The basic estate planning process involves planning for incapacity during your life by utilizing successor trustees in a revocable trust and designating an agent under durable powers of attorney; selecting guardians for minor children and providing for management of assets for the benefit of children; and includes health care matters with formal documentation indicating your health care choices. Standard documentation includes Will, revocable trust, durable powers of attorney for property management and for health care, appropriate titling of assets (joint tenancy, tenants in common, community property, community property with right of survivorship), and beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and life insurance.
A Will allows you to name the individuals, trusts or charitable organizations to receive your assets when you pass away. Read more.
When you have a Trust you will have a Pour-Over Will. It will provide all property titled in your name be transferred to your revocable trust at your death. Read more.
A revocable trust is a legal document that allows you to direct how you want your assets to be distributed when you die while allowing you to maintain control of those assets during your lifetime. Read more.
Your Durable Power of Attorney for Property Management is designed to allow someone, usually the same person who will be the successor trustee of your trust “to manage non-trust assets.”. Read more.
You have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare so that someone you choose can make medical decisions for you if you cannot make those decisions for yourself. Read more.
Your medical release form will name individuals that you authorize to receive medical information. Read more.
A married couple in California or another community property state which own appreciated property may be advised to have a written document reflecting that such ownership is as “community property.” Read more.
Title to your assets, including real estate, business interests, bank accounts, and investments must be changed and placed in the names of the trustees if they are to be included in the trust. Read more.
Retirement accounts and life insurance proceeds are directed by Beneficiary Designations. Read more.
Let’s Discuss Your Specific Estate Planning
You may also choose to address specific issues, such as income or estate tax, asset or divorce protection for yourself or your heirs, the disposition and management of a particular asset, such as a business, or the handling of assets for the benefit of heirs with special needs. Legal documentation and strategies include gifting strategies, irrevocable trusts, use of life insurance, planning for children from a previous marriage, and planning for children with substance abuse. Techniques such as the following may be employed.
The Federal Estate Tax is a transfer tax that an estate may have to pay before it can be distributed to its heirs or beneficiaries. Read more.
There are three Gift Taxes available: Gifts to Spouses, Annual Gifts, Gift Tax Return. Read more.
The basis for capital gain purposes of property received by an heir is adjusted to the fair market value of the property as of the date of death of the decedent. Read more.
Life insurance policies are considered part of the estate and are subject to estate taxes. Read more.
A QPRT lets you transfer a primary or vacation residence to a trust while you reserve the right to live in the home for a term of years. Read more.
The donor may wish to make gifts in a way that the donor (or the donor’s spouse) could retain some use of the assets in case needed as a “rainy day” fund. Read more.
A CRT usually provides for the distribution of a percentage of the trust principal, at least annually, to a person, usually the grantor, for a term or his or her lifetime, with the remainder to charity. Read more.
You create a CLAT by transferring cash, securities or interests in real estate, LLCs or partnerships, to an irrevocable trust during your lifetime or at your death with an income stream to charity and the remainder to a designated beneficiary. Read more.
Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) or Limited Liability Companies (FLLC) are most suitable for individuals who have a business, real estate, a farm or ranch, or investments and have sound business reasons to own and operate such assets in the form of a business entity. Read more.
The term “dynasty trust” relates to the duration of the trust. In theory, at least, the dynasty trust is intended to last in perpetuity or as long as the grantor of the trust has descendants. It may be, however, that a shorter period, such as for the life of a child, will accomplish the creator’s objectives. Read more.
Typically business owners should plan for management and ownership succession 3-5 years before exiting, please see the linked website entitled “Business-successioncal.com for issues to consider”. Read more.
Business formation, operations, and dissolution involve legal and tax considerations, please refer to the linked website entitled “Business-successioncal.com.” Read more.
Our team of experts to help you plan your estate planning and business succession. From the left: Marianne, Allen, Renita, Sabrina, Maureen, and Kristen.