Keep This in Mind When Estate Planning for a Blended Family

Many people don’t recognize that once they pass away, a surviving partner can do what they wish with any assets remaining, particularly if a will leaves everything to that surviving partner. This can become especially problematic if you’re part of a blended family and have recently remarried but have children from a previous marriage. This… Read More »

What Are the Different Ways to Pass on Assets in an Estate?

As you plan ahead towards retirement, it’s important to consider your beneficiary structure. Whether you’re passing assets through trusts, wills, life insurance or an IRA, you need to have a clear understanding of the estate planning tools that can and cannot be used to pass these on. The default way to give assets to someone… Read More »

Does Establishing a Trust Mean I Don’t Have to Go Through Probate?

In California, like many other states, every estate must go through at least some court procedures. This typically includes the admission of a will and the appointment of a personal representative to handle estate administration. If there is no will, formal court procedures may still be required to appoint a representative and to transfer assets… Read More »

What To Look for In an Attorney Who Drafts Trusts

Depending on what you want to achieve, a trust can be a very powerful estate planning instrument. You get all the benefits of a trust when you choose to use one in your estate, so long as the form selected is right for your needs and you follow through with funding it. For example, maybe… Read More »

Have You Made a Plan for Incapacity or The Unexpected?

You might have written down your plans for your will or even set up a trust, but what happens if you’re not able to handle your own finances or healthcare decisions in the future? Incapacity issues are important to think through. A recent study from the University of California San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital… Read More »

When Should Someone Get a Financial Conservator in CA?

If you have a loved one showing signs of cognitive decline or other physical issues making it hard for them to handle their own finances, it’s natural to have questions about your legal options. Courts may appoint guardians when a person is unable to manage their own finances. Financial conservatorship is often recommended when a… Read More »

How To Be Mindful About the Potential of Elder Fraud

You may be worried about potential scams that could influence your elderly parents or other family members experiencing potential cognitive challenges. Taking proactive steps to recognize the common nature of elder fraud could help save your loved one and ensure that their assets are protected. Especially if your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia… Read More »

Estate Planning Helpful Even for Singles

If you’re a single individual, you may assume that estate planning is not to your benefit, or perhaps you’ve done the necessary step of taking the time to create a will but have not gone any further with your overall estate plan. Estate planning, however, is beneficial for everyone. Documenting your wishes makes it possible… Read More »

Should I Include A No Contest Clause In My Will?

Creating estate planning documents and strategies makes things easier for the people appointed to handle your affairs and reduces the possibility of conflict in the future. However, some beneficiaries still retain the right to contest estate planning documents when they have legal grounds to show that these documents may have been procured by fraud or… Read More »

Is Your Estate Plan Missing Funeral Arrangements?

Estate planning is difficult for many people, but one commonly overlooked aspect is planning ahead for funeral arrangements. It can be very difficult to put your loved ones in the position of having to make these decisions for you, especially if they don’t know whether or not you had your own wishes expressed or prepaid… Read More »

How Does Tax Diversification Fit into Your Estate Plan?

Your estate plan combines components of your future healthcare intentions, your goals for passing on assets to loved ones and your financial plan. Working with qualified professionals for each phase of this is extremely important for protecting your interests. One common thing overlooked by many people in the estate planning process is tax diversification. The… Read More »

The Value of Clear and Direct Language in Your Estate Planning

Avoid confusing or vague terminology throughout your estate plan as this can only cause more problems then intended. The process of undertaking an estate plan requires thinking intentionally about what you wish to achieve. But with unclear language, this opens the door for someone to file a probate or estate dispute. Court intervention to resolve… Read More »

What To Know Before You Move to A Tax-Advantaged Retirement State

More elderly people are looking for ways to maximize their retirement savings and to account for the fact that they may live longer than expected. Moving to lower tax climates is a popular strategy for addressing these issues. However, you need to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls and challenges of moving to… Read More »

Is a Trust Required to Avoid Probate?

Various estate planning myths could cost you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve established documents and strategies to carry out your wishes as you want, and these could also harm your loved ones in the future. The truth is that not all of your assets fall into the probate process anyways. Some… Read More »

When Is a Will Not Enough for Estate Planning?

Most people recognize that a will is one of the most important components of any estate plan, and yet plenty of people overlook it and never get around to creating a will. You may be most familiar with the benefit of a will after helping a loved one navigate the process of probate. Being appointed… Read More »

How Does My Estate Plan Impact the Financial Planning Process?

Estate planning and financial planning are connected. Decisions that you make for one will certainly impact the other. This is most applicable for decisions made over the course of your life, such as your decision over what to do with your retirement plan. Setting retirement goals with the help of your financial professional is very… Read More »

Three Aspects of Digital Estate Planning to Consider

Many people have significant digital assets, but likely have not documented these for the purposes of their estate plan. You may need to work with a team of professionals to help you decide what assets fall into your digital estate and how to address them. These include your financial advisor, your lawyer, and CPA. You… Read More »

Do You Have a Real Plan for Gifting to Children?

If you want your loved ones to benefit from your assets when you pass away, it’s not enough to tell them this or to have the good intention. You need to go one step further to document this in your estate plan. Whether you have minor children and need to establish a trust to pass… Read More »

What To Do After You Revoke a Trust?

When you establish a properly funded trust in a revocable way, you maintain the ability to update this trust or terminate it in the future. One of the most common reasons to work with an estate planning attorney to create a trust is to avoid probate. If you eliminate the trust, you may be able… Read More »