Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Estate Planning Archives

Prince estate battle highlights importance of wills

Millions of Americans and fans throughout the world mourned the news of the passing of the legendary musician Prince. While his talents and music speak for themselves, unfortunately nothing spoke for his high asset net worth and vast estate. You see, Prince died without a will.

What is probate?

Probate, in its simplest term, is the transferring of one's property following their death. The process itself can be costly and lengthy. There are a few ways to avoid probate, which we have talked about in previous blog posts, However actions must have been taken prior to a death for those other options to be implemented.

How a living will protects your wishes

Sometimes we need a reminder of the famous line by Benjamin Franklin. "There are only two certainties in life - death and taxes." While this comment was likely done in jest, it still holds true, and can be valuable for people to think about, especially when considering their future. As we all know but all too often forget or take for granted, no tomorrows are guaranteed, and we never really know when our time is up. We could continue with even more clich├ęs, but the point is that an accident, injury or illness could strike any one at any time, and protecting yourself, your assets and your wishes in the event of a tragedy, should not be overlooked.

An effective estate plan is important for everyone

This blog recently answered the question regarding what a trust is and how it can help with an overall estate plan. An estate plan is a good idea for anyone at any age, regardless of the value of their personal property or number of assets they own. Wills and trusts provide different options to consider for transferring assets. There are a number of different estate planning tools to be aware of not just limited to wills and trusts.

What is a trust and how can it help with my estate plan?

There are a variety of different estate planning tools that are available to estate planners to help them develop an effective estate plan. A trust can be used as part of an estate plan to supplement a will or manage property during life. Trusts manage property by transferring the benefits and obligations of property to different recipients. Because trusts can help with property distribution, they are an excellent estate planning tool.

The importance of a will as part of an estate plan

A will is an important center piece of any effective estate plan. Wills account for the property and assets of the estate planner and how the estate planner wants property and assets distributed. There are certain elements for a will to be valid so to achieve the wishes of the estate planner, it is helpful to be familiar with those rules and ensure that the will is properly executed.

Tips for reducing or completely avoiding probate

The cost and time involved with probate can be a lot to handle. Probate also comes with a loss of privacy and control as the court decides how your estate will be distributed. If you are concerned about these aspects of probate, be encouraged that there are actions you can take to reduce or even avoid the process. Here are some tips for making the asset distribution process easier.

How to avoid the probate process

No one, in the history of mankind, has ever used the words "fun" to describe the probate process. In fact, it can be so drawn out, complicated and expensive that most people look for a way around it at all costs. Luckily, there are ways to get around it.

Estate planning tips for an effective estate plan

An effective estate plan is important for everyone yet is something not everybody takes the time to consider and develop. Effective estate planning is important because it can provide peace of mind for both the estate planner and the estate planner's family and loved ones, as well as setting out an effective transfer of assets and address other considerations as well. A few estate planning tips can be helpful for establishing a through and effective estate plan.


Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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