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Estate Planning Archives

Tax implications of adding a guest house

For many Californian's, their home is an essential component of their estate plan. However, maintaining an effective estate plan becomes more complicated the more changes occur to to the assets within an estate, and modifications or additions to your home may change how you approach this asset and its tax implications.

A strong will protects against in-fighting

Whenever there are any assets to divide after a person passes away, there is the great possibility for tensions and squabbling among beneficiaries. If you worry that your loved ones may fight over an inheritance, there are some concrete steps you can take to combat this possibility.

California considers state-level estate tax

If you've been following the national news much at all for the last year, then you know that President Trump has made it very clear that he wants to repeal the federal estate tax. While this may seem like a welcome break for many of California's residents, it may be too soon to rejoice. Recently, state legislators have introduced bills that would effectively replace the repealed federal estate tax with a California-specific estate tax.

Are there individuals I should not name as executor?

Naming an executor to your estate is large responsibility for both you and the individual you choose. This person will have to step in when the time comes to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, while also negotiating a number of complex legal issues that might arise. because of the seriousness of the position, one must not name an executor hastily. While it is generally possible to choose anyone you want as your executor, there are some restrictions.

Employers' retirement plans are not always reliable

Many individuals have invested heavily in their employers' 401(k) retirement plans, but this is not always as much of an advantage as one might hope. A 2015 California Supreme court decision shed light on the issue after a utility company was successfully sued by its employees for failing to properly represent the nature of the plan.

Retirement accounts and estate planning

When creating your estate plan, it is important to consider your various retirement accounts and how you plan to distribute the underlying assets to your beneficiaries. Of course, 401k accounts, Individualized Retirement Accounts (IRA's), Roth IRA's and Social Security benefits all operate slightly differently and have different terms for payout. It is crucial that you make sure that your estate planning attorney has all of the correct, up-to-date information when helping you assemble the right plan for you.

Is it time to simplify your assets?

As you get older, it may become increasingly difficult to stay on top of your finances, even if you have considerable resources. There are a number of reasons why finances become more complicated as we age, but all of them point to the same conclusion — it is important to get proper estate planning help before you think you need it. Otherwise, you might lose a significant portion of your assets to simple mistakes that could have been avoided.

Granparents may cover preschool tuition, skip gift tax

If you're like many grandparents, you are always on the lookout for creative ways you can spread around your good fortune and resources to the ones you love, especially your grandchildren. While it is well-established that you can avoid a great deal of taxation by putting money aside for your grandchildren's higher education, but you may also be able to put resources toward preschool and doge the gift tax with a little careful planning.

Michael Jackson estate mess raises concerns

If you're a resident of California, there's a decent chance that you may face issues that other residents in different states don't face — especially if you're a celebrity of some type. One issue that people with a recognizable (and marketable) likeness face when estate planning, unlike many other people, is how to plan around the value of themselves and their own image after they pass away. Recently, the estate of Michael Jackson ran into a host issues on the matter.

California proposes state-level estate tax

if you've been following the news, it has been consistently dominated by the various actions of the Trump administration, which has been making a number of controversial moves in its first 100 days. One of the areas that President Trump has promised to address in the near future is the federal estate tax, which currently commands 40 percent of an estate's value above $5.49 million per person. If Trump has his way, the law may shift from a tax on overall estate value to a proposed tax on capital gains. However, California, which often pioneers progressive policies, is proposing a state-level estate tax — even if the federal estate tax is repealed.

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