Estate Planning for Expatriates

The United States hosts the highest number of immigrants in the world, but increasingly, Americans say they are looking to relocate permanently to another country. A large percentage of wealthy Americans are also interested in buying real estate overseas and living there at least part-time. 

While moving overseas is often a lifestyle decision, the practical implications of living abroad, including taxation and estate planning issues, cannot be ignored. Escaping Uncle Sam is not as easy as hopping on a plane to a far-flung location. Americans living overseas retain financial obligations to the US government. And if not physically present in this country, they should have somebody who is legally authorized to make financial decisions for them. 

Expatriates who live and own assets (accounts and property) in more than one country need an estate plan that reflects their international life. This may require working with estate planning attorneys in each country where they have assets. 

Living Abroad and Double Taxation 

Only two countries have citizenship-based taxation (also called double taxation): the United States and Eritrea. 

Double taxation means that US citizens living abroad could end up paying income tax twice on the same income—once to their home country and once to their host country. Double taxation may apply to estate taxes as well. 

Although estate taxes affect only the wealthiest Americans, 92 percent of wealthy Americans were actively looking to relocate abroad in 2022, according to a Coldwell Banker report. Foreign assets are subject to US estate taxes, so any property an American citizen owns overseas could be subject to this tax if their estate is worth more than the exemption amount ($12.92 million in 2023). 

In addition to federal estate tax, some states also impose an estate tax or inheritance tax (Maryland imposes both). Estate assets held in another country might additionally be taxed under that country’s laws. Not all countries impose estate taxes, however. 

There are a few ways expatriates can avoid US double estate taxation. The most extreme way is to renounce US citizenship, a move that nearly one in four expats say they would consider. Another option is to take advantage of the foreign death tax credit, which allows expats with property located in a foreign country to claim a credit on estate, inheritance, legacy, or inheritance tax paid to a foreign government. 

Trusts can also reduce estate tax liabilities. Different types of trusts can be used for this purpose, including irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and qualified personal residence trusts. But because some countries do not recognize trusts, a trust set up in the United States may not be valid in those countries. 

US Expats and International Wills

An estate plan written with US laws in mind may not be legally valid for American citizens living abroad. 

Someone who owns property only in the United States can likely get by with just a US will. But depending on the country where the expat resides, if they own property and other assets in that country, it may be necessary to have multiple wills or an international will. 

An international will is designed for use in more than one country. Two international conventions on wills authorize a foreign country to recognize a US will:

  • The Hague Convention on Form of Testamentary Disposition. For expats living in one of the Hague Convention signatory countries, their US will could be valid in their country of residence, even though the United States is not a signatory. The adopting countries include most of Europe. 
  • The International Will Statute (the Washington Convention). This convention creates a uniform law on the validity of an international will. Participating nations generally recognize a US will if it conforms to the International Will Statute, which requires that wills include special language and follow specific execution requirements. Around a dozen countries, including the United States, have adopted the Washington Convention. However, unless an expat’s state of residence has signed on to the convention, their international will may not be considered valid in their host country. 

Situs Wills

American Citizens Abroad, an expat resource site, notes that even if a single will controls the disposition of assets in more than one country, this may not be practical for the estate executor, who will have to coordinate estate administration across multiple jurisdictions. It may be particularly difficult to administer assets located in non-English speaking countries. In such cases, a primary will, either a US will or international will, could be combined with a separate situs will (a will used in a certain country) to control asset distribution.

Forced Heirship

A separate will might also be advisable for Americans who acquire property in a forced heirship regime. Residents of jurisdictions that have forced heirship provisions may have restrictions on whom they give their assets to and how much each person may receive. Forced heirship rules vary by jurisdiction but typically force a portion of estate assets to be passed to reserved heirs (i.e., descendants or spouses). Foreign and US courts may apply forced heirship laws to portions of an estate subject to these laws. 

Guardianship and Power of Attorney for Expats

Living overseas can create legal complications that are best addressed in an estate plan. 

For example, the parents of minor children living overseas may have a guardianship provision in their will that names a US resident as guardian in the event that both parents pass away. This will require more in-depth planning and an understanding of which laws will apply to the guardianship of your children. If the guardian is not a resident of the country where the children live, though, the children might have to be moved back to the United States. Additionally, without a legally recognized guardian accompanying them, minor children cannot typically leave the country in which they reside. Alternatively, a person in the host country could be named as a guardian in the will. Estate plans should name backup guardians to supplement the first-choice guardian. 

Regardless of whom the parents nominate, the local court and laws determine who will take care of the children. For families living abroad, a local court, not a US court, could have authority over the matter. Expat parents should understand which laws apply to guardianship issues and ensure that, if there are multiple wills effective in different countries, guardianship provisions are clear and do not conflict. 

Other estate planning considerations for expats include financial and medical powers of attorney. 

  • Financial power of attorney. Expats who retain US assets need somebody who can perform financial transactions for them while they are out of the country. Actions like selling property, opening and closing accounts, and registering vehicles cannot always be done remotely. Giving a trusted person a power of attorney lets them transact on an expat’s behalf. A power of attorney can be open-ended or limited and revoked at any time. 
  • Medical powers of attorney. A financial power of attorney can be set up to take effect at the time a person becomes incapacitated. But incapacitation raises healthcare questions that can only be addressed through a medical power of attorney, which authorizes a proxy to make medical decisions on another’s behalf. It is advisable to name a medical power of attorney in each country where an expat resides. A US-based power of attorney may not have the authority to make medical decisions in a foreign country. 

Does Your Estate Plan Match Your International Lifestyle? 

Whether you are living overseas currently, have plans to relocate to a foreign country, or just want to invest in property outside the United States, you will have to adapt to a new culture and new laws, including laws that affect taxation and estate planning. Your US estate plan documents may be inadequate to deal with legal questions raised by expat life, putting your wealth and legacy at risk. 

Careful international estate planning can help address the challenges of calling more than one country home. Due to differences in laws, it may be necessary to work with experienced attorneys in each country. 

If you are an American abroad, we recommend meeting with our attorneys to see if your estate plan reflects your current circumstances. We can also advise whether you should meet with an attorney in your new country of residence.

What Happens to My Leased Car If I Die Before the Lease Term Ends?

After a house, a car is often the second-most valuable piece of property a person owns. 

About 15–20 percent of new vehicles are leased rather than purchased and financed. Leasing is a popular alternative to traditional financing because it can allow the lessee (the person who leases a vehicle) to drive a more expensive car on a lower monthly payment during its most trouble-free years. At the end of the lease term, the vehicle can then be returned for a new model. 

A lessee, however, does not own their vehicle. They drive it under a car lease agreement that is a binding contract. The contractual obligations of a lease can affect an estate plan, so lessees should understand what is in the fine print of their contract and what happens to a lease after their death. 

How a Lease Works

From 2015 to 2019, there were approximately 17 million vehicle leases per year, representing nearly one-third of all car sales. This was the highest percentage of leasing in history, but leases plunged with the pandemic and now account for around 17 percent of all new models delivered to customers. 

With a lease, the buyer and dealer agree to a set term and monthly payment that is based on how much the vehicle is expected to depreciate over the contractual period. Instead of paying an interest rate on a loan, the lessee pays the money factor (the money the lessor used to buy the car). 

Leases have mileage caps of 10,000–15,000 miles per year, above which penalties are assessed. They also typically require a down payment, an acquisition fee, and a disposition fee to return the leased vehicle. Any damage determined to be beyond normal wear and tear could result in an additional charge. 

Most dealers offer leases from 24 to 60 months. At the end of the lease term, the vehicle is turned in to the dealer. Although lessees do not build equity in a vehicle the same way that buyers can, if the car is worth more than the predetermined residual value in the lease, they may end up with a positive trade-in value. 

Ending a lease early can result in early termination fees and penalties. According to Consumer Reports, these charges can amount to thousands of dollars and could equal the amount of the entire lease term. 

But during periods when the used car supply is tight or a particular model is in high demand, dealers may be willing to make a deal that lets the lessee out of their contract early, says Kelley Blue Book. It might also be possible to transfer the lease to someone else. 

Lease Options When the Lessee Passes Away

What happens to a vehicle lease when the lessee dies depends on the lease terms, as outlined in the contract. 

Early Termination Death Clause

The lessee’s death does not alter the lease terms or cause the lease to automatically terminate, unless it contains a provision that allows for early termination due to death. 

Even if the lease permits early termination in the event of the lessee’s death, it may require a dealer fee along with the return of the vehicle. To prove the lessee has passed away, the estate may have to provide a death certificate. 

If the lessee had fallen behind on their payments, the dealer might disallow early termination, repossess the vehicle, and require the estate to pay the lease balance. For a solvent lease, the dealer could permit an estate representative to transfer the lease to another party, including a person in the family willing to assume the lease. Again, it comes down to the contract terms. 

Standard Early Termination 

Ending a lease early—whether because of death or some other circumstance—could trigger early termination provisions in the contract. This could result in all remaining payments on the lease becoming due, paying early termination fees, returning the vehicle, and paying the disposition fee. These costs can typically be paid from the estate. 

Options with a Co-lessee

Lessees do not own their vehicle and cannot leave it to a beneficiary in their estate plan. But they may have a co-borrower or co-lessee on the contract. 

When there is a co-signer on the lease, that individual typically assumes financial responsibility for remaining payments after the lessee dies. At that point, the co-lessee could choose to keep the vehicle or look for a lease swap partner. However, some contracts prohibit lease swaps, limit them to a partial transfer, or have prerequisites, such as only allowing swaps on a four-year lease at the two-year mark. 

Certain brands and dealers might have a contingency for co-lessees and the death of one borrower. For example, Ford has what it calls a Peace of Mind Program that applies to select leases. If one lessee passes away, the program allows a co-lessee to continue the lease under the existing terms, pay off the outstanding balance, or return it to a dealership within 60 days of the customer’s death without any remaining contractual obligations. 

A co-lessee usually cannot be added once the lease is signed. But while the lessee is alive, they can take steps to make estate administration as smooth as possible. Someone with a terminal illness might, for instance, terminate or transfer their lease early to avoid any complications in the estate administration process. 

A Car Lease Could Be Overlooked in an Estate Plan

The fact that a lessee does not own their vehicle will likely cause it to be given little attention in an estate plan

One way or another, unless there is a cosigner, the estate will be left to deal with an outstanding car lease. The options for resolving the lease agreement will ultimately come down to the contractual language and, to a lesser extent, the willingness of the dealership to negotiate with the estate. 

Following the death of a loved one and before contacting the dealer, an estate representative may want to contact an attorney to review the lease’s fine print. An attorney can help explain how to legally terminate or transfer a lease per the terms provided. 

Our attorneys handle estate planning issues sensitively, accurately, and effectively and can assist both individuals who want to create a plan and representatives of an estate. To set up an appointment, call or contact us. 

How Far in Advance Can I Begin My Estate Planning?

You can create your estate plan at any time, but many people choose to begin the process sooner rather than later. Why? Because you never know when life-changing medical or financial emergencies can strike that will require someone else to manage your affairs during your lifetime. 

When Should You Start? 

When to start planning for your estate depends on your goals and the size and complexity of your estate. If your estate involves business interests, multiple properties, significant investments, or complex family dynamics, creating a comprehensive plan may require more time.

While there is no specific age requirement to create an estate plan, at a minimum, you should create financial and medical powers of attorney when you legally become an adult. Once you accumulate some money and property, you should create a more comprehensive estate plan. Many young adults start families and have minor children who rely on them for support, which could require a guardianship being established for the children should something happen to both parents. Consequently, when you have minor children, you need to create a plan.

What Are Your Concerns?

Estate planning can prepare you for medical emergencies such as accidents and illness that could leave you temporarily or permanently incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Advance healthcare directives including living wills and medical powers of attorney should ideally be established while you are still in good health to ensure your wishes for care and treatment are known. 

You may also consider various aspects of your life, money, and property that hold significance for you and your beneficiaries. These considerations can go beyond financial resources and encompass your broader legacy and personal values, and they should be part of your estate plan. 

  • You can create a family mission statement to help guide future generations toward a goal that is meaningful to you, such as environmental responsibility or giving back to the community through faith or philanthropy.
  • You can set conditions that reward specific behaviors such as building a productive career or business, maintaining health and wellness, or expanding financial literacy.
  • You can contribute to a 529 plan or directly to education institutions to highlight the importance of a quality education for children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. If one beneficiary does not use the funds, it can often be passed to another.
  • You can start a foundation or limited liability company to provide direction and purpose for family wealth. Encourage certain family members to fill roles within the organization that they may enjoy or that match their natural talents.

There are many ways to preserve your legacy and values while ensuring the success of future generations.  

Different Stages of Life and Circumstances

When significant changes happen to you or your family, they become reasons to create an estate plan or update an existing one. Your estate plan is a living set of documents, not a one-and-done task to cross off your list of things to do. Here are a few events that require contacting your estate planning attorney:

  • Marriage and divorce
  • Birth and adoption 
  • Death of a spouse or child
  • Purchase or sale of significant property and investments
  • Starting a business
  • Receiving an inheritance 

Depending on your current stage in life, you may be able to create an estate plan to suit your situation that may only require several essential documents. When planning at a younger age, your plan may include just a few documents, such as a will and medical and financial powers of attorney. Ultimately, your plan will evolve to include many more details that require careful consideration throughout your lifetime and may require establishment of additional documents, such as advance directives for end-of-life care and the use of a trust to protect your hard-earned money and allow you to take advantage of more advanced planning strategies. 

Each decision you make during the estate planning process will significantly impact your money and property, your loved ones, and the future distribution of your wealth. That is why estate plans should be routinely reviewed to ensure they continue to align with your goals, are relevant to your current situation, and keep up with the legal and financial landscape.

What Immediate Circumstances Are Urging You to Plan? 

Your stage of life could determine the timing and urgency of your decisions. Certain events may also create an urgency to plan. 

  • If you are expecting a child, you may want to establish guardianship arrangements through your will or a separate document, designate a trustee to manage accounts and property on your child’s behalf, and create a plan to provide for their education and upbringing.
  • If you are getting ready to close on a new vacation home, you may wish to consider how the property fits into your broader estate plan and legacy.
  • If your grandparent or other family member has failing health and recently shared documents with you that name you as a beneficiary of their considerable estate, you can begin to align anticipated funds with your overall financial goals.
  • If you are an entrepreneur or business owner ready for retirement, you can outline a succession plan, identify key individuals who will take over your business, and establish strategies to ensure the continuity and success of your business.

Whether you are prompted by impending life changes or taking a proactive approach, understanding your current situation is crucial for crafting a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your values and provides for your loved ones.

Is It Possible to Plan Too Far in Advance? 

There is a balance. Estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, should be clear and concise to avoid confusion and disputes. Planning too far in advance might lead to numerous “ifs” and conditional clauses that can complicate or confuse your intentions. The more complex your situation becomes, the greater the potential for misunderstandings among your beneficiaries and those responsible for executing your wishes.

Life is inherently unpredictable, and your financial situation, family structure, and personal goals may change rapidly. Many foundational estate planning documents, such as wills and revocable living trusts, can be amended or revoked during your lifetime. Planning specific details too far in advance might result in more frequent revisions and unnecessary costs. 

Estate Planning Is an Ongoing Process 

While there is no specific timeframe for creating your estate plan, starting early and periodically reviewing your plan is recommended. Focus on what is important today, knowing your estate plan is flexible and adaptable to future changes. Doing this ensures your plan will always reflect your values, provide for your loved ones, and secure your legacy.

An experienced estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of developing a plan that suits your unique circumstances and goals. Get in touch with our team today.

What Do I Do If I Want to Undo My Revoked Will?

When life circumstances change, you may alter the decisions you have made in your estate planning documents. You might choose to revoke your will at some point. But what if you have a change of heart and want to reinstate it? There are different ways to revive a revoked will.

Reviving Your Old Will

Depending on your state law, you may have a few options when attempting to make a previously revoked will legally valid again. It involves either revoking the new will that revoked the old one, expressing your intent to revive the old will, or re-executing the original revoked will.

Revoking a New Will to Reinstate the Old Will

Under common law, if a subsequent will revoked the original will, effectively revoking the second will could revive the original one. The most recent will is typically considered to replace any previously created wills until the most recent will becomes effective at death. Until then, the first will is not really revoked but superseded by the later will. So tearing up or destroying the second will and any copies of it means the first one can spring back to life and control at death. However, most states do not follow this rule, so reviving the old will likely will not be this easy.

Expressly Stating Your Intent to Revive the Old Will 

Some jurisdictions allow the revival of a revoked will if it is evident from the circumstances of the revocation that you intended to revive the first will.1 Will revocation and revival can be simplified by focusing on expressly stating your intent in the appropriate format and by following the necessary formalities for execution. 

Your intent to revive a revoked will could potentially be found within the new will that revokes any previous wills and restates and incorporates the terms of the will you seek to reinstate. If indications or language within the revoking document suggest an intent to reinstate the original will, the court might consider this as evidence of revival. Alternatively, the mere destruction of the most recent will may serve as evidence of your intent. If this was your initial goal, and you had an estate planning attorney conduct a careful analysis of the language used and the context in which the revoking document was created, you may be able to reinstate the first will.

Re-execution of the Revoked Will

Another avenue for reviving a revoked will involves recreating the revoked will. You must sign a copy of a new or identical will or execute a codicil to the first will that expressly states your intention to revive the original will, effectively republishing it. This typically involves following the same legal formalities required for creating your first valid will, such as signing in the presence of witnesses and a notary and meeting other legal requirements based on local laws. The act of re-executing the revoked will through the use of a codicil should be accompanied by an express statement to indicate your intent to revive or reinstate the terms of the will that was revoked.

Different states interpret and apply these methods differently, leading to variations in legal outcomes based on regional statutes and precedents. It is important to consult with an estate planning attorney to correctly revive a revoked will and ensure that your wishes are accurately represented and upheld.

Seeking Estate Planning Advice

If you have created a will, revoked it, and would like to revive it, understand that you may not be able to tear up the new one and immediately revert back to the old version. Do not attempt to recreate or reinstate the will yourself. The interpretation of will revival and revocation laws can vary widely based on jurisdiction and legal precedent. 

Wills are legal documents that must be validated in probate court after you pass. If you have multiple drafts of your will, your intent is unclear, or they were not developed in compliance with state laws, the court may follow the state laws of intestacy instead of your wishes. Your beneficiaries may not receive their inheritance as you intended, adding disappointment to their grief. 

We can help you document your wishes accurately, address changes legally, and ensure that your will clearly states your true intentions. We can also play a crucial role in helping create your will and other estate planning documents that guide your family through a quick and efficient probate process when you are gone. Reach out to us today.


  1. Unif. Prob. Code § 2-509(a)(2019).

Sometimes Stuff Is the Most Important Part of Your Estate Plan

Most people usually think about who will receive their retirement and bank accounts, life insurance proceeds, real estate, and other valuable possessions upon their death. However, a person’s personal property (their stuff) can also be a source of value that needs to be addressed. When looking to start or continue your estate planning journey, ask yourself the following questions about your personal property.

Do your items have monetary or sentimental value?

Value is in the eye of the beholder. Some items may have significant monetary value, like an antique clock, while others may have sentimental value, like your grandmother’s class ring. Each type of value necessitates its own strategy when planning for its receipt.

If Personal Property Has Monetary Value

It is important that you find out the actual value of items that you think may be worth a lot of money. If an item is very valuable, it may need to be insured. A renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy may limit what it covers and how much it will pay if your personal property is damaged or stolen. Also, if the item requires maintenance or upkeep, you must make sure that the person who receives it understands what is required so that the value does not decrease.

If Personal Property Has Sentimental Value

Sometimes personal property that has sentimental value can cause the most family conflict. Because your loved ones will already be dealing with your loss, dividing up your mementos without proper guidance can also be emotionally taxing. This may be an even more compelling reason to document your wishes, so that everyone is on the same page. You should think carefully about who will receive sentimental items and ways to mitigate future conflicts if more than one person wants the item.

Will Someone Want Your Stuff?

When crafting your estate plan, it is important to understand what you have and who you want to leave it to. But you may also want to speak with your beneficiaries before creating your plan to find out if the person you plan to give an item to actually wants the item, particularly if the item has storage or maintenance requirements that the person will be responsible for. 

If More Than One Person Wants an Item

You may have an item that multiple people want. Being aware of this during your estate planning journey is important so you can address what you want to happen to the item to hopefully prevent conflict after you pass away. You should also think about how you want to balance inheritances if only one person will receive a valuable item or how you want to divide a large group of similar items. Talk to your loved ones so that everyone is on the same page and fights can be avoided.

If No One Wants an Item

While an item may be incredibly important to you, it may not hold the same level of importance to your loved ones. As you take steps to put a plan together, determine what will happen if no one wants an item. You could choose to have it be sold, donated, or offered to an acquaintance with a similar fondness for the item.

Include Your Personal Property in Your Estate Plan

There are a few different ways you can share your wishes for your personal property through the use of an estate plan.

Specific Gift in a Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust

A specific gift in a last will and testament (will) or revocable living trust (trust) allows you to specifically name who will receive a particular item. In either a will or a trust, you can specifically state, “I leave my blue antique vase with pink roses to my daughter, Susan Jones.” When you die, the executor or successor trustee will then give the vase to Susan. However, if you change your mind, the will or trust will need to be changed, which will require a new document to be executed with the requisite formalities.

Personal Property Memorandum

Another option that can be used in many states is a document called a personal property memorandum. This document lists your specific personal property and names who will receive each item. As opposed to a will or trust, generally, you just need to sign and date the personal property memorandum to make it valid—no witnesses are necessary. The document is then referenced in your will or trust as containing your wishes regarding your personal property. This approach allows you to specifically designate who will receive an item, but if you change your mind, you can simply create a new personal property memorandum instead of having to change your will or trust.

The Residuary Clause

Most, if not all, wills and trusts contain a clause that addresses any items that have not been specifically mentioned and distributed in the will or trust. This is referred to as a residuary clause. A will or trust may provide that anything left be “divided equally among my then living children” or “all to my spouse.” However, you can also decide to direct distribution to other individuals or entities. This ensures that your personal property is distributed. However, if the items are to be divided among a group of people and you do not provide instructions for how the items are to be divided, someone will need to decide how to do so, which could cause turmoil.

We Can Help 

Once you know what you have, how much it is worth, and who you want to leave it to, you need to make sure that your wishes are reflected in an estate plan that is complete and legally enforceable. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, we can craft a plan that is unique to you and your situation. Give us a call to schedule your appointment.

Swedish Death Cleaning

How much stuff is too much? Most Americans would probably admit that they own too many things. From clothes to electronics to sports equipment to collectibles, the typical US house is stuffed to the brim with items of questionable utility. 

On occasion, we may commit to decluttering, only to get overwhelmed or distracted. Meanwhile, the stuff keeps piling up. But at some point, it is necessary to deal with everything we have accumulated over our lifetime. 

If you do not declutter your house, somebody else will have to do it when you die. This is part of the thinking behind Swedish death cleaning, a morbid-sounding practice that is actually quite liberating, both for ourselves and our loved ones. 

The Psychology of Materialism

The average American home contains 300,000 items.1 By any measure, that is a lot of stuff. 

“The things we own end up owning us” is a quote from the movie Fight Club, which touches on how materialism negatively affects us. Research shows that buying more stuff does not make us happy. In fact, the opposite appears to be true. A series of experiments by psychology professor Tim Kasser found that materialism is negatively correlated with well-being.2 

Research also shows that 84 percent of Americans worry that their homes are not organized or clean enough.3 And 55 percent of them say the disorder is a major cause of stress.4 

Acquiring things triggers reward pathways in the brain that make us feel good. Shopping or receiving a gift—or enjoying a sweet, fattening treat—delivers a dopamine hit that reinforces a cognitive pattern to want more. But in the long term, acquisitiveness can make us feel bad just like eating bad foods can. 

To keep the things we own from owning us, we need to use disciplined thinking to help overcome our more base desires. 

Minimalism, Tidying Up, and Death Cleaning

Counterbalancing the American tendency toward materialism is the minimalist lifestyle trend. Minimalism dates back to an avant-garde art movement that began in 1960s New York.5 As a way of life, minimalism emphasizes living with less and being happy with what you already have. 

Minimalist living went mainstream with the 2010 publication of Marie Kondo’s New York Times bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It produced the KonMari method of inventorying all of one’s belongings and then keeping only those things that “spark joy.” 

The successors to the minimalist movement can be seen in Americans—the millennial generation in particular,—who have embraced tiny homes, #VanLife, and spending money on good times, not stuff. Seventy-eight percent of millennials, compared to 59 percent of baby boomers, say they “would rather pay for an experience than material goods.6

Millennials recently overtook baby boomers as the country’s largest living generation.7 But it is boomers who are the target of the latest chapter in minimalism: Swedish death cleaning. 

A popular concept in Swedish and Scandinavian culture, Swedish death cleaning was introduced to an American audience with the 2017 release of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.8 

In the book, author Margareta Magnusson urges those 65 and older to take part in the practice, which comes from the Swedish word döstädning, a combination of (death) and standing (cleaning). “Visit storage areas and start pulling out what’s there,” Magnusson writes in the book. “Who do you think will take care of all that when you are no longer here?”9

The Benefits of Swedish Death Cleaning

The primary goal of Swedish death cleaning is to spare loved ones the burden of clearing out our stuff when we die. 

“Some people can’t wrap their heads around death,” says Magnusson. “And these people leave a mess after them. Did they think they were immortal?” 

Magnusson recommends categorizing possessions by those you can easily get rid of, such as clothes you no longer wear, unwanted gifts, and excess kitchen items, and those you might want to keep, like old letters, photographs, and your children’s artwork. You might consider starting in the attic or basement, where excess items tend to accumulate, choosing belongings you do not have an emotional attachment to and moving from large items to small items. 

Magnusson, though, does not emphasize a rigorous approach or definitive checklist. She encourages readers to develop their own method and focus on personal goals for Swedish death cleaning. It is a highly personal exercise that is intended to be uplifting rather than daunting. 

Throughout the book, she reiterates the personal benefits of death cleaning, calling it a “permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly.” And she adds that you might even find the process itself enjoyable. 

“It is a delight to go through things and remember their worth,” Magnusson writes. 

Your loved ones, however, may not understand why you would want to undertake something called “death cleaning,” even though it benefits them. Especially if you are still in good health, it might disturb them that you are systematically eliminating stuff from your life in anticipation of dying. 

According to Magnusson, death cleaning is an important reminder about the impermanent nature of all things, ourselves included. 

“We must all talk about death,” she writes. “If it’s too hard to address, then death cleaning can be a way to start the conversation.” 

There might also be items your friends and family would rather inherit than see you get rid of. Inviting them to take part in your decluttering journey could make the process go smoother. Together, you can sort through things and reflect on the memories they spark. If they want something, let them have it. 

Along the way, they may develop an appreciation for minimalism and decluttering. They might even decide to undertake their own death cleaning and receive a wellness boost that becomes part of your legacy. 

Death Cleaning and Estate Planning

Estate planning, like death cleaning, makes life easier for our loved ones after we die. An estate plan leaves nothing to chance. It creates a written record of your final wishes that minimizes court involvement and eliminates questions about what you would have wanted. 

We cannot help you with death cleaning. But we can help you create an estate plan that simplifies asset disposition for your heirs and gives you peace of mind. To get your plans in order, schedule a meeting with our attorneys. 


  1. Mary Macvean, For Many People, Gathering Possessions Is Just the Stuff of Life, L.A. Times (Mar. 21, 2014),
  2. Professor Kasser on Materialism and the Holidays, Knox College, (last visited Sept. 29, 2023).
  3. Home Organization Is Major Source of Stress for Americans, Survey Finds, Huffpost (May 22, 2013),
  4. Id.
  5. Kyle Chayka, The Empty Promises of Marie Kondo and the Craze for Minimalism, Guardian (Jan.3, 2020),
  6. Sofia Horta e Costa, Millennials Are Starting to Change the Stock Market, Bloomberg (Jan. 31, 2016),
  7. Richard Fry, Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation, Pew Rsch. Ctr. (Apr. 28, 2020),
  8. Margareta Magnusson, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter (int’l ed. 2018).
  9. Sarah DiGiulio, What Is ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’ and Should You Be Doing It?, NBC News (Nov. 2, 2017),

Beware of Unequal Contributions When Purchasing a House

At a time of record home unaffordability, more people are teaming up with friends and relatives to realize the homeownership dream. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than 75 percent of homes on the market now are too expensive for middle-income buyers. Just five years ago, this same income group could afford half of all available homes. From 2010 to 2020, the number of homes bought by people with different last names soared by more than 770 percent. This group includes friends, roommates, and married couples. In 2021, the percentage of single-family homes purchased by nonmarried co-buyers was 25 percent, up from 17.4 percent in 2018. Purchasing a property with other people can help a buyer to lower their individual costs while building equity. However, going in on a house together can also create trouble spots, including survivorship and inheritance issues. 

A home is the largest single investment that most people make. When buying a home with another person, the co-owners must decide how to hold the title so that it aligns with their wealth-building and estate planning goals. 

Co-Ownership and Home Titles

Co-buying a home with a partner, relative, or friend can reduce the costs of the down payment, mortgage payments, utilities, and other household expenses for each buyer, while allowing them to build home equity. Some co-buyers may not even want to live in the home. Their goal may be to rent it out or flip it for a profit. 

Home co-ownership can present problems as well. If one buyer has a bad credit score, it can negatively affect another buyer’s mortgage terms. And if one party cannot meet their financial obligations, the other party could be on the hook for the budget shortfall. 

Typically, co-owners are not only listed together on the mortgage loan, but on the home title. Having more than one person on the title raises estate planning issues that may not immediately arise but should be thought about. 

Property can be titled in different ways. Common ways of joint ownership titling include tenants in common, joint tenants with right of survivorship, and tenants by the entirety. 

  • Tenants in common. With this type of title, property shares may or may not be divided equally between owners. Each owner’s share might be equal to their investment in the property or the shares may be divided equally among the owners. However, the co-owners still have equal rights to use all areas of the property. They can also choose who receives their interest when they die; it does not automatically pass to the other owner(s). 
  • Joint tenants with right of survivorship. Under this arrangement, each owner has an undivided interest in the property. They own the property in equal shares and have the right to use the property however they wish. The right of survivorship means that, when one of the joint owners dies, their property interest passes to the surviving joint owner(s). 
  • Tenancy by the entirety. This title option works the same way as joint tenants with Right of Survivorship but is only available to married couples in certain states. It also provides valuable creditor protection because property owned in this way is not subject to the creditors of just one spouse (although it may be subject to the claims of a creditor of both spouses). 

In states with community property, another type of joint ownership for married couples, co-owned property can be titled with the right of survivorship, but it is not the default and must be designated this way. 

Joint Ownership and Estate Planning

Around 60 percent of Americans do not have a will, but the percentage without an estate plan is highest among Millennials (78 percent) and lower among Baby Boomers (58 percent). About two-thirds of Gen Xers do not have a will, while more than 80 percent of those age 72 or older do have a will. 

One of the top reasons cited for failing to address estate planning is a lack of assets to leave to anyone. While this is often a myth—estate planning is advisable no matter how many assets a person has—buying a house instantly changes this calculus. 

For most people, a home is their greatest investment and the primary driver of household wealth. Even if somebody co-owns a house, their investment in the property is likely to dwarf their other accounts and property. 

Deciding what to do with shares of a jointly-owned property is a major estate planning consideration. And it begins at the time a property is purchased and the title is issued. 

When co-buying a house, each owner should understand how it is being titled and make sure the titling matches their estate planning wishes. For example, joint tenancy might make sense for a married couple but be a poor choice for friends or unmarried partners because they give up the right to leave the property to anyone other than the co-owner. 

In the latter case, tenancy in common is likely a better option. Each tenant in common has the power to dispose of their property interest however they choose—but only if they indicate their wishes in their estate plan. Otherwise, their share of the property passes according to state law when they die. 

For those who already own a house, how the property is titled is no less important to their estate plan. Circumstances change. The original title terms may no longer reflect a person’s current priorities. While changing a joint tenancy may not always be possible or practical, at the very least, a person should know how a home title affects their property rights, the rights of any heirs, and tax obligations. 

Get Your Estate Planning House in Order

Choosing how to title a co-owned home, and how this choice fits into your estate plan, depends on the people and property involved, your estate planning goals, and state laws where the property is located. An estate planning attorney from our office can explain the pros, cons, and consequences of each type of joint ownership to help you decide which one best fits your situation. 

Call or contact us today for help getting your estate planning house in order. 

Collecting Debts on Behalf of Your Deceased Loved One

People often engage in transactions that result in money being owed to them, such as loaning money to a friend or business partner or renting a house to a tenant. But what happens if someone passes away before they receive the money owed to them? Can someone else collect these debts? If your loved one has died and you think they were owed money at the time of their death, keep the following information in mind.

Does the Debt Die with the Person?

The fact that someone dies does not mean that the outstanding debt owed to them disappears or is no longer owed. The debt survives the death of the creditor and is then owed to the deceased creditor’s estate. In fact, a debt that is owed to the estate is considered an asset (i.e., money and property) of the estate. The estate is entitled to collect the debt as part of the probate process that culminates in the distribution of the deceased person’s money and property to the beneficiaries named in their will or to the beneficiaries designated by state law if the deceased person did not have a will. Similarly, if the debt is owed to the deceased person’s trust, the trust’s right and obligation to collect the debt continues after the trustmaker’s death.

Who Can Collect the Debt?

Before anyone can act on behalf of a deceased person’s estate, they must be appointed by the probate court. If the deceased person had a will, they probably named someone they trusted to act as their executor (also known as a personal representative). If the deceased person did not create a will, a person who is given priority in their state’s probate law, generally a family member, can petition the court to name them as the administrator of the estate. Once appointed, the executor or administrator of the estate is authorized—and has a duty—to act on behalf of the estate to collect the debt. Similarly, if a debt was owed to a deceased person’s trust, the successor trustee has the obligation to try to collect the amount owed to the trust.

How Can an Executor or Trustee Discover If the Deceased Person Was Owed Money?

If the executor or trustee is the deceased person’s spouse, they may be very familiar with the assets owned by their deceased spouse, including how much money their spouse was owed and who owed it, but a non-spouse executor or trustee may be less knowledgeable about the assets owned by the deceased person. All executors or trustees should examine the deceased person’s important papers and financial records to determine if there is any evidence that money was owed to the deceased. Optimally, there will be a written loan agreement, mortgage document, or other contract that provides clear evidence of both the existence of debt and the terms of repayment. However, even if there is no formal contract, other written evidence—for example, an email or even a text message demonstrating that someone owed money to the deceased person—can be used to establish the existence and terms of the debt. Alternatively, if the deceased person had records, books, or canceled checks showing the existence of a debt and that someone was making regular payments to them, this documentation can be used as evidence for the executor or trustee to establish the existence of a debt. Although written evidence is considered more reliable, the trustee or executor may also rely on witnesses who heard the deceased person and the debtor discussing a loan or other business transaction to establish the existence and terms of the obligation. Similarly, debtors themselves may make statements to the trustee or executor acknowledging the debt. 

What Happens After the Debt Is Discovered?

The executor or trustee who discovers that a debt was owed to the deceased person should first ascertain if there are any amounts outstanding, that is, amounts that were due at the date of death. For example, consider a situation in which Bob made a loan of $5,000 to his friend Julie, who was obligated under the loan agreement to make monthly repayments of $250 on the fifteenth of each month until the loan was repaid in full in December 2024. If Bob passes away on January 16, 2024, the executor would need to determine if Julie was current on her payments, collect any monthly payments she owed at the date of Bob’s death (including interest), and monitor future payments.

Once the executor or trustee is aware of a debt that is owed to the deceased person’s estate, they should provide a formal written notice to the debtor that the deceased person has passed away and the date of death, that the estate is their new creditor, and that future payments should be made to the estate via the executor or trustee. The notice should also include the executor or trustee’s name, address, and any other information needed to facilitate payment of the debt. The executor or trustee should make efforts to collect any past due amounts and to facilitate the payment of amounts that will be due in the future, for example, rental payments for the remaining term of a lease agreement that extends beyond the date of death.

What If the Debtor Will Not Pay the Amount Due?

Although an executor or trustee will initially attempt to collect a debt by contacting the debtor and requesting payment of the amount due, if those collection efforts are not successful, they may need to seek the help of a lawyer to send a demand letter to the debtor or file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate to collect the amount owed. 

We Can Help

If your loved one has passed away, we can help guide you through the probate process if you are the executor of their will or wish to be appointed as the administrator of their estate. Likewise, if you are the successor trustee, we can help you administer your loved one’s trust. 

One of the important duties of an executor or administrator is to collect, protect, and prepare an inventory of all of the assets in the deceased person’s estate, including the debts owed to them, so they can be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. Trustees similarly have a duty to maintain records relevant to and to collect debts owed to the deceased person’s trust. Seeking help from an experienced estate planning attorney can help put your mind at ease by helping ensure that you fulfill all of your duties during what is likely a stressful and emotional time following the death of your loved one. If you would like help, call us today to set up an appointment.

Limited Impact of Estrangement on Estate Planning

Unfortunately, rifts sometimes arise between family members that are much more serious than just temporary squabbles. The result may be estrangement, defined as “the state of being alienated or separated in feeling or affection; a state of hostility or unfriendliness” or “the state of being separated or removed.”1 Estrangement does not mean that the relationship has come to an end legally, however.  

A husband may move out of the home he shared with his wife and have limited or no contact with her or their children. A child who has been abused may live with a relative and avoid contact with their parent. A parent may choose not to associate with a child who has committed crimes or abused their trust. These types of situations are unfortunate and occur more often than we would like. You may be surprised to learn that limited contact, or even the absence of any contact, will not have a major impact on the legal right of an estranged spouse or child to inherit from their family member, especially if there is no estate plan expressing an intention to disinherit them.

Estranged Spouse

Intestate succession statutes. If the deceased spouse did not have an estate plan in place, the surviving spouse is legally entitled to inherit from the deceased spouse as set forth in their state’s intestate succession law even if the spouses are estranged—and in many states, even if they are legally separated. Intestate succession laws provide a default estate plan representing the state’s view of the fairest distribution of a deceased person’s money and property. In many states, if the estranged couple did not have any children, the surviving spouse will likely inherit the entire estate of the deceased spouse—even if they despised each other and had not seen each other for many years. If there were children from the union, the surviving spouse and children may each receive a portion of the estate as set forth in the intestate succession statute; in community property states, even if the couple had children, the spouse may inherit all community property, although any separate property may be divided between the surviving spouse and the children. 

Pretermitted spouse statutes. Some states have another type of statute that is intended to protect a spouse who is unintentionally omitted from a will, for example, if the will was created prior to the marriage and was never amended to provide for the spouse. These laws typically provide that unless the will expresses an intention to disinherit the surviving spouse, the spouse will inherit the amount they would have received under the intestacy statute if the spouse had died without a will. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, even if an estranged spouse’s deceased spouse had a will that did not provide for them, the estranged spouse may be entitled to inherit some or all of the deceased spouse’s property if there is no express statement in the will of the deceased spouse’s intention to disinherit them.  

Elective share statutes. Even if the deceased spouse created a will that expressly indicates an intention to completely or partially disinherit their spouse, the state’s elective share statute typically protects the surviving spouse to some degree. This type of statute allows a spouse to elect to inherit a certain percentage—often ranging from thirty to fifty percent—of their deceased spouse’s estate regardless of what the deceased spouse’s will says. In some states, the surviving spouse is only allowed to take their elective share from the probate estate, which excludes money and property that have been transferred to a trust, insurance policies, and retirement or financial accounts that name other beneficiaries. Other states have laws that include both the probate estate and other accounts or property the deceased spouse owned; these laws provide that the surviving spouse’s elective share can be calculated based on a larger pool of assets called the augmented estate.

As a result of the intestacy and elective share laws, an estranged spouse is likely to be protected from complete disinheritance in the absence of other planning.

Estranged Child

As with an estranged spouse, if no estate plan is in place, a child will be able to inherit from their parent under the state intestacy statute, even if they have had no contact with their parent for many years. 

The estranged child may also inherit under some circumstances if their deceased parent created a will that does not provide for them. Similar to the laws designed to protect surviving spouses who were unintentionally omitted from a will, many states have laws providing that if a child is unintentionally omitted from a will—for example, if the child was born after the will was created and the will was not updated to include them—the child should inherit the amount they would have received under the intestacy statute if the parent had died without a will. This protection will not apply if the parent’s will expressly disinherits the child. However, under this type of statute, if the will does not expressly state an intention to disinherit the estranged child, they may be able to inherit in specified circumstances even if their parent’s will does not provide for them.

Ways to Address Estrangement In Your Estate Plan

Those who do not want an estranged family member to inherit from them should create an estate plan that includes a will expressly stating that intention or a trust that does not include the estranged spouse or child as a beneficiary. As mentioned, a spouse can inherit the amount allowed under the elective share statute regardless of the terms of the deceased spouse’s will. To avoid litigation by the estranged spouse, the will could provide for an inheritance in the amount the surviving spouse would be entitled to receive as their elective share or the “statutory minimum.” In states in which the surviving spouse’s elective share is limited to the probate estate, beneficiaries other than the estranged spouse can be named to receive assets such as retirement accounts, money and property held in trusts, and life insurance policies. Other strategies, such as lifetime gifts and prenuptial or other marital agreements may also be used to limit or waive the spouse’s right to inherit an elective share.

When someone wants to disinherit a child, their will should clearly state that intention. To avoid a will contest by a disappointed child, the parent could also consider including a small inheritance for the estranged child and, if no-contest clauses are enforceable under their state law, a no-contest clause providing that the child will lose the inheritance if they unsuccessfully contest the will. If the parent transfers their money and property to a trust, the child can simply not be named as a beneficiary of the trust.

Take Steps to Memorialize the State of the Relationship

For estranged spouses, doing what is required to legally end the relationship is another way to avoid unintended results when one of the spouses dies. After divorce, the surviving former spouse is not entitled to inherit any amount from the deceased former spouse unless there is a property settlement agreement providing otherwise. Depending on state law, even if the surviving former spouse is still a beneficiary in the deceased former spouse’s will, they may not be entitled to inherit pursuant to the will unless there is additional documentation showing that the deceased former spouse intended that result. As mentioned above, the effect of legal separation varies depending on state law: in some states, legal separation has no impact on a spouse’s right to inherit under the intestacy or elective share statute.

We Can Help 

One of the important goals of estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are carried out. If you want to prevent an estranged family member from inheriting from you, your estate plan needs to expressly state that intention. We can help you think through how to best accomplish your estate planning goals while also minimizing any further strife in your family. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.


  1. Estrangement,, (last visited Aug. 29, 2023).

Four Things Your Spouse Should Know Before You Die

It is normal for married couples to share almost every aspect of their lives with each other. But when it comes to death, even the closest couples might become tight-lipped about certain topics. According to one study, half of all couples fail to discuss their dying wishes.1 

Death is final for the departed. For the surviving spouse, death can leave unanswered questions. As uncomfortable as it might be to discuss subjects like burial arrangements and remarriage, they should be broached as part of creating a comprehensive estate plan. Seemingly mundane details, such as the location of important documents and contact information, should also be addressed. 

Location of Important Documents

Older couples tend to commingle their finances. Among baby boomers, having only joint accounts is the norm. Millennial and Gen Z couples, however, are more likely to keep their money separate.2 

When couples do have joint accounts and property, it is not uncommon for one spouse to handle all financial matters. Fewer than one in four couples report that both spouses have an equal role in managing household finances.3 

When one spouse is the “money person” in the relationship, it can create issues in both life and death. To avoid unnecessary stress, couples need to ensure that they are on the same page. For day-to-day finances, this can mean regular check-ins about charges, expenditures, and budgeting. With regard to estate planning, couples should keep each other informed about the location of important documents such as the following: 

  • Estate planning documents
  • Life insurance paperwork
  • Loan documents 
  • Financial account information (e.g., savings, retirement, and investment accounts)
  • Usernames, passwords, and other information for accessing digital accounts and assets

This might be more difficult in community property states—where spouses are considered joint owners of most accounts, property, and debts acquired during marriage—barring a marital or property agreement stating the contrary. In states that follow common law, spouses are allowed to own property individually and are not considered jointly responsible for accounts and property except for those listed under both spouses’ names. But even in community property states, accounts and property that predate the marriage and those that are inherited are usually considered separate property. 

Keeping finances secret—and separate—although it may be legal under state law, can still raise estate planning issues between couples that deserve discussion. A spouse with separate accounts and property might have separate accompanying estate planning documents. If so, the other spouse should at least be in the know about them to facilitate estate administration. 

Contact Information 

A spouse will often be the first person to find out about their partner’s passing. After that, there may be an established priority of whom to contact next on a need-to-know basis. 

The surviving spouse is likely to have a good idea of who should be contacted and in more or less what order. It may not be particularly important whether an older sibling is informed before or after a younger sibling or vice versa.

Yet it should not be assumed that a husband or wife has access to these individuals’ phone numbers. Nowadays, most contact information is stored in a personal device, not a Rolodex. To ensure that this information is accessible, it can be listed in a separate document. Alternatively, each spouse can give the other their phone’s login credentials. 

Outside of immediate family and friends, a spouse could be unsure about whom to get in touch with. Extended family, a religious leader, club members, professional contacts, and, if the deceased was still working, their employer may need to be contacted as well. Some people might be named in the will and require inheritance notifications. 

Keeping a spouse apprised of relationship statuses, whom to get in touch with, and how to get in touch with them about end-of-life wishes are small but important estate planning points. 

Burial Arrangements

Arguably the most morbid thought about death is what to do with someone’s remains. At the same time, following a person’s burial preferences is a way to ensure that they receive an appropriate send-off. 

More Americans are choosing to be cremated instead of having a traditional burial.4 Whichever someone chooses, options for personal touches abound. 

If cremated, a person may wish to have their ashes scattered in a favorite place. In the case of a burial, they may opt not to have an open casket. There are also natural burials (being buried without a casket) and funeral services without a body present. About 20,000 people donate their bodies to science each year.5 

In some states, the surviving spouse has the primary authority to make these decisions, absent specific instructions by the deceased. As unpleasant as it can be to discuss burial, cremation, or donation, doing so can offer the departed—and the surviving spouse—peace of mind that this most personal of decisions is honored. 


Wedding vows famously contain the phrase “’til death do us part.” But what about after death? Are couples still obligated to obey their promise of fidelity? 

Whether approaching this question from a religious or a secular perspective, it is generally accepted that a widowed spouse is not doing wrong by remarrying. Depending on their age, history, and beliefs, though, some people may have strong feelings about remarriage. 

Nowadays, when more than half of marriages end in divorce, the idea that a bereaved spouse should not remarry is antiquated. Remarriage rates, however, have declined in recent decades.6 They decline with age for both men and women and are significantly lower after bereavement than after divorce.7 

A spouse who predeceases their partner may be okay with remarriage but not want the new spouse to have access to their money. Estate planning can help prevent this outcome. The use of a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust, for example, can provide for a surviving spouse while protecting children’s inheritance from the surviving spouse’s new spouse. 

If there are no children involved, or if one spouse simply trusts the other to do whatever they want with the money even if it benefits the new spouse, special estate plan provisions might not be necessary. 

Regardless, remarriage is a topic worth discussing. Couples may not be on the same page about remarrying. Nor do they have to be. Couples that have separate finances are free to do with their share what they want. One spouse could be okay with remarriage and do nothing, while the other is against remarriage and sets up a trust to protect their accounts and property. 

Show Love with a Thorough Estate Plan

The optimist would argue that there are no worries after death. Once we depart this plane of existence, all our worldly cares die with us. 

Putting aside the metaphysics of death, from a practical perspective, our passing can create complications for those we leave behind. Not having an estate plan takes the control over your accounts and property out of your family’s hands and gives it to the state. But an incomplete plan can cause problems too. 

Small estate planning gaps can raise big questions that leave a person’s legacy in doubt. It is never too late to revisit and update an estate plan while you are alive. But unresolved estate issues taken to the grave could come back to haunt your loved ones. 

Estate planning is a gift to your spouse and the best way to take care of them when you are no longer around. To show them love, contact our office and schedule an appointment. 


  1. Rosemary Bennett, Half of Couples Fail to Discuss Dying Wishes, Times (London) (May 12, 2014),
  2. Lorie Konish, Joint vs. Separate Accounts: How Couples Choose to Handle Finances Could Impact Their Financial Success, CNBC (Mar. 7, 2022),
  3. Happy Couples: How to Avoid Money Arguments, Am. Psych. Ass’n (2015),
  4. Jazmin Goodwin, More Americans Are Choosing Cremation over Traditional Burials, Survey Finds, USA Today (Jan. 24, 2020),
  5. Justin Sherman, Inside the Largely Unregulated Market for Bodies Donated to Science: “It’s Harder to Sell Hot Dogs on a Cart,” CBS News (Mar. 23, 2023),
  6. Leslie Reynolds, Remarriage Rate in the U.S.: Geographic Variation, 2019, Bowling Green State Univ. (2021),
  7. Remarriage After Bereavement, OnlyYouForever, (last visited Aug. 30, 2023).