Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

How to Inherit Property Owned in Joint Tenancy

Any property a person holds in joint tenancy automatically passes down to the surviving joint tenant(s) when one of those tenants passes away. This is referred to as a “right of survivorship,” and it’s the easiest way to transfer property that multiple people owned once they have all passed away. The right of survivorship is the principle that guides how …

Ventura and Santa Barbara estate planning lawyer

Effective Methods of Transferring Real Estate Via Your Estate Plan

As you work on your estate plan and begin to make plans for how you will pass down your real estate assets, you must consider the methods you will use to do so. Real estate could be the most valuable asset in your entire estate, which means surviving family members will have lots of interest in what will happen to …

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 veteran’s surviving …

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 as an …

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 …