Estate Planning

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Estate Planning Tools Every California Resident Should Consider

Most of us know that it is very important to have a Will. For many, this is a necessary document for estate planning. But while Wills are in fact an important estate planning document, they are not the only important part of an estate plan.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What Is a Holographic Will?

A Will is a legal document that is a valuable tool in comprehensive estate planning. A Will enables you to share what you want to happen to your assets, among other things, after you pass away. That’s why it is always a good idea to review your Will with an experienced estate planning and probate attorney on a regular basis.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

What New Homeowners Should Know When Planning Their Estate

Your home is one of – if not the – most expensive assets that you will ever own. It is for this reason that it is imperative that you understand which legal documentation to complete in order to ensure that it can be transferred properly to your intended heirs after you pass.

You may understand what it means to transfer assets to heirs upon your death, but estate planning for the transfer of real property is not the same thing. Real property includes anything attached to the land you own, the land itself, and the home upon the land. A deed must be recorded in the proper jurisdiction (the one in which the property is located) in order to establish ownership of real property.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I’m Adopted: Will I Inherit From My Birth or Adoptive Parents?

When parents pass away without an estate plan, their assets will be distributed in a particular order, going to their spouse and then equally among their children. But what happens when one of their children is adopted? When a child is adopted, are they entitled to inherit from their adoptive parents, birth parents, or both? Despite otherwise wishful thinking, adopted children do not benefit from two sets of parents. Confused about who you are to inherit from? Here is what you need to know about the right to inheritance with adoption in California.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Don’t Forget to Include Your Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Some of the most important documents to execute during your lifetime are those that help create an all-inclusive estate plan. Having a comprehensive estate plan helps to ensure that your wishes are carried out when you are incapacitated or deceased.

While estate plans include a large number of physical assets, it should include more than just that.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What to Know if a Person's Estate Goes to Probate

Losing a loved one can prove devastating. When you are dealing with such strong emotions and putting one foot in front of the other, you probably don’t want to have to deal with figuring out their estate – let alone if it goes to probate. 

Probate is a legal process in which a court-appointed executor helps to settle an individual’s estate and ensure its validity. Unfortunately, though, probate can be quite expensive and lengthy – it can even last for years. 

Is There a Way to Avoid Probate?

You may possibly be able to avoid the probate process if the executor of the estate can prove that all of the person’s debts have been paid by their estate and no significant debts remain.
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Monday, October 7, 2019

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

Estate plans help us to take care of others and ourselves when we are not in a place to be able to do so ourselves. Whether due to incapacitation or death, we always want to be sure that our loved ones and ourselves will best be protected. This holds an even more important meaning for families who have a child or loved one with a disability. 

Once they reach the age of 18, the government treats all individuals with disabilities as adults. However, anyone who becomes disabled prior to the age of 22 may receive Social Security Income (SSI) benefits as long as the sum of their cash assets remains under $2,000 and their income stays lower than the amount of money they would receive in SSI benefits.
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Supporting Your Companion Animals After You’re Gone

Studies have shown that companion animals help us to reduce stress and blood pressure, and allow us to live longer. They are the ones waiting by the door every time you return, only to greet you with unconditional affection. That is why although they are our companion animals, many of us consider them to be a member of the family. 

Unfortunately, the law does not yet share this sentiment. Under the law, companion animals are still considered to be a type of tangible personal property – no different than our car or our couch.
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Monday, September 9, 2019

Gifting Your New Spouse With An Estate Plan

From bank accounts to taxes, to purchasing a home, as couples embark on the journey of marriage, there are many aspects of each individual’s life that become joined. However, one aspect that most newlyweds don’t think about is the creation of an estate plan.

Regardless of each individual’s age, sex, sexual orientation, gender-identity or socioeconomic status, it is never too early to establish an estate plan.
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Monday, August 19, 2019

What to Know About Estate Planning for High-Risk Professionals

Lawsuits are a real part of all businesses. No matter which industry you’re in, you may always be exposed. But although everyone runs the risk of facing a lawsuit, there are certain professionals who are at a much higher risk. These individuals include physicians, business owners, financial advisors, and lawyers. The nature of their work is inherently more open to liability.
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Monday, August 12, 2019

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

You can create an estate plan for you and your significant other – regardless of whether or not you are legally married. This applies not only to heterosexual couples but for gay couples as well.  The good news is that estate planning for same-sex couples doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult to understand. Since the law continues to evolve, it is important to consult with a

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