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Articles written by kenneth kirk

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'No contest' clause may not be your answer

“And another thing,” says the client across from me, tapping his finger on the desk for emphasis, “I don’t want Junior to get anything. He’s an ingrate who broke his mama’s heart, and...

 

Have you covered your digital assets?

“Digital assets.” It’s the latest buzzword. It means the ownership interest you have in your online accounts. To a lawyer, it is a subset of “intellectual property”. But what does it mean in...

 

Native assets require special treatment

One of the things that makes estate planning interesting in Alaska is the high percentage of Native Americans here, compared to other states. Natives come from a different background culturally,...

 

What exactly does a will do?

“Avoid probate? I don’t have to worry about that; I have a will,” says the elder gent sitting across from me. “A will doesn’t avoid probate,” I tell him. A confused look comes over his...

 

Should you gift junior the house?

One of the questions every estate planner gets is, “should I just give my house to the kids while I’m alive, as opposed to having it go through an estate or trust?” It’s a simple question...

 

With estate planning, it ain't just about taxes

It was the mid-1980s. Ronald Reagan was in his second term, Tears for Fears was on the radio, and I was in law school in upstate New York, taking my first estate planning class. And what I learned...

 

The many dangers of the deathbed will

As an estate planner, there is one call I absolutely hate to get. It’s second only to hearing that a client has died, and in many ways worse. It’s the message that somebody in the hospital needs a...

 

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