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Updating My Estate Plans When I Move

Updating My Estate Plans When I Move

Estate Planning
Updating My Estate Plans When I Move We live in a mobile society. According to the American Community Survey, over 40 million Americans move annually. While moving itself requires many changes and can be extremely stressful, many individuals don’t recognize the need to update their estate plan documents after an out-of-state move until it becomes a problem. Every state has unique laws when it comes to estate planning. Consequently, if you have moved to the state of California from another state or are planning to move out of state, you will need to revisit your estate plan to make sure it conforms to the state you are moving to. There can be significant legal challenges if documents are not updated to comply with your new state laws. While some documents may not require extensive…
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What is a Living Will and Do I Need One? 

What is a Living Will and Do I Need One? 

Estate Planning
While it’s never pleasant to think about our own end-of-life situation, the end of life is a fact of life. And most of us don’t want to burden our loved ones with difficult decisions we could have made for ourselves. Being able to set out our own wishes for these moments is one of the critical purposes of having a living will. Are you legally required to have a living will in California? No. Should everyone have one? Yes! Why Does it Matter? There are many reasons that everyone should have a living will: It gives you control of what you want when you aren’t able to voice it. It gives guidance to your healthcare providers in critical life and death matters. It offers guidance and clarity to your loved ones. It…
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What are the Key Strategies for Estate Planning?

What are the Key Strategies for Estate Planning?

Estate Planning
Estate planning no longer only applies to the rich and famous. Anyone who has children or who has assets or important personal belongings should consider having an estate plan created, so you make the decisions that are right for you while you are able. If you die or become incapacitated, a well-developed estate plan ensures that your healthcare, your belongings, your financial assets, and your children are taken care of in a manner of your choosing, not the state’s. Everyone’s estate plan will look different depending on their own unique situation. This is why it is vital to have an Orange County estate planning attorney tailor a plan that is uniquely yours. Is Having a Will Enough? Most of us understand the importance of having a will. A will is foundational to a…
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What Happens to My Proerty After I Die?

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Death and taxes, as they say, are the only givens in life. And yet, it is estimated that only 33 percent of Americans have estate plans in place to protect their assets and their loved ones. While most of us know the importance of an estate plan, many people simply don’t get around to it or just don’t want to think about their own mortality. So what happens to your property when you die? Any property or assets you own at the time of your death are part of your estate. Probate is the process of administering your estate through the court system and distributing assets according to the legal documents you have executed in your estate plan. After you die, your assets will be transferred to your heirs through your…
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SHOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN YOUR ESTATE IN CALIFORNIA IF THEY ARE UNDER 18?

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In California, children are not able to inherit assets in their own name. This doesn’t mean that you can’t leave your estate to your minor children. It means, however, that they will not be able to own the assets you leave until they reach legal adulthood, or the age of 18. If you want to leave your estate to a minor child, it must be in a way that will benefit them until they are old enough to take possession of and manage those assets on their own. Leaving Your Estate Through a Will There are two options available to you if your children are named in your will. The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act governs how property is transferred to children through a will. Under UTMA, if you choose to leave…
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DO I NEED AN ESTATE PLAN IF I STILL LIVE AT HOME WITH MY FAMILY?

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Over the last few years of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we all came uncomfortably face to face with our own mortality. Even younger individuals were taking these life and death matters to heart. You are never too young to consider what may happen if you are faced with an emergency, either in the short term or long term. Estate planning is more than wills, trusts, and wealth protection, although these are very important considerations. It is about who will raise your children if something happens. Who will be responsible for your bills and obligations if you are suddenly incapacitated? Who will make life and death decisions for you if you are medically unable to do that for yourself? The fact is, every adult over the age of 18 should have some…
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HOW LAWYERS HELP SOLVE INHERITANCE DISPUTES

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After the death of a loved one, inheritance issues can surface. These matters are legal issues, and no one should try to navigate them alone. Having the assistance of an Orange County, CA estate planning attorney can help ensure that any disputes are handled in a legally concise manner that protects everyone involved. Most individuals and families believe that all wills are legally binding. While that is true in most cases, there are instances when a will may not have been not properly created or there may have been fraud or undue influence involved. At times, disputes can arise between family members, or concerns surface regarding the legality of a do-it-yourself or internet will. While you cannot just contest a will because you don’t like its terms, there are times when the…
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HAVE YOU PROPERLY FUNDED YOUR REVOCABLE TRUST?

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A revocable trust can be an essential estate planning tool. It allows you to protect and manage your assets while you are alive but provides for their management and distribution to your beneficiaries should you become unable to do so or pass away. A revocable trust allows you to make changes to it and even revoke it entirely at any point during your lifetime. How a Revocable Trust Works A trust is a separate legal entity that can own assets. Once you have funded your trust, the trust then owns these assets. Assets in the trust will be managed according to its terms by a trustee, which can be you and other co-trustees. If you become incapacitated or die, a co-trustee can continue to manage the assets in the trust or distribute…
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DO WIDOWS HAVE GUARANTEED RIGHTS OVER AN ESTATE IN CA?

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The death of a spouse is always a tragic event and can result in not only emotional but also financial uncertainty for the widow. While many assume that if their spouse dies, they will automatically inherit everything, in states like California, this is not always the case. How do California Laws Work When a Spouse Dies? When a spouse dies in Orange County, CA, property that was held by the deceased must first be divided into community and separate property. California is a community property state, meaning that assets and debts acquired by a married couple become part of their community property and are shared equally between them. Assets that were acquired before the marriage, however, remain separate property owned by each spouse individually. In California, the surviving spouse is…
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WHAT IS A CONSERVATOR AND WHAT IS THEIR ROLE?

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When a family member cannot care for themselves, it may become necessary for someone else to step in to provide that care. In California, when that person is a child, a guardian will be appointed to care for the child. But when that individual is an adult who has become incapacitated, the court will appoint another individual to perform those duties. The legal process of doing this is called conservatorship.  A conservatorship can be established by the court if they have determined an adult is incapacitated and unable to manage their personal needs or financial affairs by themselves. When that happens, the court will appoint another individual called a conservator to perform those responsibilities on their behalf. Is a Conservator the Same as a Power of Attorney? While a power of attorney is…
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