Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

The Most Common Reasons For Will Challenges (And How to Avoid Them)

One of the disadvantages to a will compared to a trust is that a will must go through the probate process. Family members and others with vested interests in the estate may challenge the will during probate. By understanding the most common reasons a will gets challenged, you can prepare your estate plan to ensure a will contest does not …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

The Annual Gift Exclusion and How it Helps Your Estate Plan

Very few Americans will ever need to worry about paying the federal estate tax. Those for which the tax may apply, however, should know that the current exemption for individual estates is $5.49 million before the 40 percent estate tax gets applied. Although the proposed tax plan in Congress would lead to significant estate tax changes in the coming years, …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Making the Most of Life Insurance as an Estate Planning Tool

Life insurance is an effective way to protect your family in the event of your untimely death. It can replace income and give your family the ability to cover mortgage payments, the costs of education, medical bills, or other general expenses. Thus, a life insurance policy can be a crucial part of many estate plans. Below we review the various …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

What To Know About Trusts For S Corporations

There are special rules that exist for trusts that hold shares or stocks in S corporations. In fact, there are only three types of trusts that may hold these assets:    Grantor trusts    Qualified subchapter S trusts (QSSTs)    Electing small business trusts (ESBTs) There are additional requirements each of these trusts must meet to hold stocks or shares in S corps. …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Adding Conditions to What You Leave to Your Children

It is quite common for people to want to attach conditions on an inheritance they leave to their children. You might, for example, be concerned about your child’s spending habits or a substance abuse problem. Adding conditions to your will and estate plan can help your kids use the money and assets they receive more responsibly. You might find it …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Estate Planning Tips for People Married to Noncitizens

If your spouse is not a citizen of the United States, some special rules could affect your estate planning process. In general, you will proceed just as you would if your spouse was a legal citizen. The following are some estate planning matters all people should address, regardless of their citizen status: Making a will or living trust to leave …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

How to Account for Children with Disabilities in Your Estate Plan

All parents should consider the futures of their children in their estate planning. However, there are some special considerations parents of children with disabilities must address when putting together their wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents. At the outset of your estate planning process, speak with your attorney in detail about the disability in question, the abilities and limitations …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Using a Charitable Remainder Trust in Your Estate Plan

A charitable remainder trust is an excellent way to pass on assets from your estate to the charity of your choice, while also giving you and your beneficiaries a sizeable tax break. It’s an especially sound option for people who wish to make large donations to charities upon their death. However, you should keep in mind that a charitable remainder …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Protecting Your Estate’s Finances by Implementing Durable Power of Attorney

Establishing a durable power of attorney for finances is a straightforward and reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances in the event of your incapacitation. This designation will remove a significant amount of stress from your family members, who might otherwise be unable to maintain the financial affairs of your estate. Below is a general overview of …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

What You Need to Know About Establishing Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents and tools that outline your wishes concerning the long-term medical care, particularly at the end of your life. These tools are especially useful in the following situations: You cannot make your own medical decisions You are in a state of terminal illness or incapacitation You meet certain other requirements as outlined in state law One …