Financial Concerns After Losing a Spouse

Losing a spouse can be a devastating experience regardless of your age or the circumstances. In fact, it can psychologically be one of the difficult experiences for a person to live through. While you may never truly be ready to lose a loved one, and in particular a spouse, appropriate planning well in advance of… Read More »

California Spouses & Liability for Debts

It’s known that for most spouses in California, you might be planning to leave a substantial portion of your assets or estate to your spouse. But what about the other end of the spectrum when it comes to debts or liabilities? Are spouses responsible? California is what’s known as a community property state. This might… Read More »

Have You Skipped a Letter of Intent in Your Estate Plan?

Along with a will, a trust and beneficiary designation forms, your durable power of attorney and your letter of intent documents can help to ensure that your wishes are followed properly. A letter of intent helps to clarify things for your beneficiary or your executor, making things easier for them in an otherwise challenging time…. Read More »

What Is A Qualified Personal Residence Trust?

Many different types of trusts exist for you to accomplish your estate planning goals. One of these is known as a qualified personal residence trust. This is a trust that allows you to transfer your primary or secondary home to a beneficiary in the future while benefitting from gift tax savings. Once the residence has… Read More »

What Is a Spendthrift Trust?

When you are concerned about preserving, protecting and passing wealth onto heirs, it’s natural to be concerned about the beneficiary’s ability to properly handle such an inheritance. This might lead you to turn to an estate planning lawyer to set up a spendthrift trust. This unique tool allows to keep a family’s money safe from… Read More »

Do Life Insurance Policies and Retirement Accounts Automatically Pass to My Loved Ones?

A will is used to direct the distribution of assets to those family members and other people in your family who are most important to you. But don’t overlook the other two common accounts that require separate planning through beneficiary designation forms. These include life insurance policies and retirement plan accounts. Without proper designation of… Read More »

Can I Lower My California Estate Tax?

It is a common question for many people just starting the asset protection planning or estate planning process in California: how can I decrease my estate tax responsibilities in California? There are many ways to lower your tax obligations while also protecting assets for your family members and heirs. Make sure that you have a… Read More »

Can I Use a Trust to Reduce Estate Taxes?

In 2021, the federal estate tax exemption is $11.58 million. This means that the vast majority of American families won’t trigger this tax upon their death. However, state estate tax exemptions could still apply to depending on your primary state of residence. One of the most common reasons for people to explore the possibilities of… Read More »