Wills and Probate Articles & FAQs

Arranging to Donate Your Body

Here are the legal basics of full body donations.

Arranging to Donate Your Organs

What to do if you want to donate your organs after death.

Charitable Trusts: Tax Breaks for Do-Gooders

If you want to give a big gift to charity, consider a charitable trust.

Checklist for Getting Your Financial Affairs in Order

Take the following steps to help your family should you die or become incapacitated.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

If you have young children, you should choose a personal guardian — someone to raise them in the highly unlikely event you can’t.

Choosing an Executor FAQ

Who should you pick—and must that person serve?

Choosing Your Healthcare Agent

Suggestions for naming the right person to direct your medical care if you are unable to do so yourself.

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Not everyone needs life insurance. Find out whether or not you do.

Duty of Medical Personnel to Honor Your Healthcare Directives

Know when healthcare providers must follow your instructions for medical care — and when they may not.

Estate and Gift Tax FAQ

Most estates don’t owe tax, but it pays to be informed. Here’s a palatable introduction to estate and gift tax laws.

Family Members’ Right to Inherit

Only the closest relatives have a right to claim part of your estate.

FAQ for Executors

You have been chosen as an executor of someone’s will. Here’s how to get the answers and the help you need.

Final Arrangements FAQ

Planning some of the details of your final ceremonies and the disposition of your body can be a great relief to your survivors. Here are a few things to consider.

Get Organized Now

Make your executor’s job easier, and help out your family, by getting your paperwork in order.

Getting Your Retirement Money Early — Without Penalty

Just can’t wait for your retirement funds? Painless advice on how to get the money you’ve socked away for retirement — if you need it right now.

How Durable Powers of Attorney for Finances Work

Here’s the simple way to arrange for someone to handle your finances if you can’t.

How Healthcare Directives Work

It’s smart to make legal documents setting out your wishes for healthcare in case you are ever unable to speak for yourself.

How Living Trusts Avoid Probate

Here’s the lowdown on basic probate-avoiding living trusts.

Is It Time to Change Your Estate Plan?

Make sure that it reflects your current wishes.

Leaving Property to Young Children

It’s easy to arrange for someone to manage any property you leave to young children.

Life Insurance Options

When it comes to choosing a life insurance policy, you may feel dazed by your options. Here are the basic types and the pros and cons of each.

Living Trust FAQ

An introduction to living trusts — a popular way to avoid probate.

Married Couples: Who Owns What?

Be sure you know what property is yours to leave or give away.

Probate FAQ

The basics about probate.

Reducing Estate Tax by Making Gifts

Making gifts during your life can provide you with tax savings and more.

Reducing Estate Taxes by Transferring Ownership of Your Life Insurance Policy

You can lower your beneficiaries’ estate tax burden by making sure you don’t own your life insurance policy when you die.

Retirement Plan FAQ

Quick answers to common questions about retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, IRAs, Keoghs and SEPs.

Tax-Saving AB Trusts

Couples can save a bundle on estate taxes with this kind of trust.

The Executor’s Job

What’s involved in wrapping up an estate.

The Perils of Prepayment Plans

Tips on shopping for funeral goods and services.

Top Myths About Retirement Plans

Test your knowledge to see how much you know about taking your money out.

Using Life Insurance to Provide for Your Kids

Life insurance may be a good source of income for your children if you die. Here’s what you should know.

What You Can Cover in Your Healthcare Directives

An overview of some important issues you’ll face when preparing documents directing your medical care.

What You Can’t Do in Your Will

Wills aren’t the place to handle certain kinds of property or issues.

Wills FAQ

What you need to know about the most basic estate planning document.

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