The Gift Of Education, Part Two

Last week we discussed giving the gift of a college education to your grandchildren. We raised some potential problems with giving the money directly to them to pay their tuition. Today we’ll talk about some safer approaches. One is to pay your grandchild’s tuition directly to his or her college. This makes the gift exempt… Read More »

When You Can’t Treat All Your Children The Same—Unequal Inheritances

Many parents strive to treat their children the same in their estate plans, dividing assets equally between them. There is nothing wrong with this, but in certain situations it may not represent the ideal, let alone the fairest, approach. For instance, one child may earn significantly less than other children. Or one child might have… Read More »

Should You Serve As Trustee?

Maybe you’ve been named as trustee of an estate and are wondering if you should take on this responsibility. The first factor to consider is whether you have the time to do so. Administering a trust typically involves all of the following duties, and sometimes many more: Locating and protecting trust assets Collecting life insurance… Read More »

How Is An Estate Probated?

Yesterday we discussed when an estate must go through California probate. Today, we will talk about how an estate is probated. While every situation is unique, here are the basic steps involved in probating an estate: 1. In most cases, the person requesting appointment as personal representative (executor or administrator) hires an experienced probate lawyer… Read More »

Advice for Non-Professional Trustees

Acting as a trustee for a trust created by a close friend or family can be complicated. A recent article discusses three common mistakes made by non-professional trustees that can be easily avoided. First, a non-professional trustee might not provide complete records and reports. Many states require trustees to maintain records of all income and… Read More »

What is Durable Power of Attorney?

Durable power of attorney is a legal agreement that allows you to designate an attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf. You can grant the attorney-in-fact authority to perform a wide variety of tasks on your behalf, including paying bills, trading stocks, applying for public benefits, selling property, signing contracts, and filing your taxes. You can… Read More »

The High Cost of a Long and Healthy Life

Many Americans are fortunate to live a long and healthy life. The downside is that this can sometimes mean outliving your retirement account. Luckily, there are many government benefits available to senior citizens. In fact, there are so many different government programs available, that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Following… Read More »