Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top 3 ways to reduce federal estate tax in 2017

Federal estate taxes are very high. How high you ask? A whopping 40 percent high. This means that if the value of your estate is above the federal exemption, the federal government will claim 40 percent of what is in excess. That’s 40 percent of your estate taken away from your spouse, children, grandchildren and other relatives. Thankfully, with the Read more . . .

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Federal Estate Tax Repeal Could Mean Tax Increase for Californians

Should I postpone making my estate plan until the federal estate tax is repealed?

President Trump has proposed completely eliminating the federal estate tax.  This controversial tax currently remains at 40 percent, but with a Republican House and Senate, it is possible that the tax will soon be reduced or erased.  However, in February, California Senator Scott Weiner introduced a ballot measure that would create a California estate tax in the event the federal estate tax is repealed.  Californians who have been holding out on estate planning till the repeal of the federal estate tax should delay no longer because taxes may just get higher in the state.  

What is the Estate Tax?

The federal estate tax is a tax levied on the net value of the estate of a deceased individual prior to distribution of funds to the heirs.
Read more . . .

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Top Four Reasons Why You Need To Avoid Probate In 2017

You’ve probably heard this before, “You should definitely avoid probate.” Ever wondered what is probate and what makes it so bad you should avoid it at all costs? We’ll tell you why, but first...

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed according to his/her will or according to law.
Read more . . .

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How do I take someone out of my will?

Creating a will gives you the power to decide how your property and other assets will be distributed after your death. As the drafter, you are able to specifically dictate who gets what assets you have remaining. In some cases, this includes taking someone out of your will or otherwise disinheriting them.

Generally, people choose to disinherit someone in their family for a variety of reasons, which can include:

  1. Estrangement
  2. An attempt to protect the interests of one person over another
  3. Ensuring that someone you deem as deserving gets the money or assets you think they deserve
  4. Concerns over the motives of the individual once they have access to your money or other assets

Because disinheriting someone in California can be a very difficult process, you will want to work closely with a Read more . . .

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Revoking or Modifying Your California Will

How do I make changes to an existing will in California?

Life is always moving forward and perpetually changing.  As you age, it is likely that you will attain more assets and have more children.  Your children will grow up and have children of their own.  You may find yourself divorced or could have a falling out with a relative.  All of these life changes could impact your estate plan.
Read more . . .

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What is the difference between a "will" and a "living will”?

If you or someone you love is near the end of life, arranging legal paperwork might be one of the last things on your mind. Working with a legal professional to draft a last will and testament is a vital step to protect your loved ones and help them make a decision on how property, assets, and any other elements will be handled after death.  

However, it is important to remember that there is a difference in California between a will, and a living will. Both can be easily confused for one another, but they serve different purposes.

An experienced

Read more . . .

Friday, February 17, 2017

Top 5 reasons to have a power of attorney

A power of attorney is a document that enables you to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf, if you are unable to do so yourself. The power of attorney can be a powerful tool to assist you in going through life’s uncertainties in the best possible way you can. Drafted poorly, and it can cause more harm than good.  Having an experienced estate-planning lawyer draft your power of attorney documents and walk you through the pros and cons of your decisions can be invaluable.

Many people don’t truly understand the value of having a power of attorney.

Read more . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Gifting to Grandchildren? Plan Ahead With a Trust

What steps do I need to take to leave an inheritance to my grandchild?

Many grandparents wish to leave their grandchildren with financial or property gifts upon their death.  Leaving an inheritance to your grandchildren can be a wonderful way to continue your legacy, but it will require some thoughtful estate planning to minimize your taxes and ensure the funds end up in the right hands.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How can you avoid estate-planning fraud?

Estate planning fraud is on the rise. More and more companies are popping up, offering to sell unsuspecting customers “one-size-fits-all” estate plans and other services via telemarketing, bulk mailers and seminars.

Read more . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What steps should you take if you suspect elder abuse?

When you place your loved on in a care facility, you expect the people charged with the care of your loved one to provide the best possible care. The last thing you expect is for them to neglect your loved one or expose them to serious danger.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A New Baby Means Time for an Estate Plan

Why do I need an estate plan?

If you are like most Americans, you may have put off creating an estate plan.  More than 50 percent of all Americans lack even a basic will.  Anyone who has recently had a baby, however, should reconsider the importance of making an estate plan.  An estate plan outlines your wishes for your assets and care of your dependents in the event of your death.  Having a solid estate plan can save your family from financial difficulties and emotional upheaval.

Read more . . .

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