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Brentwood Estate Planning And Business Blog

What is a conservator?

If your parent is getting older and you are starting to notice signs of memory problems or dementia, you are likely also starting to worry about his or her future. What will happen if he or she becomes incapacitated? Who will make necessary financial and medical decisions?

In these situations, it can be very helpful to know what a conservator is and what conservatorship means, as this information can make it easier to know what to expect in the coming months and years.

Troubles arise when a trustee is distrustful

Administering a trust is a major responsibility. Whether the party in this role is an individual or an institution, it is crucial that they perform their duties lawfully and in accordance with the settlor's wishes. Failure to do this can have devastating consequences, including a contentious legal battle and removal of the trustee.

This is the situation playing out in another state in light of allegations that a trustee mismanaged a trust. And not only has the case led to legal challenges, it has also resulted in losses for charities that were slated to receive sizable gifts from one man's trust.

What happens when someone passes away without a will?

Creating a will is something every adult should do, though many have not done it. Often, people put it off because it's uncomfortable or they think they don't need one. However, the fact is that not having a will can leave loved ones without any guidance or protection.

Recently, for instance, news outlets reported that iconic entertainer Aretha Franklin passed away without a will or trust. Now, her loved ones will have to navigate the complexities of administering an estate without direction from Franklin herself. Below, we examine what this might look like for families in similar situations.

Events that can extend the probate process

After a loved one passes away, his or her estate and assets will typically go through probate. This is the legal process of identifying and distributing property, paying off debts and generally resolving a person's financial affairs.

It can be a complicated and frustrating process, and people often want to get through it as quickly as possible. While some cases are resolved in a matter of weeks, events can arise that delay the probate process

What happens when someone breaches a contract?

Contracts are critical to the operation of any successful business, whether they protect sensitive information, define responsibilities or set financial expectations. 

When a party breaches a contract, there is the potential for considerable damage, which is why legal action may follow. As such, it is important to know what constitutes a breach and what remedies may be available to a non-breaching party.

Reasons to hire an attorney to set up your will

The thought of your assets being fought over after you’ve passed away proves troubling. Designating specific family members the rights to your property indicates a wise decision in directing where your money and items will go. Although preparing for your death may prove troubling, a wise decision involves documenting your assets.

Yet developing a will yourself may include a multitude of errors that may have your family and loved ones confused or dealing with legal discrepancies. Hiring an estate planning attorney leaves you with peace of mind that your assets sit securely designated in a document, and you will feel content in knowing your beneficiaries will receive your assets after you pass away.

When your relationships change, so should your estate plan

In this blog, we have talked about events that often warrant a review and revision of an estate plan. Often, these events involve changes to people's health, living situation or finances.

However, changes in your personal relationships can also have an impact on your estate plans.

Can I contest a will if the decedent excluded me?

The death of a loved one can trigger painful emotions and complicated interactions with family members, especially in situations of estrangement or strained relationships. This can certainly be the case if your loved one excluded you from his or her will.

A testator (the person making a will) has the right to make his or her decisions about asset distribution, including disinheritance. However, there may be circumstances under which a disinherited party may challenge that decision by contesting a will.

What are poison pill provisions?

When control over a business changes hands, there is the potential for considerable disruption. Employees may be worried about their jobs; partners may worry about existing agreements; customers and clients might not like the change and stop supporting the business.

In other words, businesses leaders often have a lot riding on potential acquisitions and changes of ownership. In some cases, a company's board of directors may take steps to prevent such situations by adopting a so-called poison pill provision.

What to know before asking parents to invest in a new business

Your parents might be your biggest supporters. They could be the people who stand by you when you make a mistake and help you get back on your feet; they could be the people who encourage you to try new things.

It might make sense, then, to ask your parents for an investment if you want to start a business. However, before you do this, it can be wise to consider a few important tips.

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