If You’ve Recently Moved To New Hampshire, It’s Time To Meet With An Estate Planning Lawyer

If you have recently relocated to New Hampshire, it’s a good idea to meet with a qualified New Hampshire estate planning lawyer to discuss your estate plan. The documents from your previous state may not apply to your individual circumstances in New Hampshire and the insight of a lawyer can help you to create an estate plan that meets your goals and complies with state law. Many people who move to a new state will ask whether their estate plan that is created in their previous state is still valid.

Typically, although these plans executed in another state are valid in New Hampshire, there are good reasons to modify your plan or at least have your New Hampshire estate planning lawyer review these documents to determine if modification needs to occur. Bear in mind that having a legally valid estate plan does not resolve all issues associated with moving to New Hampshire from a different state. The source of payment of a decedent’s expenses and debts, for example, is handled differently from one state to another which can affect the size of a bequest or inheritance given under the terms of a will.

Furthermore, an outside will from another state adds another step in the probate process prior to the court accepting the will. Meeting with an experienced New Hampshire estate planning lawyer is one of the only ways to ensure that you’ve considered all relevant issues in your plan and that the documents you’ve created still accomplish those same goals.


Can Beneficiaries Request Replacement Of A Trustee?

In New Hampshire, trusts are often established as part of the estate planning process to protect loved ones from receiving an outright gift payment and also to add a layer of privacy to an estate plan.

If your beneficiaries and your trustee don’t get along, this can foreshadow a lot of problems with the implementation of the trust.

The creator of a trust, also known as a grantor or settlor, may want the trustee to use discretion in providing principle or trust income to the beneficiary. The trust agreement will usually give that trustee a lot of discretion when it comes to making distributions to the beneficiary and the creator of the trust goal could be to improve the beneficiary’s life while also protecting them from spending that money impulsively. Despite the best intentions of the creator of the trust, there may be some circumstances in which the trustee has been shown to be unworthy of acting as a fiduciary for the beneficiary or the relationship between the trustees and beneficiaries deteriorates to the point that the trustee can no longer serve as a fiduciary role.

Under New Hampshire trust law, the beneficiaries or co-trustees can request a replacement and the court will consider numerous factors, such as investment performance, charge for services, experience and skill level as a trustee, responsiveness of the trustee to the beneficiaries, changes in the nature of the trustees since the creation of the trust and whether or not changing trustees would substantially benefit or improve the administration of the trust. When establishing a trustee, make sure you carefully consider someone’s qualifications and ability to serve in this role.


Why Are Beneficiaries Important For Estate Planning Purposes?

You may know that some aspects of your estate may pass outside of probate or your will. These are known as those accounts that have beneficiaries listed on them. It is very important to designate both primary and contingency beneficiaries so that you can feel confident that your estate plans are being followed through and that those people you intend to receive money get it after you pass away.

By naming beneficiaries, you help to determine what happens to your money and clarify for all involved parties your intentions. Furthermore, having beneficiaries established on these documents simplifies the settling of your estate and can reduce the possibility for stressful situations for those left behind.

Beneficiaries associated with financial accounts, such as retirement accounts and insurance policies should always be established with the company managing that policy because these are not impacted by changes made to wills. Direct designations on these policies will override anything in your will.

Finally, the names of beneficiaries associated with financial account documents stay private. Items named in a will, however, can become a matter of public record and could expose heirs to scrutiny. Set aside time to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to learn more about the process of protecting your loved ones in your estate. This can include establishing names of beneficiaries and other important party stakeholders.

Talk to our NH estate planning lawyers if you have further questions about what to do with your beneficiary forms. We’ll help you see how this fits into your bigger estate plan goals.




What Are The Consequences Of A Fiduciary Breach?

When you create a trust, the trustee is also known as a fiduciary. This means he or she has the legal responsibility to career out the terms in the trust and to do what is best for the beneficiaries. If this does not happen, those beneficiaries might be able to file a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. fiduciary

Naming any person as a fiduciary in your estate plan, such as a trustee is an important consideration. You should always choose someone who is comfortable serving in this role, and someone who also understands all of the legal responsibilities associated with this position.

A claim of breach of fiduciary duty is one that could lead to lawsuits. Trustees and other fiduciaries have a legal responsibility to act in the best interests of the person they are handling assets for, such as a beneficiary.

An accusation of breach of fiduciary duty could hurt the reputation of a person or professional. If a breach of duty case gets to the level of going to court, there may be more serious consequences associated as well, such as indirect damages, legal costs and direct damages.

Furthermore, removal from service, loss of a license or industry discrediting can also affect the fiduciary in which a court ruling comes down. In all of these complex issues, a fiduciary may choose to reach out to an experienced and qualified trust administration attorney or probate lawyer to assist with this process. Avoiding claims of breach of fiduciary duty can be an important way to minimize legal and reputational consequences.

Talk to a New Hampshire or Maine estate planning lawyer about how to choose a trustee for your trust.

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A Will Versus Trust: What To Know

Most people understand that a will is one of the most important types of estate planning documents. will, trust

At a simple level, it can accomplish several goals within your estate planning, such as naming a guardian for any minor children and determining what happens to your property. However, it may depend on whether or not you also need a trust in connection with your will. If your estate is under a certain amount, you might not need a trust, but you should always work directly with an estate planning attorney to discuss these options. You may choose to opt out of a trust if your assets could be passed on to your chosen beneficiaries through beneficiary designation or payable transfer on death designations.

A trust could be beneficial, however, if you own property in multiple different states. You may not be sure whether or not your situation arises to the level of needing both a trust and a will.

The truth is that estate planning is highly personalized and contextualized to your underlying needs and goals. This means you need to work with an outside professional, such as an estate planning attorney who has extensive experience in this field. An estate planning lawyer can help you list out all of your assets and liabilities and then drill down into what you hope to accomplish with your estate plan.

From this point forward, you can understand whether or not a will is sufficient to accomplish your baseline goals or whether you need to consider additional tools, such as a trust. You will leave your estate planning lawyer’s office with a greater perspective on what your estate plan should look like and the opportunities to adapt and revise that plan as needed over the course of your life.

Talk to our NH estate planning office for more help in outlining your comprehensive estate plan.

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What Happens If A Trustee Just Doesn’t Communicate?

Whom you choose to serve in any significant role in your estate or trust administration is very important because this person must communicate clearly with your beneficiaries. trustee, communication, communicate

When creating a trust and appointing a trustee, you expect that they will live up to their responsibilities and maintain regular communication with beneficiaries. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges many beneficiaries report is a trustee who doesn’t communicate with them.

This can include refusing to talk about a sale of assets, such as stocks or real property, refusing to inform a beneficiary about the assets of the trust, or when assets can be distributed. Many people appointed as a trustee of trusts may assume they have broad discretion to do what they want. However, under New Hampshire Probate Code, there are strict requirements.

In many cases, trust documents also have specific instructions about what a trustee must do for a beneficiary, and at the top of that list is usually communication. A trustee still must communicate to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed about all actions the trustee is taking on behalf of the trust. Furthermore, beneficiaries must be informed about distributions from the trust since this is a crucial component of a trust administration process.

Trustees should be prepared to communicate with trust beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries who are not communicated with may be able to file a petition in probate court. If you’re thinking about establishing a trust, think carefully about whom you choose to appoint in the role of trustee.

Our New Hampshire estate planning lawyers know the right questions to ask to help you figure out the best way to move forward with a comprehensive estate plan.



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Who Makes for a Good Trustee?

Once you have already done the necessary work with an estate planning lawyer to create a trust, the next important decision to consider is who you will trust to handle your legacy. This is known as appointing the trustee of your trust, and there are several different factors to consider when selecting this person.trust, trustee

The first is their versatility to adapt to the changing tax, financial, legal and business climate because the right fit is usually someone who has the right combination of expertise, personality and comfort.

The second thing to consider when selecting a trustee for your estate is the ability for that person to act in the best interests of the trust based on the terms that you have authored in that trust. In some cases, trustees must balance competing decisions and determine what is in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in line with the terms of the trust.

The final important factor to consider when selecting someone to serve as your trustee is this person’s willingness to take on the liabilities and the responsibilities associated with carrying out your goals. This is especially important if you’re thinking about asking a friend or family member to take on this responsibility.

This person might be close to you and understand some of the underlying estate plan and legacy goals you have, but they may not feel comfortable serving in this role unless you’ve had the opportunity to speak to them about it. This is why it is recommended that you identify an experienced and qualified person who you can also trust to carry out your personal decisions. Set aside time to meet with a lawyer today to discuss your next steps. Our NH and Maine estate planning lawyers are resources for you and your needs.

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How Does a Will Help Direct People?

Your will is essential for ensuring that your wishes are honored once you pass away. Without it, the state determines what happens to your property. Think of your will as an instruction document for directing key people. person, people, citizens

Most people are familiar with the basic concept of a will. It is used to name not just a guardian for your minor children, but also to name the important people who will serve as your executor or personal representative and what happens to your property. A will, in this way, provides direction to your family members during a tough time. When you leave assets to heirs using a will, you may not recognize how complicated this process can still be.

You need a legally valid and clear will to help direct your personal representative or executor on how to dispose of your property. The will must be clear because the executor or personal representative has a layer of personal liability, meaning they could be accused of malfeasance and pursued via lawsuits.

It is essential to ensure that you provide clear instructions about what they should give and to whom and verify that these instructions do not contradict any other estate planning documents you have.

For example, suppose that you listed what you wanted to happen to retirement account funds in your will. These retirement funds pass outside of your will through the management of the account directly. You must file beneficiary forms with those account managers to ensure they have the proper information to transfer this material. Consult a knowledgeable and qualified estate planning attorney to help you with this process. Our New Hampshire or Maine estate planning lawyers can assist.



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Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney After Losing a Spouse

Losing a spouse represents a major change in your life. You might need to work with your estate planning lawyer to update all your documents and ensure that your plan aligns with your needs after losing a spouse.attorney, estate planning, estate

If you have not previously worked with an estate planning attorney, it is strongly recommended that you identify one as soon as possible if your spouse has recently passed away. There are many different reasons that an estate planning attorney can give you peace of mind and help you to accomplish your individual estate planning goals.

You need to find an attorney who has experience in handling some of the complex situations that may now need adjustment because your partner has passed away. If the majority of your estate plan was to be passed on to your partner, you will need to adjust this to include different loved ones, friends or charitable organizations.

Likewise, you may now be dealing with different financial assets if your spouse passed away and left the majority of everything they owned to you.

There are several different circumstances when it is extremely important to work directly with an estate planning attorney, including:

  • Your estate has many different complicated assets inside.
  • Your spouse was the one who primarily handled the finances and estate planning in the past.
  • You believe that your estate may owe either state or federal estate taxes at the time that you pass away.
  • You are concerned about your loved ones, especially adult children arguing over assets in your estate plan.

All of these reasons should prompt you to communicate with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney in NH about the best way to accomplish your individual goals.


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Do I Really Need a Last Will and Testament Lawyer in NH?

Do you have specific instructions you’d like to leave behind about what will happen to your belongings if something happens to you? Do you have minor children and want to name a person who will step in as their guardian if you pass away?will, testament, last,

All of these specific issues can be addressed using a New Hampshire last will and testament. When you consult with an experienced New Hampshire last will and testament attorney, you will learn more about how to structure this document to decrease the possibility of future will challenges and to ensure that your property is transferred in as streamlined fashion as possible.

You may clarify that your property goes to your spouse or your children or that a portion of your estate is left to charity. Depending on the kinds of assets that you own and what you intend to accomplish with your estate planning a last will and testament can be fairly straightforward. However, if you have many different kinds of assets or specific wishes about how those assets are transferred, it can be much more complicated. You want to do everything possible to minimize the frustration with the probate process in New Hampshire, which can be done by working directly with a last will and testament attorney in New Hampshire.

There are various pitfalls that can occur when using a handwritten or DIY will and it can also make things much more difficult for your family members if you have no wills in place. This is why it is recommended that you work with an attorney who is experienced with last wills and testaments in New Hampshire to ensure that all of your specific wishes have been recorded appropriately.