Category: Trusts

Addressing End of Life Issues

I am often called when a client is nearing death or has passed away. I am usually asked specific questions regarding the first steps in the administration of a trust or an estate. I set forth below some things to consider regarding End of Life issues for yourself or for a loved one. What Medical [..]

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Private Professional Fiduciary

Why should a private professional fiduciary be appointed to administer either a revocable living trust or a probate estate? PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE A private professional fiduciary is in the business of acting for beneficiaries of a trust or heirs at law in a probate estate. He or she may also serve for the benefit of a [..]

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Don’t Sabotage Your Estate Plan

Your living trust is your plan for how your money and assets (your “estate”) should be used for your benefit during your lifetime and for your named beneficiaries at your death. Usually a lot of time has been invested in creating and establishing such a plan: Time to meet with your estate planning lawyer to [..]

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Changes in Tax Law May Require Changes to Your Trust

As you may know, Congress recently made certain changes in the tax code. The $5 million exemption from estate tax (which was available for persons dying in 2011 and 2012) was made permanent, indexed for inflation. That means that individuals now can shelter $5,250,000 (2013) from any estate tax liability. Also, Surviving Spouses have the [..]

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Caring for the Aging Settlor

It is no secret that family or friends of an aging person are faced with many challenges when they try to care for the elder, both physically and financially. I will use the term “Settlor” to mean the aging person who established a living trust or is the principal of a medical or financial power [..]

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Marital Property on Death of Spouse

Property for married couples in California may be characterized in three different ways: separate property (belonging to only one spouse solely), community property (belonging to both spouses in equal and undivided portions),or quasi-community property (property located outside of California that would be considered community property if it were held in California). In this newsletter, reference [..]

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Portability: Sharing Your Estate Tax Exemption

The last couple of years have been quite eventful for accountants and trust and estate lawyers. We began 2010 by being surprised that Congress had taken no action to address that year’s repeal of the estate tax law for decedents dying in 2010. Congress did eventually act, and on December 17, 2010, passed a tax [..]

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Living Trusts Versus Wills

Reasonable minds may differ and reasonable people may disagree about any given issue. The issue of whether living trusts are better than probate is not universally settled. In my opinion, whether a person should create and establish a Living Trust, or a Last Will and Testament depends on a variety of factors, including (but not [..]

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Retirement Distributions to Living Trust

The rules for retirement plan distributions are highly complex. They vary widely depending on the specific circumstances and kind of retirement plan held by the participant and therefore cannot be fully addressed here. My purpose in writing is to draw your attention to some of the issues of concern in this area so that you [..]

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