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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?2020-09-21T19:54:09+00:00

What are the best ways for me to leave an inheritance for my grandchildren?


Many clients want to leave something for their grandchildren and there are a multitude of options and factors to consider. The most common way clients leave money for their grandchildren is to leave a specific dollar amount, known as a specific gift, at their death to a grandchild. If the grandchild is a minor or not fiscally responsible, the next option is to leave the specific gift in trust for the grandchild allowing you to control the distribution. A common concern that many clients have when leaving specific gifts is that the gifts will deplete their estate since they [...]

What are the best ways for me to leave an inheritance for my grandchildren?2020-09-21T19:53:21+00:00

What is the difference between Trust Administration and Probate?


When you pass away owning assets, your estate will go through either Probate or a Trust Administration. While these processes are relatively similar there are some key differences such as cost, how long it takes for your beneficiaries or heirs to inherit, and the amount of control you have over how your assets are distributed and who is in charge of distributing them. Probate is a court supervised process. It often takes more time for assets to go through Probate, the typical time frame is 1 year – 18 months. The fees associated with a Probate are also set [...]

What is the difference between Trust Administration and Probate?2020-09-21T19:53:36+00:00

What should I tell my kids about my finances?


If you have named your child or children as your successor trustee or as your Power of Attorney agent, you have already deemed your adult child to be financially responsible and capable of taking care of your assets on your behalf if you are unable to. Right now while you are still alive and well, it can be advantageous to have conversations about your finances so that your children can smoothly take control of your affairs when needed. If you have minor children or additional children that you have not selected as your Trustee or Agent, you most likely [...]

What should I tell my kids about my finances?2020-09-21T19:51:10+00:00

Top 5 Things to Know about the SECURE Act


You can contribute to the affected accounts for as long as you want, and there is no longer a cutoff date. You must take required minimum distributions at age 72 now, up from 71 ½. The new changes do not affect a spouse who inherits their deceased spouse’s retirement account. The rules are significantly different for those who are inheriting an account but are not a spouse. The stretch rule is no longer in effect, the accounts can still be cashed out within 5 years, though the money must be withdrawn completely within 15 years. There are a few [...]

Top 5 Things to Know about the SECURE Act2020-08-11T20:47:13+00:00

Tale of Caution: What Happens if I’m in the Hospital, Incapacitated, and Without a Health Care Directive


During this COVID-19 pandemic, having documents in place outlining your wishes for your health care decisions is crucial. In this example, Joe Smith ends up in the hospital and is unable to speak for himself. He does have immediate family present as his two daughters came with him to the hospital. However, they disagree on what action should be taken for their father. Without an Advance Health Care Directive, Joe’s family may be left fighting and forced to go to court for a conservatorship. Furthermore, no one knows for sure what Joe’s health care wishes actually are. [...]

Tale of Caution: What Happens if I’m in the Hospital, Incapacitated, and Without a Health Care Directive2020-08-11T20:26:05+00:00

How Long Will it Take for My Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance?


The answer to this question depends on what type of Estate Plan you have. Trust Administration typically takes between 6 to 9 months, but there are factors that can make it last longer, such as: Identifying all estate assets Preparing an accounting of all of the assets in the estate Selling real property Handling assets that were not properly titled in the trust For estates that must go through Probate because the decedent either had only a Will or died intestate, beneficiaries may wait at least 12 to 18 months. The availability of the court’s calendar and a designated [...]

How Long Will it Take for My Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance?2020-08-11T20:15:18+00:00

Do I need a Trust if I already have a Will?


The short answer is: it depends. As Miranda explains in the above video, there are many factors that go into determining what type of Estate Plan is best for you. For example, if you have a Will but own real property, you should consider creating a Trust to give you more control over your assets and avoid Probate at your death.

Do I need a Trust if I already have a Will?2020-08-11T19:54:11+00:00

What is an Incapacity Plan?


By planning ahead and creating an incapacity plan you can: Avoid a potential conservatorship which is also known as a living probate Ensure your spouse or nominated agent can handle your financial affairs Write out your health care wishes and select someone to carry them out on your behalf Allow your chosen fiduciary to do Medi-Cal benefits planning for long term care on your behalf The main incapacity planning tools are: a Living Trust, Advance Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney. A Will or Pay On Death (POD) beneficiary accounts do not constitute an incapacity plan, as they [...]

What is an Incapacity Plan?2020-08-11T20:39:17+00:00

What Trustee Options Are There Other Than Family?


Hi, everybody. My name is Miranda Dressler and I am an attorney with the Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California. Today, I am going to talk to you a bit about the option of choosing either a private fiduciary or a corporate fiduciary as the trustee of your trust. So, in most cases when we prepare an estate plan for people, you know, typically people will choose a friend. Or maybe a child or more than one of their children and name that individual person as the successor trustee of their trust. So, there are many reasons [...]

What Trustee Options Are There Other Than Family?2020-07-07T00:00:23+00:00