TO TRUST… OR NOT

TO TRUST… OR NOT

By Tim Barkley. August 2016. “Do I need a living trust? I’ve heard a lot about them, and my brother said I need to get one. He has one, and he says it helps avoid probate. What is probate, anyway?” A living trust is a useful tool for many situations, but is not needed in every estate plan. Just as a hammer is sometimes, but not always appropriate (think of using it to clear your windshield of ice), so a living trust is not always indicated....

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YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING!

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING!

By Timothy S. Barkley, Sr. October 2015. “You gotta be kidding!” Her voice was excited as she looked down at the test results. “We’re pregnant! After trying and trying … we’re finally pregnant!” He smiled and grasped her hand, squeezed softly. Their eyes met and both chorused “Now what?” Fast-forward nine months. A little bundle of joy has descended into their lives and transformed them and their relationship. The baby’s room is decorated, the...

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MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS

MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS

By Tim Barkley.  December 2014. “If I don’t have a will, the State will get everything when I die!” “I don’t need a will, because everything is going to my spouse!” “If I have a will, my estate doesn’t go through probate!” “I need a living trust, so I can avoid probate! That lady on TV said so!” The author addresses these and similar misunderstandings on a daily basis. Some are alarmist, some induce heedless complacency; all can lead to bad...

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MOM’S TRUST

MOM’S TRUST

By Tim Barkley. October 2013. The lawyer greeted Susan as she entered the office. She waved a large maroon notebook. “I think we might have found the trust. Is that what this is? It’s about a million pages long. We were going through some boxes in the basement and found this last night.” The lawyer carried the notebook to the conference room and leafed through it while Susan seated herself. “Yep, this is a trust form...

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LOST TRUST

LOST TRUST

By Tim Barkley. September 2013. Susan sounded uncharacteristically jubilant on the phone: “Big news! Mary was picked up for a DUI and has disappeared! I don’t think she’ll be causing any more trouble.” “That’s a relief,” replied the lawyer. “We’ll have to talk to your mother’s lawyer and see what she says about the guardianship, now that Mary’s out of the picture.” “I...

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