Category Archives: Blog

What to Watch Out for If There’s a Sudden Death in Your Family

Did you know that Anthony Bourdain’s will revealed that the celebrity chef and author had an estate of only $1.21 million? Estimates of the TV star’s worth had been around $16 million, which made the revelations from his will even more startling. This is an example of how sudden death can uncover some very big surprises when it comes to an estate. How Can a Sudden Death in Your Family Uncover Startling Estate Issues? Bourdain named his daughter as the primary beneficiary of his estate using a testamentary trust. This trust will release funds to Bourdain’s daughter in steps in…

Why Do Attorneys Ask You to Explain Your Estate Plans?

You shouldn’t procrastinate when it comes to planning your estate. However, the process can seem long and protracted when you get into your estate lawyer’s office and face a bevy of questions. Sometimes, it can even feel like these questions are doing nothing more than keeping you from writing your will, but this interrogation has a purpose. And if you try to skip this process, your beneficiaries could be the ones to pay the price. Why Attorneys Ask You to Explain Your Estate Plans Here in California, there are many probate laws governing how an estate is to be distributed…

Can Creditors Make Claims on Your Estate?

When it comes to leaving behind a legacy for your family and friends, estate planning is often the most powerful way to ensure your wishes are followed. But that plan has to be robust, and it has to account for every part of your financial life. Otherwise, creditors can make claims on your estate, and potentially keep your beneficiaries from receiving what was bequeathed to them. Who Can Make a Creditor’s Claim Against Your Estate? It may surprise some to learn that beneficiaries aren’t first in line when it comes to distributing an estate. Secured creditors, persons with property interests…

Nobody Has Died, So Why Is This Estate Issue Going to Court?

When it comes to planning your estate, preparation is always advised over procrastination. However, one California media mogul may be taking preparation to a whole new level His estate issue could be heading to court long before he actually passes away. Taking an Estate Issue to Court Before You Die Media titan Sumner Redstone is known for many things around California. His reputation includes having legal troubles with his former girlfriends. However, one of these legal conflicts could land Sumner in California legal history. That’s because a probate trial for his estate could soon get underway, and Sumner will be…

Seven Ways to Make a Strong Estate Plan

Did you know that when your estate goes into probate it automatically loses value? Depending on the estate, that loss can be an estimated five percent. Your estate can also wind up tied up probate courts for years depending on your family circumstances and the strength of your planning. So, how do you make a strong estate plan that can keep these events from happening? Seven Steps to a Strong Estate Plan Make a List of Your Assets – When they pass, some people don’t let their families know what accounts and assets they hold. Considering this digital age where…

Can I Include My Pet in My Estate Plans?

They may not be people, but we do consider them family. Dogs, cats, birds and other pets that we feed and nurture can become a big part of our lives. But what happens when these loyal companions outlive us? Is there any way for us to secure care for them in our estate plans? What Happens to Our Pets After We Pass? Have you thought about what will happen to Fido—or your other pets—after you have passed? Many people don’t, and so these cherished family members are often left out of estate planning. When this happens, and a pet owner…

How Is a Conservatorship Created?

Most courts will assume that a grown adult has the ability to make one’s own financial decisions. However, if an adult becomes incapacitated, a court can direct the appointment of a conservator. A conservatorship refers to a court decision where a person or an organization known as the conservator is elected to watch over the financial affairs of a person. It is important in these situations to know when the court creates a conservatorship and under what circumstances. Why Would a Conservatorship Be Created? A court will decide to appoint a conservator for an elderly adult only in certain situations….

How Does the Trust Administration Process Work?

One benefit of having a trust is the fact that each trust can be unique and flexible to a person’s needs at that time. Some trusts can hold a limited amount of property and must be terminated a short time after the grantor’s death. Other trusts can hold millions of dollars worth of property and can provide assets to beneficiaries for many years. The amount of administering a trust requires can vary according to different factors, such as the type of trust, the number of beneficiaries, the amount of property in the trust, and much more. What Does the Trust…

What Are My Rights as a Will Beneficiary?

Estate planning can produce many different legal disputes since there are usually so many different people involved in a will or trust. One very important group of people that are vital to any estate planning will are the beneficiaries to that will. A beneficiary is someone to whom a deceased benefactor (also known as the decedent) gives real and personal property, money or other assets. The will must define who the decedent appoints as a beneficiary and the inheritance that they are to receive. If you have been named as a beneficiary to a family member or loved one’s will,…

Difference Between an Advanced Health Care Directive and a Power of Attorney

Estate planning is extremely important, but it can get quite complicated since there are so many different terms and concepts to understand. Many people get confused about the difference between a power of attorney and an advance care directive. This is because, at first glance, these two estate planning tools seem like they offer the same exact benefits, but this is not necessarily the case. If you are in the process of creating and organizing your estate plans and you have come across these two estate plan documents, you should know the difference between the two, so you can make…