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Common and Costly Estate Planning Errors

It is not uncommon for even the very wealthy or public figures to miss the boat when it comes to proper estate planning. While you might think that you are too young, too poor, or too healthy to have to think about estate planning, it is simply not the case. Far too many individuals pass away unexpectedly, and even if they own only modest assets, real difficulties, financial and otherwise, can result if there are no appropriate estate plans in place. This situation also can result in substantial disagreements between your survivors, which will not be a pleasant experience for your family. As a Consumer Reports article points out, it is very worthwhile to take the time to plan things out in formal legal documents, even if the need to use those documents never arises. [continue reading…]

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Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children

invitroThanks to the advancement of technology, couples who are suffering through infertility now have a chance to get pregnant. The most widely known treatment is in vitro fertilization. Through this method, there is a chance for children to be born after one or both parents die. This presents a whole new set of legal ramifications, such as the question of their inheritance rights. Our laws must also change to coincide with technology continuing to advance rapidly. [continue reading…]

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Disinheriting Your Spouse

Disinheriting a SpouseWhile it is more common to hear of people disinheriting their adult children, disinheriting a spouse is rare. That is because in the State of New York, you cannot disinherit your spouse. You cannot leave the surviving spouse with nothing nor can you leave the surviving spouse with a mere portion of your estate. Stating it in your will or leaving your spouse completely unmentioned in your will is not enough to disinherit your spouse, despite your reasoning. [continue reading…]

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Taking Care of Your Pets After You Die

Estate planning for your petsNon-animal lovers may find it hard to believe, but more and more pet owners are leaving their fortune to their pets. Joan Rivers made sure her dogs were taken care of after she passed away by including them in her estate planning. Leona Helmsley also left her dog millions in her will. Estate planning for pets is not exclusive to the rich and famous. Instead, it is for owners that consider their pets as members of the family and not mere property. To ensure that your pets are cared for, consider including them in your estate planning. [continue reading…]

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Protecting Publicity Rights in Estate Planning

Estate planning and publicity rightsThe use of the names, images, and likenesses of famous celebrities has value long after they die. Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, and Babe Ruth all come to mind. However, it is not just the famous, or infamous, that have publicity rights with value. In this tech savvy era, the public is more keenly aware of those who may only have a fleeting moment of fame through a moment of heroism, witnessing an event, or who played a small role in a larger issue. As a result, it is not just the rich and famous anymore who should think about protecting their publicity rights through estate planning. [continue reading…]

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