News & Blog

WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST, EXACTLY?

Much of the rest of this book will be about constructing a good living trust. But what is a living trust, exactly? As I explained briefly earlier in the book, you can think of a living trust as a kind of vessel, a bucket which you create, and into which you place your stuff. Some […]

New Year, New (or Updated!) Estate Plan

2019 is here and it’s the year to finally tackle creating your estate plan so your family, loved ones, and legacy are protected after you pass. Is this something you have been putting off? Are you wondering why you need an estate plan? Are you sure your existing plan includes all of life’s changes? Here […]

Estate Planning – Don’t Forget About Your Digital Assets

When we think of our estates passing on after we die, our houses, cars, money, and children may spring to mind. Most people don’t think about their cloud storage, social media accounts, internet domains, or online investments. Your digital assets need to be as much a part of your estate planning as your other assets. […]

PROBATE IS DANGEROUSLY PUBLIC

Like Bob Jr. from our earlier post, most people are shocked to learn that probate offers the family no privacy whatsoever. Literally, anyone can go to any court in America, walk up to the probate filing window, and say, “I’d like to see such and such file number.” The clerk will turn over a file […]

CalAble Accounts: What You Need to Know

In December 2018, CalAble Savings Plans opened to the public. Individuals who became disabled below the age of twenty-six are now able to invest in a tax-free account, without losing their SSI or MediCal. A CalAble account is a savings and investment account. They can be opened by a disabled or blind individual, or on […]

MINOR CHILDREN PRESENT A SPECIAL PROBLEM – The Question of Guardianship

We continue our discussion of probate court today on the topic of probate court and minor children. The costs of probate will go up considerably if the succession involves orphaned minor children. But in that case, of course, more than money is at stake. When children are under eighteen, and no parent survives, the state […]

In Most States, “Title Controls” – Probate Court Continued

Without a complete estate plan, even surviving spouses often have to go through long or short versions of probate to get full control of their family’s assets. In the meantime, terrible hardships can ensue. Wait! If your spouse dies—don’t you automatically get control of his or her assets, even if no will was signed? The […]

Letting Your Family Go to Probate

When your kids were little, you wouldn’t let them run in the street. When they were teens, you wouldn’t let them stay out until dawn. When they became adults, you wouldn’t let them send money to Nigerian princes soliciting them by e-mail. And when you die, believe me, you should not let them go to […]

How Much Should a Living Trust Cost?

A living trust is an alternative to a Will when planning how and who will handle your affairs following your incapacity and death. Wills require probate court involvement, living trusts do not require probate court. The price of a Will is generally less than then price of a living trust. However, the overall cost of […]

Consider A Trust Bank

Last week we covered choosing a trustee. However if you can’t find the right individual family member or friend to take on the job of trustee, and you don’t like the idea of an independent professional fiduciary, you might want to consider a “trust bank” to administer your living trust. Trust banks are institutions or […]