Mary Randolph earned her law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust, 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, and other books about law for nonlawyers. She has been a guest on The Today Show and has been interviewed by many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more.
Articles By Mary Randolph
Spouses get more options than other beneficiaries, and may be able to put off taxes on retirement account funds for longer.
Bypass trusts are used by wealthy couples to avoid paying the federal estate tax.
An overview of all the tax returns the executor might need to file on behalf of the deceased person or the estate.
Married couples can get a big tax break if they own enough to be concerned about federal estate tax.
After one spouse's death, an AB trust needs to turn into an A trust and a B trust--and making that happen is the trustee's job.
Here's a roadmap of the common steps involved in the probate process.
Video recordings, by themselves, are not valid wills. But they can have other uses.
Many executors are able to wrap up an estate themselves, without hiring a probate lawyer.
Savings Bonds are still popular--and are usually easy to transfer to the beneficiary after the original owner dies.
The will may provide instructions for what happens if a beneficiary predeceases the will-maker, but if it doesn't, state law determines who inherits.