News and blog

Tax and Estate Planning Considerations for the Unmarried Couple Monday, October 8, 2018

The State of California does not have “common law marriage” statutes, and federal law does not extend spousal rights or tax incentives to unmarried couples, as it does to their legally married counterparts. Because unmarried couples do not have the benefit of the federal unlimited marital deduction and other tax advantages, in addition to estate […]

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Essential Estate Planning for the Unmarried (non-traditional) Couple Monday, October 8, 2018

Unmarried couples who live together as a family unit are often referred to as a “non-traditional” couple. The reality is that, more and more people choose to cohabit together as a family, even have children, without formally tying the knot.  Because the State of California does not have “common law marriage” statutes, the “unmarried-but-living-together” couples […]

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Finding the Right Probate Attorney Thursday, September 20, 2018

If one dies owning assets in his/her name alone, and the Estate requires Probate Administration, the family would be wise to find a probate attorney with lots of experience in Probate court, and one that does not shy from keeping in touch with the family. It is not common knowledge that The California Legislator has […]

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Having only a Will may mean going to Probate Court Thursday, September 20, 2018

It is a common misconception that if one has a Will, there is no court process after they die. This is only true is he/she died not owning any real estate, and having personal property less than $150,000 in value, or with named beneficiaries. When this is not the case, a Will has to undergo […]

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“I only need a simple trust” Tuesday, September 18, 2018

  “I only need a simple Trust” is a request I hear often.  However, this “self-diagnosis” may not always be the right one. A “simple” probate avoidance trust may or may not be the best fit for each family dynamic. There are two main factors which dictate the complexity of the trust terms: (1) the […]

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Peace of Mind – Where Estate Planning meets Post-Death Administration Friday, July 6, 2018

Peace of Mind – is the feeling you get once the final signatures and notary stamps are placed on your living Trust, your Will, and your Powers of Attorney. Planning for incapacity and death is a hard reality, but what is the alternative – regret, and Court process – with its high fees, delays, invasion […]

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Will and Trust Provisions for your Pets Monday, July 2, 2018

Pet Hospice is becoming a preferred choice to saying “good bye” to a beloved companion animal. It is more humane for the animal, because it focuses on relief of the end-of-life suffering, and the pet’s comfort. It is infinitely more humane for the pet-owner, for whom this is such a painful and traumatic transition. The […]

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Not all beneficiaries are created equal – some need incentives Monday, July 2, 2018

It is common knowledge that if one dies without any estate planning (will or trust), their heirs would be able to inherit outright, if they are over the age of majority – age 18. But, most agree that 18-year-olds may not be fully capable of managing financial assets and/or real estate. Placing a TOD (Transfer […]

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Death & Taxes: Top Financial Experts Share Crucial Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid Friday, April 27, 2018

When planning for the future, many people forget an essential step in the process. When one dies, many factors come into play immediately. Take care to make good decisions in estate planning so heirs are not left stressed and in trouble. These decisions can have long lasting effects, and should involve all of your key […]

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The Effect of the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Your Existing Estate Plan Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Effective on January 1, 2018, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act substantially changed estate tax laws. Among other things, the Act increased the estate tax exemptions to $11.2 million per individual ($22.4 million for a family), which may significantly impact existing estate plans. This means that your estate planning documents may no longer accomplish […]

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