If you have recently suffered the loss of a family member or loved one, you may be concerned about the legal steps required to probate the decedent’s estate. Probate is the legal process in court by which a decedent’s estate assets are inventoried and valued, debts of the decedent are paid and assets eventually transferred to the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. Whether or not an estate must go through probate depends on a number of factors. Wills, Trusts, and Estate matters are governed … [Read more...] about Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate?
Revocable Living Trust
Perhaps the most common form of estate planning today involves a Revocable Living Trust. Normally, when you create a Revocable Living Trust, you retitle your assets in the name of the trust and use them for your own benefit. After you pass away, the Trust distributes any remaining assets in the Trust to the named beneficiaries according to the terms of the Trust. However, there are other ways to use a Revocable Living Trust to distribute your assets to your heirs. If you have young children, … [Read more...] about Revocable Living Trusts Are Not All the Same
Many people die without taking the time to create a will or trust. Wills and trusts are powerful estate planning documents that allows individuals to be in control of the future. It’s important to consider the use of these documents, so that you can plan ahead. If you don’t take the time to plan, your wishes may not be respected. Take a look at the following 4 reasons as to why you don’t want to die without a will or trust. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to begin drafting you … [Read more...] about Key Reasons Not to Die Without a Will or Trust
A question that often comes up in estate planning is “How much money do you need to get a Living Trust?” The question is a fundamental misunderstanding, but a common one. Although there would not be much point in doing so, you can put as little as a single penny into a Living Trust. The question is based on the premise that Living Trusts are designed for rich people. It’s a false premise. Living Trusts are designed for anyone who either wants to give something for one person to manage for the … [Read more...] about Estate Size and Living Trusts
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
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