Why A Co-Trustee Could Be A Terrible Idea!

2021-01-19T01:28:38+00:00

Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I'm an attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law. Today on my video blog, I want to talk about appointing two trustees in your trust, or co-trustees. This is a tale of caution for me. I've, in the past, had cases where parents don't want to hurt a child, and so they appoint both children in a trust. Or, they want to spread the jobs out, so they make one child in charge of all the finances and another child in charge of all the [...]

Why A Co-Trustee Could Be A Terrible Idea!2021-01-19T01:28:38+00:00

What Do Adopted Children, Foster Children, and Stepchildren Inherit?

2021-04-09T00:25:27+00:00

Last November, I wrote a post about what happens when someone dies without a will (or any other kind of estate plan) in California. In short, that person’s property will be distributed according to the rules of intestate succession. Those rules are found in the California Probate Code (CPC). They are complicated, but basically try to identify the closest relatives who are still alive. Today, I want to focus on one aspect of those rules—how they treat adopted children, foster children, and stepchildren. Adopted Children Under CPC § 6450, a person’s adopted child is treated the same as a natural child. [...]

What Do Adopted Children, Foster Children, and Stepchildren Inherit?2021-04-09T00:25:27+00:00

Death & Income Taxes

2021-04-09T00:32:55+00:00

Everyone knows the old saying that nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes. In this post, I’m going to combine both of those happy topics and discuss some of the special income-tax rules that apply when a person dies. 1. Life insurance and inherited property is excluded from income. The U.S. income tax does not apply to property acquired by bequest, devise, or inheritance. That means that a person’s heirs or devisees do not owe income tax on their inheritances. Of course, this exclusion doesn’t extend to any income generated from such property. So, if you inherit [...]

Death & Income Taxes2021-04-09T00:32:55+00:00

Estate Planning Tips When Stepchildren Are Involved

2021-03-29T18:21:15+00:00

Hi I'm Bridget Mackay of Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California. I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law. Today, I want to talk about how we treat stepchildren in our estate plan. I often get clients who have a relationship with their stepchildren, want to give them something, but don't feel like they want to give them as much as they're giving their natural born children. It becomes a dilemma because they don't want hurt feelings to see in the plan, the children getting a substantial amount more of the estate than the [...]

Estate Planning Tips When Stepchildren Are Involved2021-03-29T18:21:15+00:00

How Estate Planning Helps Avoid Family Conflict

2021-04-09T00:45:38+00:00

When done properly and with honest and open communication, estate planning can help avoid family conflict. Regardless of your estate’s size or the complexity of the situation, the proper planning can prevent heartaches and disputes for your loved ones you leave behind. Having the proper estate planning in place is essential for protecting you, your assets, and your loved ones. Advanced Healthcare Directive This specifies your healthcare preferences and will only be used when you are unable to communicate your wishes. Your medical providers and your family are made aware of the kinds of care and treatments you are willing [...]

How Estate Planning Helps Avoid Family Conflict2021-04-09T00:45:38+00:00

What Happens if You Die Without a Will in California?

2021-04-09T01:00:24+00:00

You have worked hard all your life, so you want to make sure your assets go to your loved ones when you die. If you put off having a will done, your assets will be left up to the intestate succession laws. Using this approach, probate will determine the heirs for your property. The process involves heirs answering several questions about the individual who died. If There is Not a Spouse Of course, the most prominent question is to determine whether the individual who died was married. If the answer to that is “no”, the distribution will follow a process [...]

What Happens if You Die Without a Will in California?2021-04-09T01:00:24+00:00

Thoughts On Gifting To Grandchildren

2021-02-09T21:35:24+00:00

Thoughts On Gifting To Grandchildren Hi there. Bridget Mackay here. I'm an attorney in Petaluma. I practice in the area of Estate Planning and Elder Law. Today in my video blog I want to talk to you about gifting to your grandchildren. My father says being a grandparent is the best of all possible worlds. You get to spend time with your grandchildren and make great memories but you're removed for any of the tough parenting decisions. It's understandable you're going to want to spoil them. You already may have provided for their parents in your trust, or your [...]

Thoughts On Gifting To Grandchildren2021-02-09T21:35:24+00:00

Is Time Catching Up To Your Parents? Have These 5 Docs in Order Now.

2021-02-09T21:41:22+00:00

Is Time Catching Up To Your Parents? Have These 5 Docs in Order Now. Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I'm an attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice in estate planning, trust administrations, probate, and elder law. Today, my video blog is going to cover when time catches up with your parents. So unfortunately, time is one of those things in life we can't stop or slow down as much as we would like to. We know this is true when we watch our children grow up, when we feel ourselves aging, and more recently, when you notice when [...]

Is Time Catching Up To Your Parents? Have These 5 Docs in Order Now.2021-02-09T21:41:22+00:00

Unexpected Health Issue – Do You Have Your Affairs In Order?

2021-02-09T21:47:03+00:00

Unexpected Health Issue – Do You Have Your Affairs In Order? Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I'm a attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice in the area of estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, and trust administrations and elder law. Today, my video blog today is about what do you do when you get bad news, whether it is you or a loved one, with cancer so prevalent in our society today, there may come a time when you or your loved one get a life-threatening diagnosis that has some sort of timeline attached to it. These situations are [...]

Unexpected Health Issue – Do You Have Your Affairs In Order?2021-02-09T21:47:03+00:00

10 Docs To Have Keep Paying The Bills

2020-10-14T21:55:08+00:00

Hi there. My name is Bridget Mackay and this is my video blog. I'm an attorney. I work in the area of estate planning, wills, trust, probates, trust administrations here in Petaluma, California. Today I wanna talk about who is in charge of the finances in your household. It's not uncommon for couples to kind of divide and conquer in their families and for each of them to take on different jobs. One may be dealing with all the household chores and doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, making and arranging things for the kids, making and arranging repairs [...]

10 Docs To Have Keep Paying The Bills2020-10-14T21:55:08+00:00