CA Estate Planning Blog

Friday, April 13, 2018

Estate Planning is Not Just For the Wealthy

Why is it important for everyone to have a will?

Estate planning is critically important for those in all financial situations. Estate plans range in complexity from simple wills to complex multi-generational trusts. Your estate plan accomplishes far more than just transferring your assets upon your death. With your estate plan, you will protect yourself, your family, and future generations.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Charitable Giving Through Your Estate Plan

What is a charitable remainder trust?

Giving to charity is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.  With your charitable donations, you can truly make a difference to a cause that you hold near and dear.  There are many ways both during your lifetime and after your death that you can give to charity.  Charitable giving often additionally have the advantage of minimizing your taxes.  Our
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Qualified Personal Residence Trusts Explored


Is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) an irrevocable trust?

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) is a type of irrevocable trust that allows you to place your home or a secondary residence into the trust for tax benefits.  QPRTs are a popular estate planning tool that can help you to reduce the size of your taxable estate.  As an irrevocable trust, a QPRT cannot easily be altered, making it important that you consult with a trusts and estate planning lawyer to ensure this estate planning vehicle is right for you.
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Monday, February 19, 2018

Protecting Your Assets With a Trust


What is an irrevocable trust?

You’ve worked hard your entire life to provide for yourself and your family.  Now, you want to protect your assets in the face of an uncertain future.  Trusts can offer a way to protect your assets from creditors during your lifetime and after your death.  There are


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Monday, February 12, 2018

The Costs of an Estate Plan


How much does an estate plan cost?

One of the primary reasons people put off estate planning is concern over the cost.  Creating a will, trust, and other estate planning documents will cost you some money up front.  The exact cost of your estate plan will depend on the complexity of your needs, your geographic location, and your attorney’s level of experience. There are ways in which you can reduce the expense of your estate plan.  Our


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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Your Role as a Health Care Agent


How can I make the best medical decisions possible for someone else?

Health care agents or surrogates hold a critically important role.  A health care agent is someone vested with the power to make medical decisions either through a power of attorney or state law.  If you have been designated as a loved one’s health care agent, it will be important for you to research the role so that you are prepared if and when your loved one becomes incapacitated.  Our Orange County
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Don’t Forget About You in Your Estate Plan


How can my estate plan help to take care of me during my life?

Most of us think of estate planning as a necessary step to protect our loved ones after death.  Through the use of wills and trusts, we can ensure our spouses, children, and other loved ones are provided for in the event of our death.  While estate planning may seem to be all about others, you are in fact the most important person in your estate plan.  Your estate plan will provide critical protection for you during your lifetime.  Take a look at some vital documents that should form
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When It Comes to Estate Planning, Do Not Procrastinate


Why is it important for me to start creating an estate plan well before retirement?

There are numerous reasons why people put off estate planning.  Many of us simply do not want to deal with our own mortality, so we keep delaying a discussion of the topic.  Others do not want to incur the cost of attorney’s fees for drafting an estate plan, even though avoiding this immediate cost will cost them far more in the long run.  Despite these understandable, if misplaced, reasons for procrastination, the fact is that when it comes to


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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid


How can I protect my family through estate planning?

Your family is your most treasured asset.  Many of us strive our whole lives to set aside money and assets to ensure our family will be cared for after our deaths.  Without a comprehensive estate plan in place, however, your hard earned assets could go to the wrong people or be taxed heavily.  Our


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Monday, October 16, 2017

How Should Your Estate Plan Change in Response to Trump’s Tax Plan?


President Trump and the GOP have unveiled a potential tax reform plan that could impact your estate plan.  Any Californian with an estate plan in place, or those who have put off estate planning, should take the time now to fortify their estate plan in the face of potential tax changes.  Our California estate planning lawyers explain what is included in the new tax plan, and what it leaves unclear, as well as what you should do to prepare for coming changes.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Joint Accounts and Your Estate Plan


How might joint accounts form a part of my estate plan?

A thorough and effective estate plan will involve many components.  Joint accounts and pay on death accounts can form a central part of any estate plan.  A joint account is a financial account held by more than one party.  Upon the death of one account holder, the assets held in a joint account will generally transfer to the other living account holders.  Our


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