Many folks in California create living trusts to, among other reasons, avoid the hgh costs of a probate proceeding. Regretabably, some may think they’re saving money even more with do-it-yourself kits, Internet trusts, or by working with a paralegal or a general practitioner. If you go those routes, you increas your chances that your living trust may not avoid probate. Why? Why Won’t my Living Trust Avoid Probate? Good question. We get this question all of the time and are happy to … [Read more...] about Caution: Not All Living Trusts Will Avoid Probate
A trust creates a special relationship between people and property that the trust owns. The person who created the trust, called the trustor, transfers ownership of his or her property to the trust as the new owner. Trustors are also sometimes referred to as settlors and trust makers. The trustor also states who shall receive the benefit of that property, a person known as a beneficiary, and who shall manage the property for the trust, known as the trustee. But can a trustor also be a … [Read more...] about Trustors, Trustees and Beneficiaries – The Same Person?
Probate can be an extremely costly, lengthy, and public process. Many people take the time to carefully plan their estate in order to avoid probate. If you’re looking to avoid probate, you will need to utilize the right techniques. Take a look at some more great ways to avoid probate. If you have any questions or if you’re ready to discuss your probate avoidance needs, meet with an experienced, qualified estate planning attorney. Gift during your lifetime. If you’re able and willing … [Read more...] about Probate Avoidance Made Easy (part 2 of 2)
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)
Whether you realize it or not, you have a beneficiary designation on your IRAs (i.e. individual retirement accounts.) It would be prudent for you to check the beneficiary designations to ensure that they are in line with your current intent, goals, and estate planning documents. Stretch out goals IRAs make great inheritances for children and grandchildren who, with proper planning, can stretch the IRA distributions out over their life expectancy. The tax deferred growth is amazing and … [Read more...] about The importance of reviewing your IRA Beneficiary Designations
Perhaps the largest part of most Americans’ wealth is in their qualified plan or IRA. Planning for these assets is one of the most important parts of the estate plan, for many reasons. This article by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, will discuss the importance of beneficiary designations. Planning for Retirement Plans and IRAs: Beneficiary Designation … [Read more...] about Planning for Retirement Plans and IRAs: Beneficiary Designation
Perhaps the largest part of most Americans’ wealth is in their qualified plan or IRA. Planning for these assets is one of the most important parts of the estate plan, for many reasons. This article by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, will discuss the asset protection of such plans and how a trust may be used to provide asset protection. Planning for Retirement Plans and IRAs: Asset Protection … [Read more...] about Planning for Retirement Plans and IRAs: Asset Protection
Believe it or not, your former spouse may still receive your life insurance benefits, instead of your current spouse, when you die. Although the idea that someone you divorced years ago might receive your life insurance benefits, instead of the person to whom you are currently married, seems rather nonsensical, the law does not always adhere to common sense. Why does this occur? When a couple gets divorced there are a great many thoughts and turbulent emotions swirling around in one’s head, as … [Read more...] about Why Your Former Spouse May Still Receive Your Life Insurance Benefits
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 property … [Read more...] about The Government Will Not Inherit Your Property – 3 Facts About Escheat
While there are some rather complicated estate planning instruments utilized to achieve certain objectives, there are some simple and straightforward ways to transfer assets to your loved ones as well. One of these would be through the utilization of payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) accounts. You can set up an account like this at banks or credit unions, and some brokerage houses will allow for transfer on death options as well. When you set up the account you name a … [Read more...] about Are Pay on Death (POD) Accounts a Good Idea?