To our valued clients and friends, We sincerely hope everyone is taking care and following all of the recommended precautions during these unprecedented times. WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT DURING THIS TRYING PERIOD, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. In light of recent governmental directives for most persons to "shelter in place", effective immediately, for the most part, our firm will operate remotely. Fortunately, we are experienced with remote workplace operations and have the appropriate technology to … [Read more...] about Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
As we advised in last month’s newsletter, the “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is the second in a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of … [Read more...] about Planning for the SECURE Act
An estate plan is an important part of one’s plan for the future. Many realize that they need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to assist them in their efforts. Unfortunately, some folks will cut corners in their estate planning efforts in an effort to save a few bucks or because they think they are as smart as or smarter than their estate planning lawyer when it comes to drafting documents or both. Even with persons who were prudent enough to have their original plans … [Read more...] about Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
Although a Last Will and Testament remains the most common estate planning document, a living trust is not far behind in popularity. One reason living trusts are so commonly included in an estate plan is the flexible nature of a trust. The Sacramento living trust attorneys at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law discuss the top three reasons to create a living trust for your estate plan. What Is a Living Trust? The general concept behind a trust is rather simple. … [Read more...] about Top 3 Reasons to Create a Living Trust
We are often asked by prospective clients: “Do I need an estate plan?” This is particularly the case for folks under 40 or 50, who just can’t imagine themselves dead or incapacitated. We are also often asked about planning by our clients who have adult children with assets and children of their own. As we all know, we can't and don’t know the future. Should a premature death or disability occur due to an unexpected injury or illness, having an appropriate plan in place will reduce needless … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Estate Plan? I’m Not That Old
We have previously wrote about the long-awaited arrival in California of the so-called ABLE accounts. Formally, known as an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, they are a low-cost, easy-to-access plan established by federal law that began rolling out in 2016 and is now available in California. Modeled after the so-called “529 accounts”, an educational savings program offered by individual states, ABLE accounts let children or adults with disabilities incurred before age 26 … [Read more...] about An Update On ABLE Accounts
If you are married, protecting your spouse financially in the event of your death or incapacity is no doubt a primary estate planning goal. If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, protecting him/her becomes both more important and more difficult. In this blog, we explain how a living trust can help you protect your non-citizen spouse. The Changing Face of Marriage in America Just a generation or two ago it was relatively unusual for individuals from different backgrounds, much less different … [Read more...] about How Can a Living Trust Help Me Protect My Non-Citizen Spouse?
Due in large part to the flexible nature of a living trust, it has become very popular to include at least one living trust in a comprehensive estate plan in recent years. As such, it is likely that you will find yourself involved with a living trust at some point in your life. You may also find yourself wondering when a living trust terminates. To help answer that question, we explain when and how a living trust terminates in California. What You Need to Know about Living Trusts It helps to … [Read more...] about When Does a Living Trust Terminate?
Many folks create living trusts to, among other reasons, avoid the high costs of a California probate proceeding. Regrettably, some may think they’re saving money even more with do-it-yourself kits, Internet trusts, or by working with a paralegal or a general practitioner. If you go those routes, you increase your chances that your living trust may not avoid probate. Even with a high quality trust, failing to follow through with the “funding” process could trigger a probate. Why Won’t my … [Read more...] about You May Still Face Probate After Creating Your Living Trust