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Why wait until the holidays to plan your estate?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The holidays are coming and that tends to mean it’s “estate planning season.” Nothing official, just a trend I’ve noticed. I usually get more calls this time of year, and I have a few hypotheses about why. Here they are, not in any particular order. 1. Many people start the year with an intention and a resolution to take care of their financial affairs, including estate planning. A lot of these folks call around January 2nd to get started. Others put estate planning on their to-do lists and months and months go by. By November, it’s apparent that the to-do has not yet happened. And so, there...

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Who is the client?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Who is the client?

The phone rings and I pick it up. “Hello, my name is John Simmons. You’ve worked with my mother Betty Simmons?” “Yes, that’s right,” I say. “Well, we need to change her Will. Now.” “Who’s ‘we’?” I ask. “We is me and my sister April. We need to change Mom’s Will. Now. “ “John, I’ve worked with your mother, and if she would like to change her trust, which we did a number of years ago, I’ll need to have her call me. She can come in and we can discuss the changes she’d like to make, and I’d be happy to work with her on that.” “Oh, well, she can’t really do that.” “Why not?” “Well, she can’t...

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Whom to choose?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Whom to choose?

One of the biggest stumbling blocks clients find in estate planning is the question of whom they will choose as trustees of their trusts, executors of their wills and agents for their powers of attorney.

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Keeping your assets in your trust.

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Keeping your assets in your trust.

I started a theme last month, which has to do with making sure your assets are in your trust. This goes for real property as well as other forms of property. Last month I wrote about making sure that real property you own in states other than California is re-titled in your names as trustees of your trust. Let’s step back a minute and review what the legal term “property” refers to. Often people say they have no “property” because they don’t own real estate, or because they have not yet paid off their mortgage. Legally, there are several types of property and everyone has something. Real...

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Out-of-state properties and California trusts.

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Out-of-state properties and California trusts.

For those of you who have done trust-based estate plans with me, you know that when it comes to your California real estate, I help you put those properties into your trust. And that if you own out-of-state real property, I advise you to seek out someone in that state to help you create a state-specific deed to re-title that property in your name as trustee of your California trust. I do not know how many people with out-of-state real property follow through on getting those properties retitled in their names as trustees of their trust. Jack and Josie had a trust together here in...

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Funny what some people think about estate planning.

Posted by on Jun 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Funny what some people think about estate planning.

Ask your average person on the street about any number of topics—baseball stats, the latest scandal news running on CNN, where to buy a good lawn mower, whatever—and you’ll probably get an earful of mostly accurate information. Ask the average person what he or she knows about estate planning and you might get some real doozies of misinformation. I think that’s because estate planning is about getting old, death, family and finances—and that’s a combination a lot of people would rather not think about. I am continually amazed by some of the things new clients tell me when it comes to estate...

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