Estate Planning Basics

Written by Amy Nichols

Continued from page 1

Probate: The process by which your personal property is legally transferred to your heirs upon your death. The probate process also identifies rightful heirs and determines how your assets will be distributed among them. Probate can be quite expensive (up to 10% ofrepparttar net worth of your estate) butrepparttar 148699 expense can be avoided with estate planning.

Will: A written, legal document outlining your wishes for your real and personal property upon your death. You can also appoint a guardian for any minor children. Beneficiaries: These arerepparttar 148700 people you assign to benefit with distribution of your real and personal property upon your death.

Your will can be an important tool of your estate plan. The goal ofrepparttar 148701 estate plan is to allow you, rather than probate court and attorney, to maintain control of your assets. Planning allows yourepparttar 148702 opportunity to set forth clear directions and desires for your assets inrepparttar 148703 event of your death or physical or mental incapacitation. Estate planning is a necessary and painless process. You will afford yourself peace of mind and you will smoothrepparttar 148704 road for your heirs in terms of property transfer upon your death.

Amy Nichols is a freelance writer and contributing author to, a site providing free estate planning tips and information.

Common Credit Score Myths

Written by Gary Gresham

Continued from page 1

At Equifax,repparttar FICO score rating is calledrepparttar 148679 Beacon credit score. At TransUnion, itís called Empirica. At Experian, it's known asrepparttar 148680 Experian/Fair, Isaac Risk Model.

The reason each ofrepparttar 148681 three major credit reporting bureaus will have three different scores is because they donít all sharerepparttar 148682 same data. So when checking your credit report, just make sure it comes fromrepparttar 148683 three major credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Trans Union and Equifax.

Examine your credit reports from all three major credit reporting bureaus before you apply for a big loan like a mortgage. Fix any errors in all three reports before you shop for a loan because it takes time to correct your credit report.

* Credit counseling will hurt your score The current FICO credit score rating system ignores any reference to credit counseling that may be in your file. The researchers at Fair, Isaac,repparttar 148684 company that createdrepparttar 148685 FICO credit scoring rating system, found that people getting credit counseling didnít default on their debts any more often than anyone else.

However, any late payments you've had with creditors will hurt your credit score. Credit counseling can hurt your ability to get a loan because you probably have had trouble paying creditors.

Some lenders will back away if you are in credit counseling. Others may see it differently, but usually will charge you higher interest rates than if you had perfect credit.

The best way to improve your credit report score is paying your bills on time and paying down credit card debt. Check your credit report regularly for any errors and make sure you don't fall for these common credit score myths.

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