearly as large as some people might have expected Read More

Put careful thought into whom you will name as your executor

Few people actually look forward to estate planning. Putting yourself in the frame of mind to do it means that you have to think about what the world will be like after you're no longer in it, which is not something that everyone wants to do. However, ultimately it's something that needs to be done. It's a way of having a say in your affairs after you're gone, which is certainly preferable to leaving no instructions Read More

L’Wren Scott used a will to distribute assets to Mick Jagger

In the wake of the tragic death of fashion designer L'Wren Scott, news has emerged about her end-of-life wishes. Scott reportedly signed a will in May 2013, and the details of that document were recently made public. The entirety of Scott's estate, which has an estimated value of $9 million, will go to her long-time partner Mick Jagger. The largest asset in the estate is reportedly Scott's $8 million apartment in Read More