What You Need to Know About Advance Healthcare Directives

A well-devised estate plan doesn’t just make arrangements for after your death. It can also make arrangements for how your affairs will be handled later in your life, if you have expensive medical bills or become unable to make decisions for yourself. One of the most useful legal documents for this kind of estate planning is the advanced healthcare directive. In this blog post, we will be answering some of the Read More

10 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

An estate plan is one of the most important documents you will draft, but doing it once is not enough. A good estate plan is a dynamic document that needs to be reviewed to make sure it keeps up with your changing life, relationships and finances as well as the current tax and estate laws.  Over time, many things can change. The person you had in place as your power of attorney may no longer be able to serve, you Read More

Understanding the Difference Between Formal and Summary Probate Administration

What can you expect if one of your family members has recently passed away and now you’re going to be involved in a probate process related to his or her estate? The word probate refers to a process in which the assets of a deceased person are distributed among the beneficiaries appointed in his or her Will. In California, this process can be either formal - in which case it is structured according to specific Read More

3 Reasons Why a Will Might Be Contested

Wills are legal documents whose validity, by definition and by design, is extremely difficult to challenge. Last wishes presented in a Will are legally protected so that a person creating a Will may confidently expect that its contents will be respected and carried out accordingly. Still, rare and infrequent though they may be, situations where someone attempts to invalidate a Will do happen. Such legal actions are Read More

Understanding California Inheritance Rights

Having a valid Will in place is an established way to ensure that, after your passing, both your legacy and the financial interests of your property will be adequately protected. One way a Will can achieve these goals is by providing a guarantee that your assets and property will be transferred to your heirs and beneficiaries in an orderly manner and strictly according to your wishes. Still, more than half of Read More

How to Avoid Probate in California

Probate is a court-supervised process in which a deceased person’s assets are passed to their heirs in an orderly and organized manner. It guarantees that the person’s wishes explicitly stated in their Will are going to be respected and fulfilled to the letter. It also gives the person’s legal heirs and other beneficiaries of the will the assurance that the estate of their deceased family member will not be Read More

3 Things a Will Can’t Do

Having a Will is arguably one of the hallmarks of financial responsibility and awareness. By taking the time and dedicating some resources to prepare this important estate planning document, you make a vital step to ensure that your assets, property, and personal belongings will make their way to your heirs and descendants. Creating a Will is also a way to guarantee that this distribution will take place strictly Read More

3 Common Trust Disputes

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year - the last period for which the complete data is available - California probate courts received 47,170 filings in connection to legal disputes related to various matters of estate law. Many cases heard by probate courts concerned trust disputes, which often arise due to a conflict between the beneficiaries of a trust and the trustee - that is, a person appointed to manage it. Since money, Read More

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Conservator

A conservator is a person appointed to take care of personal affairs of a person who has become incapacitated due to a severe mental or physical impediment. A conservator will make financial decisions on behalf of the person and manage their estate. Even though the terms “conservator” and “guardian” are sometimes used interchangeably, in California, a guardian is appointed to make decisions on behalf of a minor while Read More

5 Ways to Reduce Your Estate Tax

Benjamin Franklin once said that only two things in life could be considered certain: death and taxes. It seems that nothing testifies to the truthfulness of this maxim better than the estate tax - after all, it’s a tax paid after a person dies. It is levied on the estate of the deceased person before the distribution of the assets to heirs and beneficiaries. In 2018, the amount of the estate tax remained at 40% Read More