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Want to Avoid Probate? A Will is Not The Answer!

September 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christopher J. Berry @ 4:08 pm

As my office prepares to probate another Michigan estate of a client’s relative (who had used another attorney to prepare the documents), I am again reminded of a huge myth that many people still believe. They believe that a will avoids the probate process.


A properly funded revocable living trust avoids probate. Operation of law due to the status of title avoids probate. A will does not avoid probate. It can make the probate process go smoother, but still, you have to go through the probate process.

FDIC Updates Revocable Trust Rules

September 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christopher J. Berry @ 4:10 pm

Using a revocable living trust is a common estate planning tool. On September 26th, 2008 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) updated their deposit insurance regulations regarding revocable trust accounts. This interim rule can be summarized as follows:

The FDIC is adopting an interim rule to simplify and modernize its deposit insurance rules for revocable trust accounts. The FDIC’s main goal in implementing these revisions is to make the rules easier to understand and apply, without decreasing coverage currently available for revocable trust account owners. The FDIC believes that the interim rule will result in faster deposit insurance determinations after depository institution closings and will help improve public confidence in the banking system. The interim rule eliminates the concept of qualifying beneficiaries. Also, for account owners with revocable trust accounts totaling no more than $500,000, coverage will be determined without regard to the beneficial interest of each beneficiary in the trust.

If you have any questions on how this effects your accounts or estate planning documents, please contact our office at (248) 865-4700. For the rest of the update you can go here: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/2008/08sep26rule.html

Five Legal Tips for Peace of Mind

September 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christopher J. Berry @ 4:10 pm

A colleague of mine from Virginia, who is a member of one the associations I belong to was a guest blogger for the blog Zenhabits. He wrote a great post entitled the 5 Legal Tips for Peace of Mind. The first in his list was “Execute a Will.” As an attorney who only focuses on estate & business planning, I would change that to “Execute a Will or Trust based Estate Plan.” Still good information and a good quick read.

You can read his post here: http://zenhabits.net/2008/09/5-legal-tips-for-peace-of-mind/


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