Mary Randolph

J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

Mary Randolph earned her law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law. She is the author of The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust8 Ways to Avoid Probate, and other books about law for nonlawyers. She has been a guest on The Today Show and has been interviewed by many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more.

Articles By Mary Randolph

Settling an Estate: Does The Will Appear Valid?
As an executor, before you start deciphering a will in preparation for settling an estate, you should take a moment to consider whether the will is valid.
Avoiding Probate With Joint Tenancy
Joint tenancy is unquestionably the most popular probate-avoidance device around. And why not? Property owned in joint tenancy automatically passes, without probate, to the surviving owner(s) when one owner dies. Setting up a joint tenancy is easy, and it doesn't cost a penny.
If You Don't Want to Leave Retirement Accounts to Your Spouse
Your spouse—or former spouse—may have a legal claim to your retirement account, so proceed with caution.
Naming a TOD Beneficiary for Stocks and Bonds
Bypass probate by naming a beneficiary for your securities.
Small Estate Probate Shortcuts: Why Even Large Estates May Qualify
Depending on your state's law, your inheritors may be able to skip regular probate.
Creating a POD Account: The Paperwork
You can add a payable-on-death designation to any kind of new or existing account: checking, savings, or certificate of deposit.
Florida Probate: An Overview
Florida has several options when it's time for probate proceedings.
Ohio Probate: An Overview
Probate is a court-supervised legal process that may be required after someone dies.
Filing an Income Tax Return for an Estate
When and how to file an income tax return for an estate.
New Jersey Probate: An Overview
The basics of wrapping up an estate in New Jersey.