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Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Estate Planning: The Difference Between an Executor and an Administrator

When someone dies, someone has to administer his or her estate, regardless of whether he or she has a will in place or not. This person will ensure that any final debts and liabilities are paid and that beneficiaries receive what they should based on either the decedent’s will or intestate laws.

Technically speaking, there is little difference between the duties of an executor or an administrator. They will have the same responsibilities, but there are a few differences. The most important differences are how the individual gains his or her role and the “instructions” they must use to go through the


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Monday, May 29, 2017

Common California Estate Planning Oversights

It’s safe to say that estate planning is about the farthest down on the list of things people want to do in their spare time. Nobody wants to think about what happens when they cease to be a part of this world, and that’s understandable. At the same time, it’s probably accurate to say that when you pass, you want your family to benefit from your hard work and have a legacy to remember you by, without having to go through the hassle of an extensive probate process and legal battles. The best way to show your family that you love and care for them is to ensure that your estate is in order.

A lot of people think that estate plans can be done pretty simply, in a DIY fashion.


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Duties and Responsibilities of a Probate Administrator

When you create a will, you name an executor to take care of your estate after your pass. This person will be responsible for not only carrying out your wishes as you have laid them out in your will, but he or she is also responsible for settling your debts as well. The duties of an executor or administrator can be somewhat daunting, so it is important to name someone whom you think will be up to the task.

Knowing what this person will do and how they may go about doing it can help you decide who should be your executor. As a potential or acting executor, knowing the basics of your role can go a long way toward completing your duties efficiently and in a way that will satisfy the beneficiaries.


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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Digital Assets and Estate Planning

When you start thinking about your estate plan, physical property like your home, your car, and your bank account will often come to mind. However, we live in an increasingly digital age, which means that you may have digital assets that should be included in your estate plan. A digital asset is any electronically stored information that has some value.

If you already have an


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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Common Types of Will Contests

The most basic estate planning tool is a will which establishes how an individual's property will be distributed and names beneficiaries to receive those assets. Unfortunately, there are circumstances when disputes arise among surviving family members that can lead to a will contest. This is a court proceeding in which the validity of the will is challenged.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

3 Things a Simple Will Does NOT Do

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that crafting an estate plan involves more than just creating a will. A will cannot accomplish many things you may want in your estate plan. They can, however, deal with issues such as naming and executor, stating who will be a guardian for your children, and distributing property.

Wills cannot deal with particular types of assets and have little effect on reducing your estate taxes. Instead, other


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Estate Planning and Second Marriages

Estate planning can be difficult, but it becomes even more complicated when you are planning after your second marriage. There are different issues you need to address when creating a plan after your first marriage. For example, you may want to plan for children born from the first marriage or allocate assets away from certain individuals. Below are a few things that you should consider when creating your estate plan after a second marriage.
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Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Brief Guide to Powers of Attorney

There are several types of powers of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that permits another person to deal with your personal affairs on your behalf. They are often used in the event that you become incapacitated or unable to deal with your own financial, health, real estate, or other important issues. They can also be used in situations where you may not have the experience or knowledge necessary to deal with an issue, but a loved one can help you with the problem.
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Understanding the Probate Process in California

What happens during the probate process in California?

The death of a loved one is always traumatic and will require a considerable amount of time to process.  In the midst of your grief, you will likely also find yourself struggling to untangle the financial issues that often exist after a death.  It is important that you have a basic understanding of the probate process in the state of California so that you can timely initiate probate and comply with the requirements of the court.  Our experienced


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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Common Disputes that Lead to Estate Litigation

When someone creates a will or trust, he or she assumes that the document will be iron-clad in terms of legality and clarity. However, this is unfortunately not always the case. Disputes can arise when loved ones do not agree with the will or trust. Conflict regarding the validity of an
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Responsibilities and Obligations of the Executor/ Administrator

When a person dies with a will in place, an executor is named as the responsible individual for winding down the decedent's affairs. In situations in which a will has not been prepared, the probate court will appoint an administrator. Whether you have been named  as an executor or administrator, the role comes with certain responsibilities including taking charge of the decedent's assets, notifying beneficiaries and creditors, paying the estate's debts and distributing the property to the beneficiaries.


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