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Wills & Trusts

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.
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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.
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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.
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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 . . .


Monday, June 24, 2019

Special Needs Trusts for Children with Disabilities


Estate planning is done for the purpose of providing for both yourself and your loved ones during your lifetime as well as upon your incapacitation or death. One of the main reasons for estate planning is to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of once you have passed. This is made all the more important when an individual has a child who is disabled. 

Once an individual with a disability reaches the age of 18, they are treated as an adult by the government. An individual who became disabled prior to the age of 22 is entitled to Social Security Income (SSI) benefits so long as they have less than $2,000 in assets and their income remains lower than the amount of money that they would receive in SSI benefits.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What Types of Trusts Are There and How Do I Determine Which One is Right for Me?


Our California wills and trust attorneys utilizes a variety of estate planning documents to meet the needs and goals of our clients. You may recognize some of the documents we use in an estate plan, such as a will, health care directive, or a power of attorney.
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Including Your Pet In Your Estate Plan


Can I leave money to my pet in my will?

Over half of all American households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association.  For pet owners, pets comprise an integral part of the family. As members of the family, many of us want to ensure our pets are cared for after our death.  Including your pet in your estate plan can be a complicated matter, as in most states it is not an option to simply will assets to your pet. With the help of an experienced California estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that your pet will be well cared for in the event of your death.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

What is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?

Although it is sometimes overlooked, a life insurance plan is a valuable piece of your estate plan. In fact, it is one of the most common financial products in the United States. Its benefits are easy to understand, but the administration of life insurance funds is less straightforward. A California estate planning attorney will tell you that life insurance proceeds are extremely valuable to a family that has just lost a loved one, but they can also be cumbersome if not managed properly.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

California Trusts - What You Need to Know

You are doing the adult thing and looking out for your loved ones. You bought life insurance and checked the beneficiaries on your retirement account, and now you are debating whether you should update that simple form will you made years ago or get a living trust.  You are comfortable with your understanding of a will, but not so much about trusts. Since the laws are different in every state, reading some generic online article will not tell you about


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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Protecting Your Original Estate Planning Documents

The recent catastrophic fires in California and record flooding in Texas and Florida call attention to the importance of preserving our original documents.  If your original will is destroyed by a natural disaster, it could have implications for your estate plan and your heirs.  Our San Ramon, California wills and trusts attorneys at Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc., discuss how you can protect your original will and what could happen if it is lost or destroyed below.  


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Common Oversights in Estate Planning


Many people think their journey is complete once they’ve completed an estate plan. However, these people, no matter how much planning they’ve done, can still fall victim to common oversights in estate planning. When creating an estate plan, you want to be certain that you’ve incorporated all factors into it.

Even the with the best intentions, you may still forget about some of the most important concepts you should mention in either an estate plan or will. Forgetting to mention these things could dramatically affect the family members or people you are trying to protect.
Read more . . .


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