One misconception people have about life insurance is that naming beneficiaries is all you have to do to ensure the benefits will be available for a surviving spouse, children, or other intended beneficiary. Life insurance is an important estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there's no guarantee that your spouse...

When you pass away, your family may need to visit a probate court in order to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in only your name. Although having a will is a good basic form...

In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often comes with a starkly negative connotation. Indeed, for many people — especially those with larger estates — financial planners recommend trying to keep property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the property...

It’s counterintuitive, we know: irrevocable trusts are revocable (and amendable). Unfortunately, irrevocability is a malicious myth. The uninformed could spend years relying on an old, out-of-date trust that could be updated and improved without too much effort. Yes, the so-called “irrevocable trusts” absolutely can be, and, often, should be, modified. In...