The Ultimate Estate Checklist

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning

Recently I created a new worksheet. No two estates are alike. It’s pretty much impossible to identify every talking point or action item for every conceivable situation.  But I feel that it’s a pretty comprehensive list of considerations to properly plan the majority of estates.In this blog post, I want to highlight the section of the checklist that I probably spend the most time on with my clients. These are considerations that should be addressed in […]

Winter Break Special

Posted Posted in Advanced Health Care, Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Power of Attorney

Winter Break is here, and the college kids are coming home for Christmas. If last month’s blog post resonated with you, and you and your kids have concerns that you will lack the ability to make decisions for them if they are injured or fall ill and become unable to make decisions for themselves or to even speak with a doctor about their medical information, then I would encourage you and your child to speak […]

Minors, Adults and Capacity

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Capacity, Estate Planning, Minor Dependents

On November 6 my oldest nephew turned 18 years old. By law he is officially an adult, able to vote and to open an IRA. From the standpoint of basic rights, there is very little difference between him and me (except for a curfew). This includes the right to sign contracts, to manage our own accounts, to choose our friends and partners, to conduct business, and to essentially perform every other function that the law […]

Protecting Your Minor Children With a Revocable Trust

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Minor Dependents, Revocable Transfer

Estate planning has many key objectives, but in my opinion, the most important of them all is the protection of vulnerable beneficiaries – especially minor children. I have met with and personally know many of young parents who are homeowners who have some savings, retirement and a term life insurance policy, and yet have not done any estate planning.  It cannot be stated strongly enough that is more important for those parents to plan their […]

The Revocable Transfer on Death Deed- Analysis of California AB 139

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Legislative Alert, Revocable Transfer

Effective as of January 1, 2016, the State of California now allows the use of a revocable transfer on death deed (“TOD deed”) to convey an individual’s interest in certain real property to specifically named beneficiaries upon the individual’s death without the need for formal probate proceedings. The legislative purpose behind this bill is essentially to provide a simplified method for transferring real property to an individual’s chosen beneficiaries without probate. This has historically been […]

Gov. Brown Approves California Assembly Bill ABX2-15, “End of Life Option Act”

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Legislative Alert

On October 5, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown approved California Assembly Bill ABX2-15, making California the latest state to enact some form of legislation allowing an individual the ability to self-administer prescribed drugs aimed to bring about the individual’s death, and setting forth guidelines under which a medical professional or other person assisting the individual in accomplishing this act may escape liability for providing the requested assistance.  This law will be known and cited as the […]

Pre-Death Gifting- A Dangerous Probate Avoidance Method

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Probate

Most people have heard of the nightmare that is California’s probate court, and in an attempt to make sure that their estate does not have to pass through the probate process decide instead to gift their assets to their children prior to death, either outright or in joint tenancy.  No estate, no probate- simple as that.  People will add their children onto the title of their real property, or even deed the entire interest.  They […]

Small Estate Redefined-Probate Required for Estates Greater Than $150,000 in California

Posted Posted in Estate Planning, Probate, Small Estate

A fairly noteworthy change was brought to the estate planning landscape this year- the “small estate,” which since January 1, 1997, has been defined as an estate of $100,000 or less, has been redefined as an estate of $150,000 or less.  Effective on January 1, 2012, Bill AB 1305, introduced by Assemblywoman Huber, amended certain provisions of the California Probate Code to allow a simplified administration of all estates with real and personal property having a […]

Who Still Needs an A/B Trust Anyway?

Posted Posted in A/B Trust, Estate Planning

Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples. While the portability provisions of the new tax law allow a surviving spouse to use a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount, the same federal rules do not apply to unmarried and same-sex couples, regardless of that couples status under state laws granting spousal rights in the event of common law marriage, same-sex marriage or domestic partnership. If you fall into one of these categories and leaving everything to your […]