Some people come to an estate planning attorney without really knowing anything at all about probate or the estate planning process. For many of these people it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that if you create a will, that document will eventually become part of the public record. Anyone who wishes to read the will can do so simply by going to the courthouse where it was filed. The prospect that a perfect stranger could read your last will and testament doesn't sit well with a lot of … [Read more...] about A Living Trust Allows for Estate Privacy
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
When it comes to estate planning, trusts can play a critical role in ensuring that your assets are distributed in the way you want. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer your assets to a trustee, who manages them on behalf of your beneficiaries. Here's a closer look at the role of trusts in estate planning and how they can benefit you: In conclusion, trusts can play an important role in estate planning, and they offer a number of benefits for you and your … [Read more...] about The Role of Trusts in Estate Planning
Question 1: Can I change my revocable living trust? What about an irrevocable trust? Anyone who creates a revocable living trust, known as a trustor, can change the terms of that trust at any time as long as he or she is mentally capable. You cannot change the terms of your trust after you die by, for example, dictating the amendment through your last will and testament. Also, if you created the revocable living trust jointly with a spouse, both you and your spouse will have to agree to any … [Read more...] about Three Considerations When Deciding About Amending A Trust
Do you know what your pets do when you are not around? If your dog or cat creates a mess when you are not at home, then of course you know about that. But, what about at other times? Pets have a life of their own and they exist when you are not around. That means that they will continue to exist after you pass away. Just like they still need food and water when you are not around now, your pets will need food and water when you pass away. You can provide for your pets after you pass away by … [Read more...] about Does Fido or Boots Need a Trust?
There are some things that you can do for yourself with a little bit of information and perhaps the purchase of some specific tools or equipment. And of course there are other things that are best left to experienced and qualified professionals because in the end you may wind up losing more than you gain by trying to go it alone. Estate planning would fall into the latter category. There are websites out there willing to sell you generic template legal documents. The idea is that you simply … [Read more...] about Don’t Fall For Do-It-Yourself Estate Plan Traps
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?
When considering creating or updating your estate plan in 2023, you will want to make sure that you consider all of your planning needs. This will ensure that you have a proper plan that will protect you during all of life’s unexpected events. The information below will explain more about your needs. In this second installment about estate planning considerations, we address additional issues often overlooked in many estate plans. If you have any questions about the information below, or if … [Read more...] about New Year Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan (part 2 of 2)
With the New Year upon, consider as one of your resolutions creating or updating your estate plan. What is often not appreciated are the number of issues that should be considered and addressed in one's estate plan. It’s important to take time to handle these issues so that you’re protected throughout your lifetime as well as after you die. Many people don’t take the time to fully think about their individual estate planning needs. Take a look at the information below to better understand … [Read more...] about New Year Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan (part 1 of 2)
What is a pet trust and how does it work? A pet trust lets pet owners provide a way to care for their pets after the owner dies. Pet trusts, like other trusts, are created when the pet owner transfers property to the trust to own. The pet owner must also select someone to run the trust, called a trustee, and decide how the funds should be used. Who cares for my pet? That is up to you. Many people direct that the trustee is there to pay for the pet's expenses while not actually providing … [Read more...] about 4 Questions About California Pet Trusts