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Estate Planning

California Living Trust creation: should you do it yourself?

California Living Trust CreationEstate planning: Do-it-yourself versus seeking experienced legal advice

If you are considering a DIY California Living Trust creation service or software, please read this article before doing anything.

It is only in the last 13 years or so that the first online service for the creation of legal documents appeared. Since that time various websites and software have popped up all over the web. There is a lot of money to be made for these businesses that can use legal boilerplate to mass produce legal documents to the public. But the question remains, is it a good idea to utilize a California Estate Planning creation kit or website?


The main distinctions between an attorney and a DIY website

Drafted by an Attorney

There is a huge distinction between do it yourself estate planning and an estate plan created by an attorney. The California estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell have drafted over a thousand estate plans. In doing so, we have dealt with a wide range of clients with countless nuances pertaining to family, health and finances. The knowledge and wisdom that this experience brings is priceless.

No DIY website or software can come close to providing its users with the same education. However, that does not stop the websites and software creators from making claims that with just a little effort you can educate yourself on the main points of a solid estate plan. Of course, these same sites back that claim up with a disclaimer to any liability that the company’s do-it-yourself software may cause. Don’t be fooled; there is a reason these sites are riddled with disclaimers.

How much time did your attorney take with you?

This is an important question to consider. The reason this is important is because there are various associations out there where you pay a membership fee to have access to a network of attorneys. By paying the association dues you receive a huge discount on the cost of legal services. But here is the problem. The attorney you are speaking with (typically over the phone) will spend on average about 20 minutes with you. For some people this might be a sufficient amount of time. However, unless you are a turn key family with no desire to do anything other than avoid probate chances are you need to have an in depth conversation with your estate planning attorney to really get to the heart of matter. Unfortunately, that is not what you will receive for your discounted membership price. Instead, you will get a cookie cutter estate plan that was put together over a 20 minute phone call.

Poignant Questions

When you first visit the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell for a free consultation of your California Estate Planning needs you will notice that we do not rush our clients. Instead, we sit down with our clients and educate them on the estate planning process. We talk over the various documents in a typical estate plan such as a Living Trust, a Will, a Power of Attorney, and an Advance Health Care Directive. We highlight key areas of each, uniting our client’s desires and needs with the specific document that incorporates that desire and need.

Further, for clients with sizable estates looking to avoid estate taxes or for clients seeking to provide for a new spouse, we offer valuable solutions in the form of more advanced estate planning tools such as AB or QTIP trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts and Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts.

In contrast, DIY trust and will creation websites and software ask the same specific questions to every individual. Any follow up questions are pre-programmed into the software. There is no personal touch whereby an experienced attorney guides you through the various nuances of your specific estate plan based on your specific desire and needs.

The reality is, most people don’t know the right questions to ask when it comes to formulating an estate plan. Even worse, most people don’t know the consequences of choosing a do it yourself estate plan compared to having an attorney prepare your plan. The number one consequence is the high cost of correcting any errors or having your estate go through the probate process because your trust was not properly funded.

Do you really save that much money?

Consider this: in California your home is valued at the fair market value and not the net value (FMV minus your mortgage). The threshold for probate in California is $150,000. That means any homeowner with a home valued at $150,000 or more will have their estate probated when both spouses die if the home is not in a California living trust. An estate worth $150,000 will pay $5,500 in probate fees alone. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to pay the few hundred dollars more now for a proper California estate plan than roll the dice and hope your DIY living trust you prepared through a kit or website was done correctly?

And for those California residents who only have a Will, please note that a Will does not avoid probate in California. A Will is a road map for the court on how you want your assets distributed upon your death. All California estates with or without a Will must pass through probate if the estate is valued over $150,000. Therefore, if all you have is a Will and you have assets above $150,000, you need to consider creating a living trust.

The bottom line is this: paying an attorney between $1,000 to $3,000 for a rock solid estate plan is pennies on the dollar compared to doing it incorrectly and having your entire estate probated. A typical probate will consumer about 4-6% of your total estate in court costs, legal fees, appraisal fees, CPA fees, etc…That means for an estate valued at $1,000,000, the total fees associated with having to go through probate could be between $40,000-$60,000.

Help With Funding Your Trust

A trust is only as good as the assets that are inside the trust. Failure to properly fund your trust can cause all sorts of problems, with the most painful being that your estate is forced to go through a costly California probate. At the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell, we help guide our clients through the funding of their trust. We will even talk to the various financial institutions on our clients behalf if necessary. We go the extra mile for our clients. No do it yourself estate plan will provide this level of service to make sure your trust is properly funded.

Free Follow-Up Consultation

Finally, another difference between the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell and the various DIY Will and Trust companies is that we offer a lifetime free follow-up consultation. Once we have worked with you to create your estate plan we welcome our clients to call with future questions. We also offer periodical free consultations to see if your documents align with your current needs. Estate planning for us is not a onetime affair but a lifelong relationship. No online trust creation service offers this type of personal attention and level of care.

Finally, if cost is an issue please ask us about our estate planning payment plans.

Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of estate planning here.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Making changes to your Revocable Living Trust in California

If you are a previous client of the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell or just interested in finding out if your California Revocable Living Trust meets your needs and desires, give us a call today for a free consultation. We will look over all your estate planning documents and give you feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your current estate plan.

Amending or Restating your California Living Trust

For our younger clients, one of the primary reasons they do not establish a California Living Trust is because they believe they will end of making changes to the Trust sometime in the next few years. One example is they assume that the guardian they choose or successor trustee will change as their kids get older. Therefore, they hold off on putting a Trust in place, and consequently, they leave their estate and family exposed to unnecessary fees and costs associated with not having a living trust.

However, making changes to a living trust is relatively easy depending on what needs to be changed. There are two ways to make changes to your existing Living Trust. One is through an amendment to the Trust and the other is done by restating your Trust. An amendment usually entails a one or two page addition or revision of your existing Trust and costs around $100-$500 depending on the level of difficulty and preparation time. On the other hand, a Restatement to a Living Trust actually supersedes your existing Trust and becomes the controlling document. If you are interested in a price quote for a restatement to your California Living Trust please give us a call today.

Amendment to the Trust

Making changes to a Revocable Living Trust in California is very simple. Most changes, such as to a beneficiary or a Trustee, can be made via an amendment to the Trust. The amendment updates a provision and now supersedes the old provision. An amendment does not take much time and will typically be billed according to the attorney’s hourly rate. Preparing an amendment and having the client come in for a signing typically takes about one to two hours.

Restatement of Trust

Another way to make a change to a Living Trust is to restate the Trust. A Restatement of Trust in California is the process by which an entirely new Trust document is created. This takes place when there are more substantial changes to make to a Trust, such as incorporating new language into the Trust, adding additional or subtracting existing beneficiaries, changing the percentages that a beneficiary will receive, and other more comprehensive changes.

Advantage

The advantage to an Amendment or Restatement of Trust is the name and date of the original Trust continues to exist, precluding the need to change title to any existing assets already in the Trust. In contrast, if you chose to create a new Trust, all assets would need to re-titled and placed into the new Trust creating a lot of needless additional work. Your best bet is to simply amend or restate your existing Trust.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is you should not delay in establishing a Living Trust in California. Making needed changes to your Trust is simple and the consequences of not having a Trust are substantial, specifically for those with children and/or a home. A Trust will dictate who receives the assets from your estate and when. A Trust will also bypass the probate process which can cost your beneficiaries $20,000 or more, depending on the size of your estate.

For more on making changes to your Revocable Living Trust, please contact an experienced California Living Trust attorney today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Stepped Up Basis in California

 Stepped Up Basis in CaliforniaCalifornia Stepped Up Basis

One of the greatest tools in the estate planning toolbox is stepped up basis. Basically, stepped up basis refers to an assets basis that is “stepped up” to the assets current fair market value (FMV) at the time that the decedent passed.

For example, a decedent who died today and had a purchase of Google stock at $106 back in 2004 would be given a step up in basis to today’s FMV of Google at $1,158. If the beneficiary of the stock were to sell the Google stock tomorrow, the entire gain from $106 to $1,158 would be tax free.

Another area where we see huge gains for stepped up basis in California is in the real estate market. Many baby boomers bought homes in California back when home prices were about forty thousand dollars for a nice home by the beach. Today, the FMV of the same home is over one million dollars.  The entire nine hundred and sixty thousand dollar gain would pass to the beneficiary income tax free.

Now let’s say the beneficiary holds onto the property for another ten years (or at least two years) and the property increases in value to over one and a half million dollars. The beneficiary then would own a property with a FMV of $1,500,000. If the beneficiary is single, he/she could sell the property and the tax basis would only be $250,000. If the beneficiary is married and he/she co-mingles the property with his/her spouse, the tax basis would be zero.

The reason that it is important to understand stepped up basis in California is because the beneficiary of the real estate or stock would be best served inheriting the property rather than receiving the property as a gift while the original owner of the property is still living. If the beneficiary received the property as a gift, the tax basis of the above property would be $40,000. If the beneficiary of the property sells the property for the current FMV of $1,000,000, the beneficiary would have a taxable gain of $960,000!!!

For questions on this article or for any other estate planning or business law questions, please contact an experienced estate planning and business law attorney in California today!

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Don’t forget to fund your Living Trust!

Funding a Living Trust in CaliforniaFunding Your Living Trust in California

Creating a Living Trust in California is great but there is one additional step that needs to be taken in order to make sure your assets are protected from the dreaded Probate Court.: you need to fund the Trust!

Imagine your Living Trust as a large box. Everything in the box is protected from probate. However, everything left out of the box is vulnerable to a potential probate. Therefore, in order to protect your assets you need to place them in your Trust. Placing your assets in your Trust is termed, “funding the Trust”.

But who controls the Trust assets?

Once your assets are placed into your Trust, the Trustee of the Trust will have all the powers that you had when the assets were in your name. That is why the Trustee of your Trust is typically you, the Trustor or Settlor of the Trust.

Funding the Trust

Funding a Living Trust in California is an easy enough process, although it can be time consuming. What is needed is for the title of your assets to be changed from your name to the name of the Trust. We normally will transfer your Real Estate into your trust. We also provide you with an Assignment of Personal Property which will place your personal property that you currently own and will own in the future into your Trust. You will also receive a worksheet to make specific personal property gifts. Lastly, we will also provide you with a detailed guide on how to place your remaining assets into your Trust.

Note: not all assets should be placed in the Trust. It is important to know which assets to place in the Trust and which assets to leave out.

Assets to leave out of your Living Trust

Some assets, such as life insurance, retirement accounts and IRAs, may have adverse tax consequences if placed in your Trust. Therefore, it is important to discuss with an experienced California Living Trust attorney what assets to place in your Trust and what assets to leave out. At the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell, we take the time to explain the advantages and disadvantages of placing specific assets into your trust. We offer you California estate planning legal advice to ensure your specific goals are being met.

Note: since not all of your assets should be placed into your Living Trust, it is imperative that we also create a Durable Power of Attorney for you. A California Durable Power of Attorney will allow your agent to access all of your assets outside of your Living Trust.

A couple “safety nets”

If you have a Living Trust but fail to properly fund the Trust, we also provide you with a “pour over will” and a Declaration of Trust to make sure that all your assets end up in the Trust.

A “pour over will” is simply a Last Will and Testament that can grab up to $150,000 of assets not in your Trust and “pour” those assets into your Trust. Then, once the assets are part of your Trust, the provisions in your Trust will dictate how the assets are distributed.

A Declaration of Trust is a final line of defense that we create for you in the event that the assets outside of the Trust exceed $150,000. The Declaration of Trust simply acknowledges to the Probate Court that you intended all your assets to be placed in your Trust.

We are here to help

There really is no better time to get your estate plan in order. Please contact an experienced trust and estate lawyer in California today!

Stop by our estate planning 101 section to learn more about why you need an estate plan.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

San Diego Probate: the Ins and Outs

San Diego ProbateSan Diego Probate

What happens to someone’s assets when they die? Often, the assets will need to pass through probate. A California estate with assets of $150,000 or real property worth more than $20,000 will most likely need to go through the probate system.

If the decedent had a Will, then the executor of the Will files a probate with the court. However, if the decedent died intestate, (without a Will), the court will usually appoint an administrator who takes on the role of the executor. The main point is that a San Diego probate occurs with or without a Will.

The probate of an estate in San Diego takes place at the Central Division Probate Court located at 1409 Fourth Avenue, San Diego CA 92101. Even if you have a North County San Diego Probate, the probate will still take place downtown.

The actual probate process entails proving the validity of a Will (if there is a Will), appointing an executor or administrator, inventorying the estate property, appraising the estate property, alerting and paying creditors, paying taxes, and distributing the remaining property as put forth in the decedent’s will or in accordance with state law if the decedent died intestate.

Probate is a long, drawn out process that takes between nine and eighteen months. Some more complicated estates can take years, especially when there is a probate litigation involved. In order to move the probate process along as quick as possible, it is important that you seek out the counsel of an experienced San Diego probate lawyer, such as at the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell.

Probate is public. Notice of the petition for probate is sent to all named beneficiaries of the Will and to anyone who would have received had the decedent died without a Will. In addition to virtually every family member receiving notice, the court documents are open to the public—meaning anyone can see what the assets are and where the assets are going.

If the decedent died without a Will in San Diego, the assets in the estate pass according to California’s intestate succession rules, governed by Probate Code § 6400. Essentially, when there is no Will in California, the deceased’s assets pass to any children, then parents, and on and on down the family tree.

Some ways to avoid probate in San Diego: 1. Prepare and fund a living trust. 2. Joint tenancy 3. Payable on death accounts. 4. Beneficiary designations on accounts such as life insurance, retirement accounts and IRAs.

There is also a more streamlined court supervised process for spouses and domestic partners in San Diego called a Spousal Property Petition.

Probate can be very expensive. Attorney fees are set by statute (CPC §10800) and are determined based on the value of the probate estate: 4% of the first $100,000; 3% of the next $100,000; 2% of the next $800,000; 1% of the next $9,000,000; ½% of the next $15,000,000; the court will assign a reasonable amount on estates valued above $25,000,000. There are often additional fees from appraisers and CPAs. All told, a San Diego probate can run around five to six percent of the total value of the estate.

To consult with an experienced San Diego Probate attorney who can advise and guide you through the probate of an estate in California, or for any other questions regarding estate planning in San Diego, please contact the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

 

Will, Trust and Estate Planning in Carlsbad, California

Living Trust in Carlsbad, CaliforniaThe Need for a Living Trust in Carlsbad, California

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2012, Carlsbad boasts a total population of over 109,000. And just looking at the amount of growth occurring right now and Carlsbad probably has a current population of over 120,000 in 2014.

A 2010 Lawyers.com national survey noted that only 18 percent of the population had a Trust (living trust or other trust agreement)— that is down from 31 percent in 2007. And only 35 percent of the population had a Will in 2009. That leaves some 65 percent of the population without either a Will or a Trust.

We assume, with the more sophisticated and knowledgeable families in Carlsbad, California, that a higher percentage of Carlsbad residents have a Living Trust or Will in place. But even if we take more conservative numbers and use 2007’s 31 percent, that still leaves a large percentage of Carlsbad residents exposed to a potential costly and time consuming California probate.

In Carlsbad, the median home value is $659,000. In California, an estate will have to go through the probate process, even if you have a Will, if the value of the estate exceeds $150,000. That means if your home is valued above $150,000 F.M.V. (not net value) your estate will go through probate, with or without a Will. And probate is costly, with most probates ranging from five to six percent of the total value of the estate when factoring in attorney fees, CPA fees, appraisal fees, etc…

The majority of residents need to consider Will, Trust and Estate Planning in Carlsbad, California. And without a doubt, virtually every homeowner in Carlsbad needs a Living Trust, because property in a Trust avoids probate.

Sixty five percent of Carlsbad residents own their own home.  A large majority of homeowners do not have a Living Trust or a Family Trust. Therefore, using the high number above of thirty one percent of residents having a trust, there is still a huge need for another thirty four percent of residents to create a Living Trust or Family Trust in Carlsbad.

A large majority of our clients list the lack of discretionary income as the main reason for delaying on the creation of a trust in Carlsbad. However, at the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell, our team of experienced Carlsbad Will and Trust Attorneys work together with our clients in creating an affordable estate plan. We also offer a monthly installment plan so we can work with you to create your estate plan and you can pay for it over a period of twelve months.

There really is no better time to get your estate plan in order. Please contact an experienced trust and estate lawyer in Carlsbad today!

Stop by our estate planning 101 section to learn more about why you need an estate plan.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Six reasons a Living Trust is superior to a Will in California.

Estate Planning 101: Living Trust versus a Will in California

Most people believe that a Will is all that is needed in order to pass on the assets in their estate. However, what most people fail to realize is that a Will is not going to be a sufficient California Estate Planning tool. That is because a Will comes up short in several key respects when compared to a Living Trust (also known as a Revocable Trust or Inter Vivos Trust).

Six reasons a Living Trust is superior to a Will in California.

1. A Trust avoids probate whereas a Will still goes through probate court.

A Will is simply a road map for the Probate Court to follow. A Will does not avoid probate; it simply directs the Probate Court judge on how you want your assets distributed upon your death. The judge will follow your wishes in your Will but your estate will still be on the hook for all probate related fees (such as attorney fees, CPA fees, appraisal fees, etc…). The total fees for the probate of an estate in California can be as high as 5-6% of the total value of the estate.

However, a Living Trust, set up by an experienced California Trust Attorney, avoids the entire probate process. That means the bulk of the assets will pass without any fees to the intended beneficiaries. It also means that there is no court involvement. Therefore, the value of a Living Trust is that it avoids probate fees and probate court. The small cost involved in setting up a properly funded Living Trust compared to the total savings a Trust provides by avoiding Probate is substantial.

2. A Trust can hold beneficiary assets whereas assets pass at age 18 with a Will

A Trust can be designed so that the assets pass to beneficiaries at a desired age. For example, a Trust can have language in it that gives 25% to a child upon completion of college, another 25% upon reaching age 25, with the remaining 50% at age 30. This allows a beneficiary to receive their inheritance in small chunks instead of in a bulk sum. Perhaps the beneficiary will have blown through the initial 25% and will be more disciplined in how they spend the next 25%.

However, with a Will, the beneficiary receives everything at age 18. That means a financially inexperienced teenager will receive their entire portion of the estate at 18. This can cause a lot of problems, including the beneficiary blowing through their entire inheritance.

3. California Trust Administration vs. California Probate

A typical California Trust Administration can take around three to nine months. That is assuming the Trust was created by an experienced California Trust Lawyer (some trust administrations can take a lot longer depending on the quality of the trust).

A typical California Probate can take anywhere from nine to eighteen months. Some more complicated probates can take years.

The bottom line is that the beneficiaries will receive their assets much quicker via a Trust than a Will.

4. A Living Trust is private whereas a Will is public

A Will is open to the public. In fact, notice of the decedent’s passing must be given to every beneficiary named in the Will and to every beneficiary who would have received had the deceased died intestate (without a Will). Further, anyone can access the probate court documents. There is absolutely no privacy with a California Probate.

A Trust is completely private. Notice of the decedent’s passing is given only to the heirs of the Living Trust. There is no court supervision, no court interaction and no public disclosure.

5. A Living Trust is harder to contest than a Will

Since a Will is open to the public and since notice is given to all named beneficiaries and to every beneficiary who would have received had the deceased died intestate, there is a much greater chance for a Contest by any potential heir who was left out of the Will.

However, due to the private nature of a Trust, there are very few parties involved. Therefore, there is less likelihood that anyone will Contest the Living Trust.

It is highly beneficial to avoid a California Will or Trust Contest because of the high cost associated with a Contest. Often, the cost of defending the Will or Trust Contest comes straight out of the assets of the estate, depleting the estate’s assets.

6. A Trust avoids court involvement at incapacity

In California, if a person becomes incapacitated, typically a member of the family petitions the Probate Court for a Conservatorship. This applies whether the incapacitated person has a Will or not. Then the Court decides who the appropriate Conservator will be.

A properly created Living Trust will list a Successor Trustee (as well as one or two backups). The Successor Trustee will take over for the Trustor upon the Trustor’s incapacity. There is no court involvement and the Trustor gets to choose the person and not the court.

One final note: a Will is still necessary when creating an estate plan. The Trust will hold all of the assets in the estate. However, every good Trust needs a “Pour Over Will” to grab any assets outside of the Trust and “pour” the assets back into the Living Trust. An experienced California estate planning lawyer will almost always recommend a Will to compliment a Living Trust.

In summary, the small price involved in setting up a California Revocable Trust far outweighs the time and money saved by avoiding probate. For questions on the above content or for any other legal advice dealing with California Living Trusts, an experienced North County San Diego will and trust attorney can help. Please contact the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation. 

Need help paying for your estate plan?

Using monthly payments to pursue a top level estate plan.

At the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell, we understand that many potential clients avoid pursuing a proper estate plan due to other financial commitments. As a result, many potential clients do not have the proper documents needed in case of an unexpected death or incapacity. Therefore, we offer our clients the option of paying for their estate plan with monthly installments. If you are interested in our services and prefer to pay via a monthly payment plan please let us know. We will be happy to work with you. Our goal is to provide our clients with the highest level of quality and service at a competitive price. Please call us for a free consultation today 442-666-7516.

For questions on the above content or for any other legal advice dealing with developing an estate plan in California, a California estate planning attorney can help. Please contact the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Assets to include in a living trust

Assets to Include in a Living TrustAssets to include in a Living Trust

When creating an estate plan it is important to have a breakdown of the client’s assets. The following article lists the most common assets that a client owns, with a brief description of each asset. By identifying the assets a client owns, we can better assist our clients in creating an estate plan that meets our clients’ needs and goals.

 


Estate Planning 101: The most common assets are:


Real Property

Real property includes any and all land owned by the client. Some common examples of real property are single family homes, condominiums, town homes, vacation homes, rental properties, farmland, and commercial property. Titling the property in the name of the living trust protects the real property asset from having to go through probate.

Personal Property

Personal property encompasses various movable assets including art, furniture, clothing, and jewelry.  A detailed list of a client’s personal property is not necessary. However, clients may wish certain valuable items to be distributed to particular beneficiaries. For example, a grandma may wish for her wedding ring to pass to her granddaughter. An assignment of personal property can be added to an estate plan in order to declare the Trustor’s intention that all of the Trustor’s personal property be included in the living trust.

Intangible or Intellectual Property

Intangible property includes trademarks, patents, and copyrights. It is a good idea to have your intellectual property properly valued through the use of a valuation expert.

Automobiles

We recommend valuable cars, including motor homes, be put into the living trust. However, for typical automobiles under $50,000, a pour over will can grab the asset upon your death and place it into the trust.

Bank Accounts

Making a list of all of your bank accounts and the total assets in each is a great way to help your estate planning attorney. Some of the bank accounts may need to name the trust as the beneficiary. However, maintaining a personal or joint account for a smaller bank account that is used for day to day items tends to make life easier.

Stocks, Mutual Funds, and Bonds

Most clients own stock and/or mutual funds. You may also own bonds, such as municipal bonds or U.S. Treasury Bonds. Your estate planning lawyer will need to know what company you use to invest with.

Life Insurance

Your living trust attorney would need to know what type of life insurance policy you own and what the face amount of the policy is. The most common types of life insurance are term, whole, and universal life. Typically, the Trustor’s spouse is named as the beneficiary with the trust named as the contingent beneficiary.

Annuities

Your trust lawyer will want to know if you receive a fixed payment from an annuity and what company or organization the annuity is through.

Retirement Accounts

Your estate planning lawyer will need to know what company your retirement accounts are currently with. Retirement accounts include traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, pensions, and 401(k)s. Typically, the Trustor’s spouse is named as the beneficiary with the trust named as the contingent beneficiary.

Businesses

Your trust lawyer will need to know if you have an interest in a business, such as a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a limited liability company.

For questions on the above content or for any other legal advice dealing with California living trusts, an experienced California trust lawyer can help. Please contact the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.

Estate Planning 101: What does a typical estate plan include?

Estate Planning FAQ: What an Estate Plan from the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell Includes.

Brought to you by the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell.

Not all estate plans are equal. A typical California estate plan drafted by the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell will include:

Living Trust
Last Will and Testament (pour over will)
Durable Power of Attorney
Advance Healthcare Directive
Assignment of Personal Property
Certificate of Trust
Declaration of Trust
Quitclaim Deed
Estate Organizer

A living trust in California will help keep your assets with your beneficiaries and away from the probate court.

A Will, also known as a pour over will, lets everyone know that you intend for all your assets to pour into your living trust.

A power of attorney will allow your agent to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. Most importantly, it will allow your spouse to continue to make gifts or to move assets around to ensure that you qualify for medicare or Medi-Cal.

Your advance health care directive, or living will, takes care of your end of life decisions so those you love do not have to make the hard end of life decisions for you.

An assignment of personal property lets the world know that you intend for all your non-titled assets to flow into your trust.

A declaration of trust declares to the world that you intend that all your assets are to be trust assets. This is a great tool to protect your estate from a potential probate and bring property or assets into your trust that were left out during your life.

A quitclaim deed is simply a form that your estate planning attorney fills out on your behalf to place any real property into your trust.

Finally, an estate plan organizer keeps all your pertinent files together so that your trustee can locate everyone and everything necessary to properly administer your estate. Plus, funding instructions are included to make sure all your assets are properly titled and place into your trust.

For questions on the above content or for any other legal advice dealing with estate planning in California, a California estate planning lawyer can help. Please contact the Law Offices of Jack B. Friedell today.

The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.