Category: Probate


Understanding Testamentary Capacity

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Probate
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  Estate planning is meant to provide certainty and clarity to a person’s last wishes, so that they can rest assured that their loved ones are provided for. A will is the primary mechanism for most people to explicitly establish how their property will be divided upon their death. Unfortunately, there are times that people  … Read more

Letter of Office in Probate Proceedings

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Probate
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Letter of Office in Probate Proceedings

When a person creates a will, they put time and careful consideration into how they want their property divided and how their families will be taken care of. Significantly, they choose an executor, a person or entity that they trust to carry out the important tasks of distributing their property in accordance with their wishes  … Read more

Final Probate Steps: Closing the Estate

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Probate
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The role of an executor or administrator of an estate can be stressful and time consuming; yet, it is a role of indisputable importance. Moreover, every step of the administration process and probate case is important. Failure to comply with the probate statutes or federal law can create costly delays, or open the executor up  … Read more

Estate Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning, Probate
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Marriage is a sacred bond. You have made vows to your spouse, who is your partner in life and is your most important relationship. You have worked hard together, raised children together, and planned your lives together. That is why when people plan their estates, the first priority is often to make sure that their  … Read more

What is a Death Tax?

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Probate, Taxation
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We work hard to provide for our families. We sacrifice, we save, and we make financial decisions with the future in mind. Ultimately, it is all done to provide a good life for your family during your lifetime and beyond. That is why many people who have accumulated great wealth in their lifetime resent that  … Read more

Recovering Estate Assets

Recovering Estate Assets

Being named executor or administrator of an estate is an enormous responsibility. There are complex laws, highly specific pleadings and procedures, and crucial deadlines. Further, the executor has a fiduciary duty to the estate to carry out these responsibilities with reasonable care. Ultimately though, the role of executor is a hallowed promise to honor the  … Read more

The Importance of Proper Estate Appraisals

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning, Probate
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The Importance of Proper Estate Appraisals

Executors have the most important role in the probate process. They are responsible for everything from filing the will and death certificate and opening the probate process, through the final order and distribution of assets. In fact, they have legal duties to the estate and can be held personally liable if they breach these duties.  … Read more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

When preparing a will, one of the big decisions is who to appoint as executor. This is the person or firm that you are putting in charge of taking your estate through a probate court. If you pass away without a will, an administrator is appointed in this role. Why is choosing this representative such  … Read more

Estate Planning: Leaving A Roadmap for Your Executor

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning, Probate
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Estate Planning Leaving A Roadmap for Your Executor

When you are preparing your will, you spend a significant amount of time and thought to get everything right. You might work in close collaboration with a lawyer and financial adviser to make sure that every beneficiary gets exactly what you want them to have and that every tax advantage is considered. And significantly, you  … Read more

Placing Conditions in Trust Funds

  • Robert S. Thomas,
  •   Estate Planning, Probate
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Placing Conditions in Trust Funds

There are many reasons to establish trusts when estate planning. One common reason is that the individual planning their estate has doubts about the emotional maturity or financial responsibility of their beneficiaries. This is particularly the case when it comes to children who are minors or young adults. It is difficult to believe that your  … Read more