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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REWRITES

REWRITES

By Tim Barkley. July 2016. “My wife just passed away,” the client said, matter-of-fact mien betrayed by a moistening of the eyes. “She was my power of attorney and executor of my will. I think I need new papers.” “I’m sorry to hear,” the lawyer replied. “When did she die?” “Around Valentine’s day,” the client clarified. “The kids and I have been working through things and I think this is the last thing I need to do.” “So was everything in joint...

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WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO? LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO? LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION

By Tim Barkley. March 2016. The smartphone on the desk erupted in a coruscant display and intermittent insistent buzzing. The readout said “Mrs. Jones.” “Good afternoon, this is Tim,” intoned the lawyer. “How can I help you, Mrs. Jones?” There was a silence. “Hello, Mrs. Jones, this is Tim. How can I help you?” “Oh, it’s you! I expected to have to leave a message at this time of day.” “You might have, but that’s not your luck today – you’re...

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WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

By Tim Barkley. January 2016. The voice on the lawyer’s phone was generally steady, but shook now and then. “This is Mrs. Jones. My husband just died last week. What do I need to do?” The lawyer offered condolences – even though he had not known the Joneses, he sympathized with a grieving spouse. Mrs. Jones agreed to meet the lawyer in his office the following day. “What do I do now?” she asked. “He didn’t have a will. I’ve heard that the State...

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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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