CA Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen


Do I need to freeze my credit if my identity has been stolen?

Since the advent of the internet, instances of identity theft have become more common with each passing year.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017 there were over 16.7 million victims of identity fraud, a record high up from previous years.  Just recently, some 145 million Americans had their personal information placed at risk due to an Equifax security breach, and millions more are now at risk of identity theft due to security breaches by Target, Chase, and other major corporations. Given the sheer number of those of us at-risk of identity theft, it is imperative that you know that steps to take should your identity become breached.
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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Including Your Pet in Your California Estate Plan


How can I ensure my pet is cared for after my death?

Pets are part of the family for many Americans across the country.  About 85 million families, or 68 percent of U.S. households, have a dog, cat, or another type of pet.  Despite the high levels of pet ownership, few pet owners have included their pet within their estate plan.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Your Role as Estate Executor in California


What is my first step as personal representative of a California estate?


The role of personal representative or estate executor is a critically important one.  In the state of California, the personal representative will serve the vital role of inventorying and managing the property of the estate, paying all debts, and ultimately distributing the assets.  Finding out you will become an executor can be intimidating.  Perhaps you have been approached by a loved one and asked to serve as the executor of their estate if they pass away.  Maybe your friend or family member has already died and the court is seeking to name you as the estate executor.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Updating Your Estate Plan After the Birth of Your Child


Who should I name as a guardian for my minor child?


Welcoming a child into your home is a life-changing experience.  With the birth or adoption of a child, your goals, life views, and focus will forever alter.  From the moment you look into your new child’s eyes, you know you will do anything to protect him or her from the challenges life may present.  For most, this will require making critical updates to your estate plan.  Our


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Friday, December 21, 2018

Naming More Than One Executor


What are the potential drawbacks of naming co-executors?


The role of executor is an important one.  Your named executor will be tasked with managing and protecting your assets, settling all debts, and ultimately distributing the assets in your estate.  Within your will or trust, you can name an individual to serve as the executor, or in the similar role of trustee. At times, people will struggle to name an executor and may consider the option of selecting more than one executor.  Naming co-executors can at times serve a purpose, but there are some potential drawbacks to choosing two or more executors.
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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Make Estate Planning a Part of Your New Year


What will happen if I die without an estate plan in California?

 

The New Year is a time of reflection and planning for many of us.  Making a few resolutions for the New Year is common practice for many.  While creating an estate plan may not be one of the first goals you think of for the coming year, making an estate plan could ultimately save your family from much heartache.  Consider taking the time this coming 2019 to sit down with an Read more . . .


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Estate Planning for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren


Can I skip a generation in my estate plan?

At times, circumstances arise requiring a grandparent step in to raise their grandchild.  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that over 2.4 million grandparents have custody over their grandchildren in the country today.
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Estate Planning for Childless Couples


Who will receive my assets if I die without an estate plan and I do not have children?

Today, many couples have elected not to have children or to wait for some time before embarking on the journey of parenthood.  Whether you are childless by choice, circumstances, or just putting off children, it is of critical importance that you create an estate plan.  Childless couples will at times face some difficult questions when it comes to who will receive their assets after their death. Failure to make an estate plan could potentially result in one’s assets going to a distant relative or even the state.  Act now by creating an estate plan to ensure your hard-earned assets go to the person or charity you desire.
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Monday, October 22, 2018

Don’t Forget Your Intellectual Property Rights in Your Estate Plan

How do I pass down my royalties to my heirs?

For many business owners, artists, and others, intellectual property rights comprise a valuable and significant part of your estate.  Intellectual property rights may include copyrights, patents, and trademarks.  In addition to ownership of intellectual property rights, royalties stemming from the use of your intellectual property rights by another can produce ongoing income.  Intellectual property rights are an often overlooked category of assets that must be carefully included within your California estate plan.


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Monday, October 15, 2018

Selecting an Executor for Your Estate

What are the traits of a good executor?

The role of executor is an important one.  The individual you name as executor to your estate will essentially be tasked with stepping into your shoes and fulfilling all legal tasks that you would have completed during your lifetime.  Additionally, your executor will face the difficult job of ultimately distributing the assets held within your estate to your named heirs. Our Orange County estate planning attorneys explain what factors you should consider when naming your estate executor below.


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Incorporating IRAs in Your Elder Law Planning


Can I qualify for Medi-Cal if I have significant assets in my IRA?

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other retirement plans like 401(k)s should form an integral part of planning for your financial future. Qualified plans, which include all plans found within Section 401(a) of the Tax Code, are eligible to receive tax benefits. Qualified plans are favored by employers because employers can deduct contributions made to employees. IRAs further provide great benefit to employees, allowing you to set aside funds for when you retire which may not impact your eligibility for state and federal benefits. Our Read more . . .


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