8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #4: Acquiring Assets that Bypass your Plan


Mistake #4 closely relates to Mistake #3 that was addressed in a previous blog post as it focuses on your assets. Not all of your assets will need to be titled into the name of your trust, some assets have a built-in estate plan and allow you to name direct beneficiaries. Examples of these assets include 401ks, annuities and life insurance plans. With these, asset mistakes occur when you designate beneficiaries without taking into account your estate plan or your beneficiaries situation. When you name beneficiaries on these kinds of assets they will receive a lump sum of cash [...]

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #4: Acquiring Assets that Bypass your Plan2020-12-02T20:10:58+00:00

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #3: Not Keeping up with Funding


In order for a trust to work properly it must be properly funded and the funding must be maintained. A trust is able to protect your assets from Probate, allow your named trustee to act on your behalf and eventually distribute your assets to your named beneficiaries when it is funded. This means that all of your assets are titled into the name of your trust. One of the most common mishaps we see is when individuals refinance their homes. When refinancing you take title of your home out of the name of trust and put it into your [...]

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #3: Not Keeping up with Funding2020-12-02T20:06:30+00:00

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #2: Not updating your plan to reflect family changes


In part 1 we previously discussed how not keeping up with law changes and strategies is something that may ruin your estate plan. Mistake #1 is mostly caused by not having a long term relationship with your attorney and not being aware of changes that may affect your plan. Mistake #2 however focuses on your life changes. When changes within your family and relationships occur, it is up to you to contact your attorney and discuss how this will affect your plan. As an example, the role of successor trustee is a vital part of your plan. This person [...]

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #2: Not updating your plan to reflect family changes2020-12-02T21:35:19+00:00

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #1: Not Keeping up with Law Changes


In this 8 part series we will be addressing the 8 major mistakes made by individuals who have already created an estate plan. The first mistake is not keeping up with law changes. Law changes are fairly constant, although most changes will not impact your estate plan, some will. An example of a law change that may affect your plan is the federal estate tax, this tax was created years ago and the rules and estate tax amount have changed many times, most recently in 2017. Another recent law that has changed estate planning is the SECURE Act, eliminating [...]

8 Costly Mistakes – Mistake #1: Not Keeping up with Law Changes2020-12-02T19:28:24+00:00

Proposition 19 & Your Estate Plan


While the main focus of this year’s election was on the presidential race the propositions are important as well. This year Prop 19 was passed in California and if you own a home you should be aware of the changes that this proposition will bring. You may know of Prop 13 that was passed in the 70s; this proposition allowed for a reasonable increase in property taxes for homeowners. Prop 19 has changed some of the rules of Prop 13. One change that may affect your estate plan is the transfer of parent to child exemption. Previously if you [...]

Proposition 19 & Your Estate Plan2020-12-02T01:37:06+00:00

Buying, Selling & Refinancing When You Have a Trust


Once you create a Living Trust, you are still the owner of your assets as you own your Living Trust, which owns your assets. This means you can still purchase, sell or refinance property as you normally would. Currently, interest rates are at an all-time low so many people are refinancing. We have received many questions from clients about whether the process is different. In many cases, the lender will have you take the title of your home out of your Living Trust and put it back in your name as an individual for the duration of the refinance. [...]

Buying, Selling & Refinancing When You Have a Trust2020-12-02T01:28:07+00:00

Long-Term Care Medi-Cal Qualification, How Does it Really Work?


Long Term Care Medi-Cal is a program that will pay for an extended stay in a care facility. The qualifications for this program and the asset restrictions can be confusing. In this example we are comparing two couples - Ralph & Ruth (add ages) and Bill & Mary (add ages) - to determine whether or not they would qualify for Medi-Cal. Ralph & Ruth’s Assets: Home: $500,000 Furniture: $100,000 Car: $70,000 Savings: $20,000 Prepaid Funeral: $10,000 Total: $700,000 Do they qualify for Medi-Cal? Yes. While they have a high net worth, most of their assets are exempt. The only [...]

Long-Term Care Medi-Cal Qualification, How Does it Really Work?2020-12-02T01:20:52+00:00

6 Common Estate Planning Mistakes


Estate Planning is a complicated subject. The terminology can make it confusing and creates many misconceptions. These are the top 6 mistakes we see: Not recognizing your own mortality. Creating a Trust or a Will is something that most people recognize that they need to do. However, a large portion of the population procrastinates and says, “I’ll get to it later”, but later often doesn’t come. Not choosing the correct plan. It’s important to meet with an Estate Planning Attorney so that you know you are getting a plan that will properly protect you, your family and your assets. [...]

6 Common Estate Planning Mistakes2020-12-02T01:11:42+00:00

I have a trust, but what if things change?


As we age and move through life things change. Whether these are positive changes such as a marriage, birth and new friendships, or sad changes such as a death or a falling out with a loved one. If you have taken the time to create a living trust, it will grow with you as long as you take the time to properly maintain it. In most cases, you should be able to return to the attorney who created your trust who will determine the best way to update your Trust. If you have smaller adjustments such as a beneficiary [...]

I have a trust, but what if things change?2020-10-14T21:36:49+00:00

Will my assets go through Probate when I die?


The short answer is it depends on the type of Estate Plan you have in place and what types of assets you have. If you have a Revocable Living Trust and all your assets have been properly titled into the name of your trust, your assets will not go through Probate upon your death. If your assets are over the current $166,250 Probate Limit and you either don’t have any Estate Planning documents or only have a Will, your estate will be subject to Probate. The Probate Limit only considers the gross value of your estate. Typically in California, [...]

Will my assets go through Probate when I die?2020-10-14T21:36:20+00:00