Sometimes, the most difficult part of creating an estate plan is not deciding who to include as beneficiaries but deciding how to gift assets to those beneficiaries. For example, you may be reluctant to pass down assets directly to a beneficiary because that individual cannot be trusted to manage his/her own money for one reason or another. If you find yourself in that position, a spendthrift trust may be the solution. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, let's see how a spendthrift … [Read more...] about The Benefits of a Spendthrift Trust
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?
Although a Last Will and Testament is likely the cornerstone of your estate plan, you will also probably incorporate additional estate planning tools and strategies into that plan to ensure that all your goals are reached. Many people, for example, include a trust in their estate plan. The best way to ensure that you do not make any mistakes with a trust you create is to work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney. Here's some tips to help you avoid mistakes when creating a … [Read more...] about Trust Mistakes to Avoid
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
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
The COVID-19 crisis has caused many people to realize that life-changing events can happen unexpectedly and turn their lives upside down. The myriad of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have given many pause to rethink their concerns and priorities. Estate planning is one area that should get attention, and possibly revision, as a result of the impact of current events . Here are some things to consider as you review your existing plan. Are all your estate planning documents up … [Read more...] about Covid-19 and Your Estate Plan
In recent years, trusts have become a commonplace addition to even the simplest estate plan. Unfortunately, the creator of a trust does not always discuss the appointment of a Trustee with the intended Trustee. If you recently learned that you were appointed as a Trustee, and you have never served as a Trustee, you probably do not know where to begin in your trust administration duties. A Sacramento trust administration attorney at the Northern California Center for Estate Planning & … [Read more...] about Understanding Trust Administration
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 What Happens To One’s Property After They Die?
One of your primary estate planning goals may be to ensure that you leave behind sufficient assets to provide for your loved ones when you are gone. You may also wish to have some continued influence over your loved ones, even in your absence. Let's explore how you can use a trust to control the assets you gift. Trust Basics A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, referred to as a Trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be … [Read more...] about How Can I Control the Assets I Gift?
Many who have yet to create an estate plan tell themselves “When I become rich and famous I’ll do it because then I will really need one”. Surprisingly, many of the rich and famous still don’t get around to it, creating a legal nightmare when they die. Consider the following short list of rich and famous persons who failed to leave behind an effective estate plan. Abraham Lincoln: Despite being a lawyer himself, even the 16th President of the United States died intestate. Jimi Hendrix: … [Read more...] about Dont End Up Rich, Famous, and Intestate