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Estate Planning

The Dos and Don'ts of Talking to Your Parents about Estate Planning

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

When you have an opportunity to talk to your parents about their estate planning (or lack of it), make sure you are prepared. Often, these conversations happen when there is a family emergency, and it is too late to benefit from proper planning. If you can have a conversation about estate planning before something tragic happens, know what to say and not to say to your parents to help them with decision-making.

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How Do I Know If I Am a Beneficiary in a Will?

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

You may have images of families and friends gathered for the reading of a will. That is purely a dramatic Hollywood trope. The practice of a lawyer reading the will began when illiteracy rates were high and family members lived near one another. It is now outdated since most beneficiaries can read, and lawyers can easily provide copies of the will to them. Typically, you might receive a certified letter from the personal representative notifying you that you are a beneficiary. However, you can always contact the estate attorney to explain the will to you.

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What Rappers Can Teach You About Estate Planning

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

As the Young Bloodz rap, "I've got my mind on my money, and money on my mind," you realize money management is a universal concern. While it may be better to talk to a licensed professional than seek financial advice from hip-hop stars, you can learn valuable lessons from them.

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Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples After the Respect for Marriage Act

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

Congress recently passed the Respect for Marriage Act in response to concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually review and reverse the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. This federal law requires the federal government and states to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages performed in a state recognizing same-sex marriage. This means if you married in New York but moved to Texas, where there is no state law allowing same-sex marriage, Texas must recognize your marriage. But the legislation also contains religious liberty protections by allowing Texas to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying in Texas.

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How Do I Pick a Guardian For My Children If I Die?

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

If you are a parent, the hardest part of estate planning is considering who will care for your minor children if you die. If you die and your children are without a surviving parent, a probate court makes that choice. We give you five tips for naming a guardian and five mistakes to avoid when making the choice.

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What About the Corgis? Lessons from Queen Elizabeth on Providing for Pets After Death

By Catherine Hodder, Esq.

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth's passing, many are wondering about her pets. The late monarch was known for her penchant for Pembroke Welsh Corgis. At her death, she left behind four dogs. There was speculation that family members or staff may take in the dogs. But it was unclear. Her son Prince Andrew and former daughter-in-law Sarah Ferguson stepped up to care for the Queen's corgis. But was this arranged before her death? Did the queen have a plan for the care of her dogs?

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