How to Designate Beneficiaries

Retirement accounts, life insurance and similar items have become an important part of many people’s estate plans. In some cases, they are the only estate plan that people have. If you are relying on them, it is important to know a few things about designating beneficiaries.

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The Estate Tax and Your Non-U.S. Citizen Spouse

If you are married to a non-U.S. citizen, you need to know that the estate tax options for your spouse will be different if you pass away than if you were married to a U.S. citizen. This knowledge will help you to protect your spouse from the most devastating effects of the estate tax.

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Alternatives to Talking about Death

Estate planning attorneys always tell their clients that the most important thing to do to ensure a smooth estate administration is to talk to family members about what they need to do. However, there is an alternative if you are uncomfortable with that advice.

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Drug Testing before Inheritance?

Before people can receive many types of federal assistance, they are often required to pass drug tests. Should they also be required to pass drug tests before they can receive a tax free income? One representative appears to think so.

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Estate Planning to Prevent Identity Theft

By now most people are aware of the necessity to exercise diligence to prevent identity theft. People know to check their credit statements and how to look out for irregularities. However, when you pass away, you can no longer do that. Identity thieves are now exploiting this to steal the identities of the recently deceased.

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Using Estate Sales

In an estate sale personal property in an estate is sold off at auction. These sales are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. There are a couple of groups of people who can take advantage of this trend.

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When Siblings Fight

Siblings can often be our best friends and closest means of support when times are tough. However, nothing can bring down an estate plan faster than a sibling rivalry over that estate.

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Can a Trust Really Be Irrevocable?

When people create irrevocable trusts, they normally intend for the trusts to be just that. However, sometimes circumstances change and they want to revoke the trusts. As it turns out, they often can thanks to legal developments in the last couple of decades.

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Stealing an Inheritance

Estate administrators are supposed to distribute assets according to the terms of the estate plan. But, what happens if they do not and use some of the money for their own ends? A recent case in the UK shows one of the possible consequences.

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What to Do with an Inherited Roth IRA

Different financial instruments have different rules about what can be done with them. The same thing holds true when you inherit the instruments. If you inherit a Roth IRA, the rules are different than a traditional IRA and you need to know what you can do with it.

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