What Does It Mean to Notarize a Will?

Many wills that are written by estate planning attorneys are notarized even though every state does not require that a will be notarized in order to be classified as legally valid. California does not require the additional step of notarization, although you might still choose to get a notary’s signature and stamp on your will… Read More »

Will My Executor Need to Open a Bank Account for Estate Funds?

One of the most common steps after a person passes away is to file the will or other estate documents with the probate court. Relatively soon after this point the appointed California executor should open a bank account for estate funds. This helps to ensure a firm line between the individual serving as the personal… Read More »

What Is a Will Codicil?

There are a few different methods by which you may be able to make changes to an existing will. If these are minor changes, making an amendment to your will can be done with the support of an experienced estate planning lawyer. In more serious situations in which you want to make drastic changes to… Read More »

Can a California Living Trust Speed Up the Probate Process?

Having a shorter timeline for the transfer of assets is one of the most common reasons that a person will hire a California estate planning lawyer to create a trust. When a person passes away, things they own, such as a home or a vehicle, could spend years tied up in probate. Probate is expensive,… Read More »

Does a Trust-Based Estate Plan Keep My Affairs Private?

Putting together a will directs the courts and your appointed executor as to what happens to your assets when you pass away as well as naming a guardian for any minor children. However, using a will means that the matters of your estate could become a source of public record after you pass away. There… Read More »

What You Need to Know About Getting Assets Appraised in an Estate

Some assets inside or outside an estate that will pass to others when you’re gone have a very clear value. For example, the value of your retirement account on the date the loved one passes away is very easy to calculate. But it’s likely that your estate contains some other assets that aren’t as easy… Read More »

Three Estate Planning Mistakes Too Many Californians Make

You don’t want your loved ones to find out the hard way that you didn’t manage your estate properly. Sadly, this is the reality for so many families who have to cope with the messy aftermath of poor estate planning. Many of the most common mistakes can be entirely avoided by planning well in advance… Read More »

Should I Use a Corporate Personal Representative?

One of the most critical decisions you’ll make in your estate planning is selecting a personal representative to manage the process of closing out your estate after you pass away. For most people, a close friend or family member comes to mind to serve in this role, but it is critical to be clear about… Read More »

How to Avoid a Common Power of Attorney Mistake

If you fail to understand the duties associated with your power of attorney agent, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. Recognizing how a power of attorney works within your state and the specifics of your document can give you clarity on what to expect and whether or not this aligns with your personal… Read More »

Do You Need Flexibility in Your Power of Attorney Structure?

Powers of attorney should often be drafted with as much flexibility as possible to allow for what is known as crisis planning. Although you might want to have restrictions on your power of attorney, such as when a person can take the action on your behalf, flexibility provides you with the most opportunity to adapt… Read More »

Don’t Forget These Issues Associated with Retiring Early

Retiring early is the dream for so many people but finding out some of these unexpected issues can be problematic for your retirement and your entire family. Early retirement isn’t for most people. In fact, only 11% of today’s workers intend to retire before age 60, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research… Read More »

Do I Need to Tell My Bank That I Have a Financial Power of Attorney?

Completing a financial power of attorney with the support of an estate planning lawyer can give you peace of mind that if something happens to you, a trusted party known as your attorney-in-fact is eligible to take action on your behalf. It’s natural to assume that the execution of this document in and of itself… Read More »

Are There Any Benefits to Naming Co-Executors in a Will?

More often than not, it makes the most sense to name only one person to handle the administration of your estate. This is usually a trusted family member or an outside professional such as a lawyer, but you might choose to have more than one individual appointed to handle your affairs after you’re gone. The… Read More »

Should You Write a Legacy Letter to Your Loved Ones?

It’s difficult to make the decisions associated with planning your estate but thankfully, there are other opportunities to be yourself and leave behind a legacy without having to worry about laws, statutes or other complicated aspects. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to share with the world, to have posted on your church bulletin board,… Read More »