Potential Heirs of Prince, say “Lets Go Crazy”

A Case for Having a Living Trust Prince Rogers Nelson (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince) died April 21, 2016 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug 50 times more powerful than heroin. Prince follows a long line of celebrities who died suddenly with complicated estates, more complicated family dynamics, and no […]

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Spring Cleaning: When Can You Purge Your Old Financial Records?

Feeling the urge to purge? April 18, 2017, was the deadline for individuals and C corporations to file their federal income tax returns for 2016 (or to file for an extension). Before you clear your filing cabinets of old financial records, however, it’s important to make sure you won’t be caught empty-handed if an IRS […]

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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up a Living Trust?

The most common choice you have when setting up an estate plan is the choice between a Will and a Living Trust.  A Will is always a one-way ticket to probate, unless your estate falls below a minimum threshold of value.   In many states the minimum threshold is about $50,000.  In California, that threshold is […]

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Are All Wills a Matter of Public Record?

Your last Will and Testament is essentially your instructions to the Probate Court as to how you would like your estate distributed.   When you die and your will is submitted to the court, a probate case is opened.  As with any legal case brought before the court, it becomes a matter of public record. Most […]

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Is a Living Trust a Public Record?

This seems to be a very common question.  Many clients assume that they, are and ask how they are supposed to go about recording them.  The answer in fact is the opposite.  Living Trusts are not required to be recorded, are not designed to be recorded and in nearly all circumstances should not be recorded. […]

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Are All Grantor Trusts Revocable?

Most, but not all grantor trusts are revocable, but all revocable living trusts are grantor trusts.  Generally speaking, a grantor trust status does not hinge on whether a trust is revocable or irrevocable, but whether the grantor is responsible, in whole or in part for taxes on the income produced by the trust assets.  There […]

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Can An Irrevocable Trust Be Amended?

One of the defining features of an Irrevocable Trust is that it cannot be amended, either at it’s outset, or at the occurrence of a specified event, such as the death of the Grantor. Sometimes an irrevocable trust contains the ability for it to be modified through the use of a power of appointment.  A […]

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Administering an Estate through Probate With or Without a Will

Only a Trust Avoids the Probate Process In California, a probate process will need to be initiated in order to administer the estate if the decedent passed with no estate planning (Will or Trust). Probate is a Court-Supervised processed that involves a 6-8 month minimum process (more often 15 months or more) in order to […]

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Is This Your Situation — Worried about Taxes on an Asset Sale?

There is always a temptation to just sell off assets that you’ve accumulated and take the cash. But that generally  results in a tax bill. There may be a way to profit more from those assets by giving them away.  By setting up a charitable remainder trust (CRT), you might be able to transform a tax liability […]

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