Cohabiting couples who take a long time to get married or just never feel the need to "make it legal" are increasingly common. In fact, the majority of couples that do get married cohabit first, and the household that's run by a married couple stopped being the norm in 2005.
In our society, someone's last wishes are generally considered very important, especially when those wishes are written down and formalized into a legal will. In order for someone else to contest that will, there generally has to be a good reason in order for the court to hear it.
For many people, the biggest or only real asset that they own aside from personal mementos is their home. As such, it's often their top concern when it comes to passing it on to their heirs.
The bond between a parent and a child doesn't necessarily come from biology -- there are plenty of stepparents who feel just as strongly connected to a stepchild as they could any biological child of their own.
Are you thinking of marrying again in your golden years, long after your children are grown?
Estate planning isn't hard, especially when you have the right professional help, but it is a detail-oriented task that requires your full attention and a lot of thought. That's not usually what keeps people from creating a will or making other estate plans, though. It's often the fear of talking about end-of-life or a feeling that you don't need a will that keeps you from such a discussion. Even if you finally buckle down to create a will, your spouse might not be on board with the process.
One estate consideration that individuals might face during second or later marriages is that a divorce order might exist that impacts how probate matters will be decided. How you approach estate planning in this type of situation depends on a variety of factors, and you do want to be sure both parties in the new marriage are aware of previous divorce decrees that could come into play.
Trusts are a legal vehicle that can hold assets. When you create a trust and place assets into it, you don't own those assets anymore -- they are actually owned by the trust. People don't own a trust in the traditional sense; the person who benefits from the assets held in a trust is called the beneficiary. The assets are provided to the beneficiary according to how the trust was created.
If you've been following the Prince estate case at all, you know that many possible heirs came forward to seek their share of the estate. For months, the estate and courts have been mired in DNA tests and other claims from potential heirs, but the court has turned away far more heirs than it has confirmed. The latest group of potential heirs tried to stake a claim based on one man's relationship with Prince's father.
In the immediate aftermath of a major loss, the last things you probably want to consider are probate and legal matters. That's one reason for working with a trustworthy legal professional who can guide you through legal matters and help handle some of the more tedious details for you. While basic legalities are being handled, you can take some steps toward dealing with loss and grief.