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Estate Planning Archives

Does passing a house onto an heir trigger tax reassessment?

California estate planning can get exceptionally complicated, especially when it comes to how to protect your interests when passing real estate from one person to another. If you own a piece of real estate, then you almost certainly would want to pass that on to someone when you pass away, but this is not always as simple as just making a transfer of property.

Should I start estate planning before my 40s?

In many cases, estate planning is considered something that the elderly or middle-aged concern themselves with, but younger individuals can benefit greatly from beginning their estate plan ahead of a normal time frame. The truth of the matter is that none of us are guaranteed any more days on Earth than we have already lived, so if you are a person in your 20s or 30s, you should consider how your estate might be handled if you suddenly passed away, and how you might protect the ones you love against this possibility.

Be sure to protect your digital assets in your estate plan

Estate planning is a complex process, and the best laid plans can prove very difficult to implement if you do not take special care to leave your executor the tool he or she needs to abide by your instructions. These days, many assets are solely or primarily digital assets, so it is important that you make appropriate provisions to ensure that your digital assets are included in your estate plan, as well as ensuring that your executor has authority and the proper information needed to access your digital assets.

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.

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