Mary Randolph

J.D.

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 Trust8 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

Inheriting an IRA or 401(k) Account as a Surviving Spouse
Spouses get more options than other beneficiaries, and may be able to put off taxes on retirement account funds for longer.
What is a Bypass Trust?
Bypass trusts are used by wealthy couples to avoid paying the federal estate tax.
What Tax Returns Must The Executor File?
An overview of all the tax returns the executor might need to file on behalf of the deceased person or the estate.
"Portability" of Federal Estate Tax Exemptions
Married couples can get a big tax break if they own enough to be concerned about federal estate tax.
Splitting an AB (Bypass) Trust
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.
Steps in the Probate Process: An Overview
Here's a roadmap of the common steps involved in the probate process.
Using a Video for a Last Will & Testament?
Video recordings, by themselves, are not valid wills. But they can have other uses.
I'm The Executor - Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Many executors are able to wrap up an estate themselves, without hiring a probate lawyer.
How To Transfer U.S. Savings Bonds After Death
Savings Bonds are still popular--and are usually easy to transfer to the beneficiary after the original owner dies.
What If The Beneficiary of a Will Has Died?
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.