Estate planning attorneys are like everyone else when it comes to avoiding negativity and hoping for the best. At the same time, it is our job to provide wake-up calls, and we have to bring up sensitive subjects. We always emphasize the fact that anything can happen to anyone at any time, so advance planning is important for people of all ages. A particular event will sometimes underscore this reality, like the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash tragedy. Without question, the pandemic that we … [Read more...] about As COVID-19 Surges, a Clear Picture Emerges
The probate laws of any state are the statutes that apply to estate matters. If you direct postmortem asset transfers through the terms of a will, the document would be admitted to probate. The executor that you name would act as the administrator, and the court would supervise during the process. This is the court that would preside over intestate estate cases as well, and the probate court is in charge of guardianship and conservative matters. (A conservator would act as a representative … [Read more...] about Is the Uniform Probate Code Used in California?
You have the ability to carefully craft your legacy plan so you can provide for each of your loved ones in the most effective way. For some people, a lump sum cash inheritance will not be appropriate, and for minors, it isn’t impossible. If you choose to do so, you can proactively take financial steps while you are living with your legacy in mind. An educational savings account would be a fantastic gift to give to younger loved ones, and we will look at the widely embraced solution in this … [Read more...] about Your Legacy Plan Can Include the Gift of Education
When you’re deciding to whom to leave assets, most people choose their children or other descendants. However, you also need to decide on the “contingent remainder” beneficiary. In other words, who should get your assets if all your other beneficiaries are gone. Read on to learn more about this often-confusing concept. … [Read more...] about What’s an “Atom Bomb” or “Contingent Remainder” Beneficiary?
You want your estate planning to be handled by an attorney who stays current on the law. The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys is holding its semi-annual conference providing education and learning for its Members. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Academy’s Fall Summit Virtually Perfect
When you’re deciding how your assets should be divided at death, sometimes dividing them equally is the appropriate choice. But, sometimes it’s not. Fair isn’t always equal or vice versa. Read on to learn more, including how to avoid a challenge if you choose an unequal division among your children. … [Read more...] about Fair Isn’t Always Equal and Vice Versa
Sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot, and this dynamic can apply to certain aspects of your estate plan. Changes to relevant laws can result in time sensitivity, and we are in the midst of this type of situation right now. Unified Federal Gift and Estate Tax As estate planning attorneys, we are charged with the responsibility of protecting the legacies of our clients. High net worth individuals face an estate planning challenge in the form of the federal estate tax and its 40 … [Read more...] about Use Large Gift Tax Exclusion While You Can
The living trust is the ideal estate planning centerpiece for many if not most people for a number of different reasons. We will provide an overview here, but first, we will address a common question that is asked about taxation. Principal vs. Earnings The Internal Revenue Service proceeds with the understanding that the principal that is held by a living trust was accumulated after taxes were paid on the underlying income. As a result, distributions of the principal are not subject to … [Read more...] about Do You Pay Taxes on Living Trust Distributions?
A Health Care Power of Attorney appoints someone to make decisions for you if you’re not able to do so for yourself. An Advance Directive expresses your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to have them up-to-date. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about Staying Current is Especially Important in the Pandemic
A living trust is a very effective estate planning device that is the right choice for a wide range of people. Before we answer the specific question that is the focus of this post, we will provide a brief overview of the benefits. Control and Flexibility Some people never consider the possibility of using a trust because they think that you are surrendering control of the assets that you transfer into any trust. You would surrender control of an irrevocable trust, but you retain incidents of … [Read more...] about What Happens to Assets Left Out of a Living Trust?