Are you looking to avoid probate? Luckily, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your assets avoid the probate process. Avoiding probate will allow your loved ones to get their inheritances quickly. Avoiding probate can also save time, money, and keeps your affairs private. Take a look at the information below to learn more about some of the probate avoidance options. If you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss a probate avoidance plan, meet with an experienced, … [Read more...] about Probate Avoidance Made Easy (part 1 of 2)
Avoiding Living Probate
Friends, family, acquaintances, and the internet are a breeding ground for estate planning myths. These myths can lead to a failure to plan or a plan that fails. To set the record straight, we are dispelling 7 estate planning myths in this three part article. 5. I don’t need a trust because I have a will. Myth!!! Most people would benefit from having a revocable living trust in addition to a pour-over-will. While your will is necessary, it is only effective after you’re dead. … [Read more...] about Common Estate Planning Myths (part 3 of 3)
Trusts have been around for hundreds of years; specifically, the living trust gained popularity in the 1970s as a probate avoidance technique. Today, living trusts are often used as a foundational document in estate plans. We’ve found that many folks have both questions and misconceptions about the living trust; so, in this three part series, we answer your living trust questions. Will I always be the trustee of my living trust? You can be the trustee of your trust as long as you are … [Read more...] about Answers To Your Living Trust Questions (2 of 3)
In California, a “conservator of the person” is the individual who makes general welfare, health care, educational, and life-style decisions for an incapacitated adult. An adult may become incapacitated due to dementia, disease, or disorder. In some other states, this person is called a guardian. However, as noted below, in California, a guardian is the person appointed in connection with a minor (under 18) child. Examples of decisions would be where someone lives and what medical … [Read more...] about What is the difference between a “Conservator” and a “Guardian”?
The terms conservator and guardian vary in their usage from state to state. In California, they have specific and different meanings. Let's explore them. A “conservator of the person” is the individual who makes general welfare, health care, educational, and life-style decisions for an incapacitated adult. An adult may become incapacitated due to dementia, disease, or disorder. Examples of decisions would be where someone lives and what medical treatment he or she receives. In … [Read more...] about Differences Between a “Conservator” and a “Guardian”
One of the main benefits of living trust planning is disability planning. You maintain control over your finances only if you have disability planning; otherwise, the court may step in, through the conservatorship process, and takes over (even if you’re married.) Your disability trustees who you have hand picked have control over any assets that are funded into your trust. This means that those you select to step into your shoes, should you become disabled, can only manage, invest, and pay … [Read more...] about Can a Living Trust Help with Disability Planning?
There are two types of probate, living probate and probate at death. Joint tenancy, a common form of jointly owned property, doesn’t avoid either type of probate. Living Probate Living probate is called “conservatorship” in California; it occurs when someone becomes disabled (i.e. incapacitated) and can’t manage his or her own finances. The court holds a hearing and determines whether the individual is indeed disabled; if so, all assets, including jointly owned assets, are frozen. The … [Read more...] about Jointly Owned Property And Probate
The term asset protection is heard a lot in planning circles. However, it has no definitive definition and its role depends on the context in which it is used. One aspect of asset protection is to protect the owner of those assets. Sometimes it refers to protecting those assets from possible seizure after a finding of liability, e.g., in a lawsuit. Other times it refers to legally minimizing or avoiding (not evading) certain tax liabilities such as the estate and gift taxes. Still other … [Read more...] about Basics of Asset Protection – Part 1 of 4 Parts
Question 1: I’ve made an advance healthcare directive. Do I have to register it with the state? No. There is no legal requirement that you register or file any advance healthcare directive you might have made with a government office. Advance healthcare directives in California have to meet specific legal requirements, but registering them is not one of those. The California Secretary of State’s office does offer a voluntary registration service, but you are not obligated to use it. Question … [Read more...] about Do I Have to Register my Health Care Directive in California? 3 Questions
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 from … [Read more...] about Probate Basics: Some Considerations