Estate Planning and Settlement

Get expert advice on settling a loved one's estate or preparing your own

Settling an estate for a loved one can be exhausting and sometimes confusing. You may wonder how you can plan your own estate to make it easier for your loved ones when you die. To help you prepare your estate or settle a loved one's estate, LegacyConnect offers advice from experts in estate organization and estate settlement. Click on the links below to learn more about wills, estate executors, probate and more.



Estate Planning & Settlement

Who Needs a Will?

Should I List Who Gets What in a Will?

Leaving Property to Your Children

How to Settle an Estate Peacefully

Dividing Estates in Blended Families

What is an Estate Executor?

Obtaining a Death Certificate


Retirement Accounts


Being Prepared, Planning Ahead, Getting Organized

Planning for Your Death Some Day - Right Now

• Prepaying a Funeral

• Funeral Casket and Burial Trends

• Choosing a Resting Place for Cremation Ashes

• Writing Your Own Obituary

• What Is Hospice?

• Hospice Care

Who's in Charge If Something Happens to Me?

• Who Will Care for My Children?

What Will Happen to My Pets and Livestock?

Who Do They Call at Work?

Storing Your Important Records

Your Safe Deposit Box

Writing a Spiritual-Ethical Will or Legacy Letter

• Writing While Dying: Words of Advice from Moms Who Don't Make It 

• Leaving a Last Goodbye

• The Most Important Message I've Ever Written

• A Legacy Letter

Creating a Legacy: Spiritual-Ethical Wills

Writing Your Legacy

Breaking the Silence


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Comment by Fran Miller on December 12, 2011 at 6:04am

As difficult and overwhelming as it is to settle an estate, I always recommend an attorney if family matters cannot be resolved peacefully. I specialize in liquidating estates and providing the family with money to carry on their lives. I am always available for consultations and advice on how 'to carry on' after the death of a loved one. 

Comment by Sandralee on July 24, 2011 at 12:54am

Hello, I don't know exactly who to direct this statement to. I have not idea where to start but let me explain my delemma as best I can. Perhaps someone out there can help me or direct me to where I should be.


My husband, Joel A. Vahey, passed away on May 4th of last year.  Shortly after his death and buriel I ordered a headstone for his grave. I should tell you that he is in a Catholic Cemetary and he is buried in one of six plots that he bought and owned before his parents passed away a few years before he did.  Up until my husband's death no head stone had been placed on the grave site to honor his mother and father.  When I ordered the stone for my husband I was told that it would take up to five months for the stone to be made and delivered. At the time I ordered it I paid for it in full.  Well over $7,000 because it was a double stone which included my information on it as well minus my date of death. The five months came and went by and I heard nothing from the company who made the stone.  Finally I called them to find out what was going on. I was informed by the secretary there in the office that the stone was still there and that it was complete. I asked her why it had not been delivered to the cemetary and why I was not informed.  She told me that she had to call the cemetary to find out what happened and that she would call me back.  She finally did call me back and this is what she told me.  She said that the people at the cemetary had informed her that there was already a stone on the grave site and it was for my husband's mother and father. She then informed me that because it is a Catholic Cemetary that only one stone can be put on the plot making it impossible for the stone that I had made for my husband to be put there. She said that it is one of the Catholic rules. It seems that when my husband passed away my sister-in-law decided that it was time to order a stone for mom and dad. The thing is that my husband owned the plots and after his death those plots should have gone to me rightfully.  The sister has claimed that she has power of attorney over my husband's estate and I do not believe that for one minute. He would have told me if he had done that. He and is sister were never close. He would not have given her power of attorney over anything.  The people at the cemetary said that she was made to sigh a lot of paperwork in order to get her stone put on the gravesite before mine.  I guess what I want to know is where do I start to get this whole thing straightened out? Shouldn't the Cemetary have informed me of what was happening as well?  If everything was on the up and up why didn't his sister inform me about what she was up to? I have been in a turmoil over this whole thing since I found out and I need to know what to do. I need to know what kind of lawyer specializes in matters of this sort.  The company that made the stone for me has already told me that that have never had such a thing happen before but they are not in the habbit of returning money for such mistakes.  So what do I do to correct this.  I would like to see the stone I ordered placed on my husbands grave but if that is not possible I feel I am entitled to my money back and my husband's name should be place on the stone that is already there.

Can someone please respond back and help me. My email address is:




Comment by Forever Bobby's Mom...Deb on February 24, 2011 at 4:17pm
Do i have to file taxes for my son?  Wasnt married, no dependants, no estate...i just can't bring myself to do it....
Comment by E.R. on May 20, 2010 at 12:34pm
When you go through this process, I can't think of any better place to plan for a future gift than with the Red Cross. The planned-giving consultant for our Red Cross chapter has shown me the amazing things my estate gift can do, even when I am not able to make significant donations right now. I so appreciate them and suggest everyone talk with their Red Cross chapter.
Comment by Dignity Memorial NC on April 14, 2010 at 5:54pm
Thanks for this important post; carefully planning each aspect of your estate will help both your family and your executor make sure your final wishes are met. We've found that it also helps to pre-plan end-of-life services to save your loved ones from the burden:

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