Planning for Life

Apple Forces Our Client to Court: How to Avoid this Happening to Your Heirs

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 8, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis


We have a client who is trying to access his deceased wife's account Apple iCloud account and has run up against Apple's requirement that he obtain a specific court order giving him access. To obtain such an order, our client must first probate his wife's estate, which otherwise would not be necessary.

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Topics: probate, personal representative, on-line accounts

5 Ways to Divide Tangible Property in an Estate

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 10, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

tangible property - will - estate-planning-Margolis-and-Bloom

When anyone dies, they’re likely to leave tangible personal property, which is what lawyers call anything you can touch, such as furniture, dishes, silverware, artwork, and photo albums. The problem with distributing this property is that you cannot do so exactly equally. In addition, many items may have little or no monetary value but significant sentimental value. So how can you be fair? Here are four methods you might use, or in some instances, you might use a combination.

  1. Sell. When the estate includes a few items of significant financial worth that can't be equally distributed among heirs, the property might be sold and the proceeds distributed equally as cash. This is what the family of a friend did. His parents had rescued one valuable painting when fleeing Europe before the Holocaust, which he and his sister sold at auction at Sotheby's.
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Topics: Probate Estate Administration, tangible personal property, personal representative, executor

Wonder What You Need to Do as Executor? Website Provides the Answers

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 28, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis


If you've been named as executor or personal representative in someone's will, whether the person has recently died or you know you may need to fill this role in the future, you no doubt wonder what the job will entail. While you will likely hire an attorney to help with the process, it's difficult to get a complete picture of all the steps and details.

12 Step Process

The website,, now provides a comprehensive view and a system of keeping track of where you stand in the process. It works in large part as a series of 12 checklists with explanations of each item on the lists. Its 12 steps are as follows:

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Topics: Probate Estate Administration, personal representative, executor

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