Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Using an IRA Trust to Protect Your Beneficiaries

If you are at all concerned about providing your loved ones with uninhibited access to an inherited individual retirement account (IRA), you may want to consider an IRA trust to alleviate those worries. In the past, IRA trusts were not very common. But a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling has led to more financial advisors recommending their use to many …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Common Estate Planning Mistakes Made by High-Net-Worth Individuals

No matter your level of income, having a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to secure the future of your loved ones and your assets. However, even among high-net-worth families, studies show that nearly 40 percent have not engaged in sufficient financial and estate planning. It takes the assistance of a professional and …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

The Impact of Jointly Owned Property on Estate Planning

One of the most common estate planning tactics for married couples is the joint ownership of their assets. When one spouse passes away, the other receives all the property without having to go through the probate process. This also eliminates any potential estate taxes at the first death because federal law allows for an unlimited marital deduction. Although this strategy …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

California Legislature Mulls New Estate Tax

California State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) recently introduced S.B. 726, a measure that would serve as a response to a recent federal proposal from the administration of President Donald Trump. The President has been vocal in his desire to repeal the federal estate tax. As it currently stands, there is a 40 percent tax on individual estates valued at …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Qualified Domestic Trusts for Non-Citizen Surviving Spouses

There are various methods available to married couples that can help them reduce their estate tax burdens. The marital deduction trust is one of these mechanisms, as it allows spouses to pass their estates to the surviving spouse without that property being subject to taxation at the time of the first spouse’s death. When the surviving spouse is not a …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Pension Benefits Through the US Department of Veterans Affairs

Wartime veterans of the armed forces have access to numerous benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) upon returning home from their service. Among those benefits, one of the least-known is the “Aid and Attendance” pension available to both the veteran and his or her spouse.   Which veterans qualify for Aid and Attendance? A veteran, or the …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

How to Use an AB Trust to Minimize Estate Tax Obligations

For married couples who own a substantial amount of wealth, the federal estate tax threshold is double the limit applied to individuals. In other words, these couples can pass on up to $10.98 million before the estate tax kicks in. However, couples whose wealth exceeds that limit will need to work with an estate planning attorney to develop what’s known …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

‘Springing’ Powers of Attorney Present Some Legal Complications

Springing power of attorney is a specific form of power of attorney that has its powers “spring” into effect as soon as an individual becomes incapacitated. Many people favor this form of power of attorney because they do not want to have their arrangement take effect while they are still fully capable of managing their own affairs. However, after discussing …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

A Guide to Veterans Pension Benefits and How to Qualify

VA Pension Benefits Knowing What is Available, How to Qualify and Who to Trust with Assistance The VA Improved Pension provides financial assistance to qualified veterans and their spouses. The pension is a benefit that veterans earn due to their service to our country, but few have ever heard about it. We hope to change that and assist veterans and …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

How an Irrevocable Trust Can Play an Invaluable Role in Your Estate Plan

If you have concerns about distributing your assets and property to your loved ones per your exact wishes while minimizing your tax obligations, an irrevocable trust is a highly effective tool to do just that. With an irrevocable trust, you would place a certain amount of your assets in the trust. Once you do that, you no longer technically own …