Helping Your Heirs With Your Estate

When Krysten Crawford’s mother died unexpectedly at the age of 74, Crawford and her sisters had never spoken with their mother about her financial affairs or estate. After the mother’s death, Krysten and her sisters discovered not only that their mother still had a mortgage on her home, but that the mortgage was in default…. Read More »

Re-Thinking Estate Planning

The field of estate planning is changing. As the implications of the 2012 tax law changes are becoming clearer, estate planners are scrambling to develop new strategies for optimum planning. A recent article discusses several of these strategies. One area of estate planning that has been affected by the 2012 tax law changes is lifetime… Read More »

Plan More than Joint Tenancy

No matter how wealthy people are, most do not want to spend money for services, such as estate planning, that they believe to be unnecessary. However, as a recent article explains, this reluctance can lead to costly mistakes where estate planning is concerned. One of the most common ways by which people attempt to create… Read More »

Common Mistakes When Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement is often a complicated process. A recent article discusses several retirement planning mistakes that individuals and couples should attempt to avoid at all costs. First, many people wrongly assume that they will spend less in retirement than they do during their working years. According to financial planner Joe Heider, however, “Most people,… Read More »

How Much Is My Estate Worth?

As a recent article quips, most Americans spend more time planning for their vacations than they do planning their estates. Although the process of estate planning is typically not something that Americans look forward to, it is an essential part of life. One of the very first steps in the process of estate planning is… Read More »

When Joint Bank Accounts Become Problematic

Many people incorporate joint accounts into their financial and estate plans in order to keep the account(s) out of probate. As a recent article explains, however, joint accounts can become problematic. Joint accounts provide the account holders with a right of survivorship of the account. Essentially, a right of survivorship means that when one joint… Read More »

Tips for Successor Trustees

Under California law, there are certain steps that a successor trustee must take in order to keep himself out of legal trouble. A recent article discusses several of these steps. First, in accordance with California Probate Code Section 16061.7, a successor trustee must provide written notice of their succession within 60 days of the death… Read More »

Do You Need a Living Trust?

Living trusts are touted as a solution to the cost and time associated with the process of probate. As a recent article explains, however, living trusts are often sold to individuals who do not need them. Living trusts are typically not cheap, either. Whereas a simple will generally costs around $300, an estate plan with… Read More »

Don’t Assume Your Heirs Know Your Final Wishes

Many people avoid common estate planning techniques because they believe that the beneficiaries of their estate are already aware of their wishes. As a recent article explains, however, making this assumption is often a big mistake. Without an estate plan, a person cannot be certain of what will happen after his or her death. Leaving… Read More »

Google Follows Digital Estate Planning Trend

Beginning in early April, Google users will have an easier time preparing their digital estate plans. As a recent article reports, Google has recently launched its “Inactive Account Manager,” which may be utilized by users to direct what happens with the data they have stored in Google applications after their death. Google applications include Google… Read More »