Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More on IRA beneficiaries...

Here is an article in a recent AARP bulletin.

It contains some basic helpful information regarding naming beneficiaries, as I have mentioned before.  However, it does not get into the details.  I suggest you talk with an attorney or your financial adviser more regarding these issues.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Staff Changes

In October 2012, Tricia Ponder moved from the real estate department to the estates department.  She will be learning estates and assisting Sarah and Laura.  Do not be surprised if she calls updating clients on the status of an estate or asking for information needed to serve you!

On the real estate side, the office has been very busy with closings this fall.  Hopefully it means that the economy is starting to turn around!  Pam Rogers is still our lead full time closing paralegal.  Linda Correal is still with us part time, assisting with closings, and helping with title work and post closing documentation.  Pam Starnes has recently joined us, working three days a week.  So, we are working hard to serve our clients with the increase in closings!

Of course, Tiffany is still the first person most people see or talk to when calling the office!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Retitling Real Estate and Bank Accounts into Your Trust

Many clients come to see me to update their trust, often from out of state, or with a trust drafted by another attorney.  However, I find that they often have not completed the process of "funding" their trust.

When you set up a revocable or living trust, you are setting up a trust that exists during your lifetime.  You may have done so for estate tax planning purposes, or perhaps to avoid probate.

However, if you do not actually change the title or ownership of your assets into the name of your trust, you are generally not avoiding probate.  That means that if you pass away, someone will still have to open an estate at the courthouse and administer your estate (filing court documents, accountings, publishing a creditor's notice, etc.) in every state and county where you own real estate, and handle every bank account in your personal name through your probate estate.

So, please remember to make sure your attorney prepares and records a deed transferring the property from you to yourself as trustee of your trust.  And, make sure to retitle your bank accounts to yourself as trustee of your trust.