After the 2018 passing of the legendary singer Aretha Franklin, her family and lawyer initially thought she had died without a will. But earlier this year, three handwritten wills—two from 2010 that were locked in a cabinet and one from 2014 that was hidden under a couch cushion—were found in Franklin’s home in Detroit. Franklin’s…

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many people right in their tracks. Others talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to put…

Information is instantaneously available due to the rise of the internet. Additionally, many services that were not available in the past, including do-it-yourself (DIY) legal forms also exist. As a result, it is tempting to think that the forms provided by these DIY services can be a low-cost substitute for the services of an attorney….

Farming or ranching is more than a means of livelihood — it is about preserving a legacy and unique way of life. Unfortunately, many farmers and ranchers fail to make an estate plan. The farm or ranch that has been passed down for generations then ends up being sold and converted into non-agricultural use, cutting…

Congratulations! You are now considered a legal adult. Aside from purchasing alcohol, there is now very little you cannot legally do. Even though you may not feel any different, from a legal standpoint, a lot has changed. When you were a minor (under the age of 18), your parents were considered your legal guardians and…

The average American family has changed a great deal over the last few decades. The assumption that a couple will share finances, tax obligations, and a last name is one that does not necessarily apply in the 21st century. There are more options than ever before to keep your finances, identity, and future plans separate….

It is a common misconception that financial management and estate planning are reserved for the wealthy. Regardless of how much you have in the bank, you and your family can benefit from planning ahead for the future. If you fail to do so, you could leave your family scrambling if you’re suddenly incapacitated. When you…

Most families are happy families. They get together for the holidays, share laughs, and tell stories. Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company. Then, the matriarch or patriarch dies. Suddenly, years of pent-up resentment and hurt feelings bubble to the surface, and the once-happy family is now embroiled in litigation over the decedent’s estate….