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January 2018 Archives

Conditions for disclaiming a gift from an estate

Estate planning is a complicated matter, and even a well-meaning benefactor may unwittingly cause unforeseeable conflicts or liabilities for their beneficiaries any number of ways. Often, these issues arise because an estate plan is not assembled professionally, is not maintained over time, or because the laws that govern estate planning and gift taxation change.

Do you need a durable financial power of attorney?

As part of creating an effective estate plan and protecting your end-of-life wishes, it is often important to consider appointing someone to carry durable financial power of attorney for you. The person you choose to carry this authority must understand the importance of this position and have the faculties to make sober judgments and dependably represent your interests.

What if I can’t avoid probate in California?

When a Californian builds an estate plan, most of the attention usually goes toward protecting assets from unnecessary taxation or other threats, such as creditors. In many cases, it is possible to avoid probate and several expenses with an estate that probate includes. However, this is not always the case, and some California residents have no choice but submit their estate to probate when the time comes.

What is a joint will?

Many people do not realize they may have numerous options when it comes to creating a will, depending on their financial and personal circumstances. One type of will that is commonly overlooked is a joint will, usually created for a married couple. Joint wills are used less frequently now than in previous years, because many of the advantages of a joint will are available elsewhere, often with additional benefits.

Protecting a spouse with an AB trust

When it comes to creating an estate plan to protect your assets and provide for the ones you love, there are numerous options to consider, including an AB trust, which some choose to help reduce a surviving spouse's tax liability when the first spouse passes away. These trusts use a unique set of rules to provide some distinct advantages and protect families from unfair taxation.

Choosing a health care agent

As you consider your estate planning needs and your emergency and end-of-life care preferences, it is very likely that you may decide to name a health care agent. Such a person acts on your behalf, making medical choices that align with your wishes. Depending on the nature of your wishes, some of those close to you may find it difficult to act as your health care agent, so be sure you choose your health care agent carefully.

Do you need to create a living will?

Living wills are an important part of many carefully considered estate plans. In broad strokes, a living will establishes the end-of-life wishes of the document's creator in the event that he or she loses the ability to communicate or faces some life-threatening ailment and can no longer make decisions with a clear mind.

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