Sample Case Study: Client in their mid 80’s with an estate of approximately $9,000,000. Children are three daughters in their early 60’s. Two of the three daughters have received substantial help (+/- $500,000 from the parents over the past 30 years). The third daughter has received little or no help as she has been financially successful and responsible. The two daughters that … [Read more...] about Should You Distribute Your Estate Equally Among Children In Unequal Circumstances?
If you are in a second marriage, did you have children from your first marriage? What happens when your spouse has children that you have grown fond of? How do you treat children from a prior marriage versus the children in a current marriage? The best solution is to create Trust(s) for the benefit of all those you want as beneficiaries. Once you have your Trust(s) established, you should … [Read more...] about Creating a Trust for the Benefit of Children from a Second Marriage
The basic idea of a Qualified Domestic Trust or QDOT (normally built into most revocable living trusts) is to avoid the forced payment of estate taxes on the death of the first spouse with a large estate, where the intended recipient is a surviving spouse who is a non-U.S. citizen. Keep in mind that the following persons still enjoy an exemption from estate taxes on the first $5.54M in assets … [Read more...] about Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOT)
Is Your Home Properly Titled to Your Living Trust After You Refinance? For most people their most valuable asset is their home. Ensuring that your home and the rest of your estate passes efficiently to your heirs is a fundamental reason people create a Living Trust. Most people recognize they must transfer title to their home to their Trust as soon as the Trust is created. Unfortunately, most … [Read more...] about Refinancing Your Home – The Biggest Threat to Your Living Trust
How does your small business Corporation or LLC pass to your family members upon your death? We have come across many entrepreneurs and small business owners who have taken their business to the next level by incorporating into a C-Corp, or Sub-S Corporation or an LLC. This provides the business with a lot of protection and flexibility, but it doesn't automatically pass down to your heirs upon … [Read more...] about Business Continuity Solutions In Case of Death or Incapacitation
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 $150,000, except that if real estate is part of your estate, the threshold falls to … [Read more...] about How Much Does It Cost To Set Up a Living Trust?
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. One of the benefits of having a living trust is to ensure privacy by avoiding the public … [Read more...] about Is a Living Trust a Public Record?
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 are a number of myriad features of grantor trusts, but this is its … [Read more...] about Are All Grantor Trusts Revocable?
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 power of appointment is a specific power granted usually to a surviving spouse or a … [Read more...] about Can An Irrevocable Trust Be Amended?
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 at all or only a Will. Probate is a Court-Supervised process that involves a 6-9 month minimum process (more often 15 months or more) in order to properly transfer assets from a decent to beneficiaries. Please … [Read more...] about Administering an Estate through Probate With or Without a Will