A primary benefit of creating a Revocable Living Trust is to avoid having your estate go through Probate Court. It's not something that you do for yourself. Probate is not a hassle for the deceased. Instead, you do it for your loved ones you leave behind. You do not want them to have to go through the expense and delays of Probate. Since you are already concerned about sparing your loved ones from unneeded trouble, why not take it one step further? One of the biggest problems with handling a … [Read more...] about Planning Tip: Make a List of Your Trust Assets
Revocable Living Trust
When you decide to proceed with the creation of an estate plan, an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney will inevitably discuss including other documents in your estate plan in addition to your Will or Trust. Your estate plan should, at a minimum, include three other documents. These are: Advance Health Care Directive: This important document allows you to appoint a health care agent and to make specific decisions regarding future medical treatments you want to receive if you … [Read more...] about The Top Three Other Documents Your Estate Plan Should Include
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
Trusts have become popular estate planning tools. Trusts come in many forms and can be constructed to accomplish specific goals in many cases. A basic trust consists of a trustor, a trustee, at least one beneficiary and assets that are used to fund the trust. Beyond the basics, trusts then fall into one of two broad categories — revocable and irrevocable. Although there are numerous other decisions that must be made when you create a trust, deciding whether your trust will be revocable or … [Read more...] about Do I Need a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust?
The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs. The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the … [Read more...] about Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
Both parts of the title to this article are a myth. First, most people don’t have a will. In fact, it’s estimated that only about half of all Americans have a will; even though, all need one. Second, a will is not all that anyone needs. A will only handles a few matters and is only effective when you’re dead. There’s much more to estate planning than that. For example, a will almost guarantees probate, except for modest estates. Probate is expensive, especially in California. Probate … [Read more...] about MYTH: Most People Have a Will and that’s All They Need
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 … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
If you become incapacitated at any point in your life, who will manage your finances? You may think that you know the answer to that questions, but from a legal perspective you may not. Incapacity can happen slowly as part of the natural aging process or can happen in a moment as the result of the tragic accident. Regardless of how you become incapacitated, someone will have to manage your finances. If you are married at the time you become incapacitated, your spouse may have access to some … [Read more...] about Who Will Manage Your Finances If You Become Incapacitated?
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our clients were already assisting elderly or disabled family member and friends with such things as meals, medications, medical visits and shopping. Regular visits just to check in were also part of many folks’ normal routines. COVID-19 restrictions have had a large negative impact on many of these activities. So, how can you continue to assist under these new circumstances? Here are a few thoughts: Medical Issues Under a federal … [Read more...] about Assisting Family and Friends During These Trying Times
If you are one of the millions of Americans who has failed to create an estate plan, you are officially signed up for the government estate plan. When you fail to execute as much as a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust prior to your death, your estate will be handled according to the government’s rules and laws since you are considered to have died intestate. So how does the government estate plan work? For starters, except for the most modest estates, it is likely that everything you … [Read more...] about The Government Estate Plan for Intestacy