If you ask an average person what he or she knows about probate, you'll likely get one of two responses. First, people might have no idea what you're talking about. Second, they might have some idea of what probate is, but they will know that it's probably something best avoided. While the second answer isn't exactly correct, there are good reasons why creating an estate plan to avoid probate is a good idea. As part of this goal, some people believe they can use jointly owned property to help … [Read more...] about Joint Property and Your Probate Avoidance Plan
Proper Asset Ownership
Question 1: What is Probate? Probate is legal process through which a deceased person’s property must proceed before a new legal owner can be identified. Probate is designed to evaluate what a deceased person owned, as well as what kind of debts the person had. The property the person owned is used to pay off the debts, and anything left over is distributed to his or her inheritors. Question 2: Does all a Person’s Property go Through Probate? No. Some property is specifically exempt … [Read more...] about Probate Basics: Some Considerations
There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding estate planning that sometimes pop up. For example, some people believe that the state of California will inherit your property if you don't make a will or create some kind of estate plan. While this is possible, it is very rare. The process through which the state inherits someone's property is called escheat. Let's take a look at it and why it rarely happens. You can choose who inherits your property. In order to pass on your … [Read more...] about Will The Government Inherit Your Estate?
It’s important to carefully consider each estate planning decision that you make, including the use of joint tenancy. While in limited circumstances it can be beneficial to own property in joint tenancy with another individual, there are also some significant disadvantages to this form of ownership. It’s important to carefully consider both the advantages and disadvantages before including joint tenancy in your planning. The benefit is generally probate avoidance . More disadvantages are … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy: Watch Out for the Perils – Part 2 of 2
Some people choose to own properly jointly with the use of joint tenancy. This can be a form of ownership that has certain benefits. Unfortunately, there are also issues that may arise when people choose to include this form of ownership in their estate plan. It’s important to consider both the advantages and the disadvantages before creating an estate plan. The benefit is generally probate avoidance. More disadvantages are described below. You lose control of your assets. If you choose to … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy: Watch Out for the Perils – Part 1 of 2
If you own your own company, you know that running a business is a complicated venture that takes loads of planning time. Besides planning to grow and expand your business, you must also determine what will happen after your death. No Business Estate Plan If you don’t include your business in your estate plan, then it may not survive your death. If you have full or partial stake in a business, it will be considered a part of your estate upon your death. If you have not named someone to … [Read more...] about Family Estate Planning Should Include the Family Business
Estate planning is an ongoing process – when life changes, so should your plan. Many believe that once estate planning documents, such as a will, living trust or a durable power of attorney, are executed, their estate plan is complete. This is not the case – in fact, there are several mistakes that people tend to make in estate planning: 1. Failing to keep documents up to date. Changes such as marriage, divorce or the death of a spouse, beneficiary or executor should trigger a … [Read more...] about Avoiding Estate Planning Mistakes
While there are some rather complicated estate planning instruments utilized to achieve certain objectives, there are some simple and straightforward ways to transfer assets to your loved ones as well. One of these would be through the utilization of payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) accounts. You can set up an account like this at banks or credit unions, and some brokerage houses will allow for transfer on death options as well. When you set up the account you name a … [Read more...] about Are Pay on Death (POD) Accounts a Good Idea?
Many people mistakenly believe that a simple Will is all the estate planning they need. However, it is very likely you may need more than a Will to cover your all assets. A Will does not cover all types of property. This is a list of five items your will cannot cover or address. Survivorship property: If you own property in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship with a co-tenant, your Will does not determine ownership and succession rights. Instead, the surviving joint tenant … [Read more...] about 5 Types of Assets A Will Does Not Cover
If one of your loved ones has a substance abuse problem, an inheritance may make the addiction worse or even kill him or her. At the least, the inheritance is likely to be squandered. For anyone who has an addiction such as drugs or alcohol, it is best to pass the inheritance in trust, not outright. How Outright Inheritances Work Outright gifts pass into your beneficiary’s individual name. They are within your beneficiary’s full control, to be spent any way he deems appropriate. This … [Read more...] about The Addicted Beneficiary: A Problem and a Solution