Estate Planning Myths Debunked

What are some misconceptions about estate planning in California?

For many Californians, estate planning remains shrouded in mystery.  If you have never studied the subject or explored the topic with an estate planning attorney, you might hold some common misconceptions about estate planning.  The following is a look at a few estate planning myths and some helpful information to set the record straight:

Myth #1: A Will must be notarized in California in order to be…

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The Unique Challenges of Estate Planning in Blended Families

How can I safeguard my child’s inheritance from my current spouse?

Unlike the couple whose first marriage stood the test of time and who are parents together exclusively to the same children, those who have multiple marriages and/or blended families sometimes face unique estate planning issues.

Each spouse generally enters the subsequent marriage with assets of their own, some or all of which may remain separate after the union. While the couple may have children together,…

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Gift Giving as an Estate Planning Tool

How can I minimize the tax consequences when planning my estate?

As many high net-worth individuals know, an estate with a value up to $5.45 million is exempt from federal estate taxes ($10.9 million for married couples), and there is no estate tax in California. For those who have acquired assets above the exemption threshold, year-end gift-giving provides a way to transfer wealth to their beneficiaries while minimizing the estate tax that may ultimately be…

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A Job for Two Generations

Why should those whose parents are well and happy in their 60s and 70s have “the talk” now?

While it may seem unnecessary to delve into your parents’ financial and medical plans for the future when they are still completely self-sufficient, this is precisely the right time to bring up matters of financial planning. For one thing, the time to have a rational conversation about an emotional topic is when all concerned are calm and…

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