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Wills & Trusts

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

What Happens if I Fail to Fund My Trust?


Revocable trusts have become an increasingly popular probate-avoidance tool among California residents. Under the umbrella of a revocable trust, assets are protected from passing through a lengthy and costly probate process. However, this only holds for assets retitled in the name of the trust.

Read more . . .


Monday, December 21, 2020

Is a Revocable Transfer on Death Deed Valid in California?


California has historically provided four options for the transfer of real property upon a property owner’s death:

  1. joint tenancy agreements
  2. community property with right of survivorship
  3. wills
  4. living trusts

However, in January 2016, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 139, allowing a fifth option for the non-probate transfer of property to a designated beneficiary, known as the Revocable Transfer on Death Deed.
Read more . . .


Thursday, December 17, 2020

How Does a Will Compare to a Trust?


A will and a trust are both ways to protect your heirs and make sure that the people you want to inherit from you do so, but there are quite a few differences between wills and trusts. If you do not have either a valid will or trust when you die, you are intestate, and California law will decide who gets your assets after you die.

The only way to control what happens to your things after you pass on is to have a will or trust that meets our state’s requirements for validity. Read more . . .


Monday, August 24, 2020

Should I Give Gifts During My Life or Leave Them in My Will?


California elder law attorneys are frequently asked, “Should I give gifts during my life or leave them in my will”? The answer, “It depends.”

If you have a modest estate and are relying on the bulk of it to live, gifting assets during your life might not be a good idea.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 22, 2020

Why Consider a Revocable Trust?


A revocable living trust could be a better option for you than a will or an irrevocable living trust. Each of these estate planning documents has advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking about creating or updating your estate plan, a Read more . . .


Thursday, May 21, 2020

How Do I Get My Will and Other Estate-Planning Documents Signed if I Can't Leave the House?


Although this situation could change at any time, California law does not currently (as of April 15, 2020), allow remote online notarization (RON) of documents. More than 20 other states allow RON, but California has not passed previously proposed attempts to allow RON. A Read more . . .


Monday, March 16, 2020

How a Pour Over Will Works


A detailed estate plan can provide asset protection now and in the future. It can also protect your family and ensure that the legacy you build is available for the next generation and generations to come. Read more . . .


Friday, November 8, 2019

Seven Things to Include in Your Will


There are some strange things that people include in their will. If you wanted to, you could leave a jar full of dirt to your niece. If you do, you might want to include a note that the dirt was collected when you went on a special trip together. Otherwise, someone might contest your will claiming that you were not competent when you signed the will as evidenced by the jar of dirt you left to your niece.

The point we are making is that your will is your statement of how you want your property to be distributed.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 9, 2019

7 Things Not to Include When Writing a Will


There are several things that every will should include, such as the name of your personal representative, guardian for minor children, names of heirs, and directions for dividing assets among heirs. However, several items should not appear in a will. If you have questions about what should and should not be included in your will, a California estate planning attorney can answer questions and explain California’s estate laws.

Seven Things That Should Not Be in Your Will

1. Property held by a trust

Property held by a trust passes directly to beneficiaries outside of your estate.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What Is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?


Have you taken steps to lower the taxable value of your probate estate? Are you working with a California estate planning attorney to ensure that your heirs will not incur substantial taxes or debts when they inherit your assets after death? If so, you may want to discuss an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) with your attorney, especially if you have taken all steps to avoid estate taxes, but you still need additional methods of providing a legacy for your loved ones without creating a tax burden for them.

How Can an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Benefit My Heirs?


Your Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a separate entity that holds ownership of one or more life insurance policies. The ILIT is also the beneficiary for the life insurance policies. Upon your death, the trust receives the proceeds from the policies. The trustee disburses the funds to the trust beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.
Read more . . .


Thursday, August 8, 2019

7 Things Not to Include When Writing a Will


There are several things that every will should include, such as the name of your personal representative, guardian for minor children, names of heirs, and directions for dividing assets among heirs. However, several items should not appear in a will. If you have questions about what should and should not be included in your will, a California estate planning attorney can answer questions and explain California’s estate laws.

7 Things That Should Not Be in Your Will

1.  Property held by a trust

Property held by a trust passes directly to beneficiaries outside of your estate.
Read more . . .


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