If your spouse recently passed away, the last thing you may wish to focus on is the administration of your spouse’s estate. Nevertheless, you will likely need to do so to ensure that your spouse’s estate is properly handled, and assets are transferred to the intended beneficiaries and/or heirs of the estate. If you are the primary, or sole, beneficiary of the estate, you may be wondering if probate is necessary to transfer your spouse’s assets to you. Because every estate involves a unique set … [Read more...] about My Spouse Recently Passed Away. Do I Need to Probate His/Her Estate in California?
When you’re deciding how your assets should be divided at death, sometimes dividing them equally is the appropriate choice. But, sometimes it’s not. Fair isn’t always equal or vice versa according to my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. Read on to learn more, including how to avoid a challenge if you choose an unequal division among your children. … [Read more...] about Fair Isn’t Always Equal and Vice Versa
When you’re deciding to whom to leave assets, most people choose their children or other descendants. However, you also need to decide on the “contingent remainder” beneficiary. In other words, who should get your assets if all your other beneficiaries are gone. My friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert knows this area. Read on to learn more about this often-confusing concept. … [Read more...] about What’s an “Atom Bomb” or “Contingent Remainder” Beneficiary?
Despite understanding the importance of having an estate plan in place, over half of all Americans do not have one. Moreover, many of those who do have a plan fail to update and/or expand their plan as needed. The reality is that estate planning can be intimidating and confusing. The best way to ensure that you have an estate plan in place that achieves all your goals and meets all your needs is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. To give you a head start, lets … [Read more...] about Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney
Puerto Ricans hold a unique position under U.S. law. U.S. estate taxation treats those from Puerto Rico different from other U.S. citizens or citizens from other countries. My friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert shares his thoughts. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Puerto Ricans are Unique, as Is Estate Planning for Them
Although a Last Will and Testament is likely the cornerstone of your estate plan, you will also probably incorporate additional estate planning tools and strategies into that plan to ensure that all your goals are reached. Many people, for example, include a trust in their estate plan. The best way to ensure that you do not make any mistakes with a trust you create is to work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney. Here's some tips to help you avoid mistakes when creating a … [Read more...] about Trust Mistakes to Avoid
Currently, each person can give $11.58 million during life or at death. However, that amount will be cut in half by January 1, 2026. It may go down even sooner according to my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. Read on to learn why and how you should use it before you lose it. … [Read more...] about Use the Exclusion or Lose It
There are all sorts of formalities to an estate plan. Does that mean you can’t change anything by yourself? Read the blog by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, to learn how your estate plan, if done properly, can give you the flexibility to make changes by yourself as to certain assets. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Building Flexibility into Your Plan
There is more to estate planning than disposing of your assets after your death. Planning for your incapacity is just as important. Read this post by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, to learn more about how incapacity planning can save you and your loved ones' anxiety. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Planning for Incapacity
Many seniors enter their retirement years knowing little about Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, because they were covered by employer-sponsored or privately funded health insurance throughout their working years. That lack of knowledge can be problematic – and costly – if you are one of those seniors and you now need to qualify for Medi-Cal. In fact, you may find yourself subject to a lengthy waiting or "look back" period during which Medi-Cal will not cover any of your health care … [Read more...] about What Does It Mean If Medi-Cal Imposes a “Waiting” Period?