With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in the United States, blended families have become the norm in today's society. If you have just created a blended family, or are planning to do so in the near future, there are a number of changes that you may need to make to your existing estate plan in order to reflect your new status as a blended family. Although each family is unique, the following are possible options to consider. Adding Your Spouse to Titles. Titles to real property, … [Read more...] about What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Estate Plan When I Create a Blended Family?
Joint Owenership Perils
No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you own … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
When someone dies, they typically leave behind various estate assets. This may include cash, investments, personal property or real property. All of the decedents property must be legally transferred upon his or her death. How the property is handled depends on a number of factors. Property held in joint tenancy with another person will pass by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant when the one of the joint tenant dies. In many cases, property held by husband and wife as community … [Read more...] about When a Decedent Dies, What Happens To the Estate Property?
In California, certain small estates may not be subject to probate, instead they may be able to take advantage of less costly "small estate procedures." As of January 1, 2012, there is a new definition of "small" estate. The new limit is $150,000 in non-real estate assets and up to $50,000 in real estate. If your assets otherwise subject to probate don’t exceed these amounts, your estate may be able to avoid for expensive and time consuming formal California probate process. However, depending … [Read more...] about New California Probate Exemption in 2012