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San Jose Estate Planning Blog

How to prepare the inventory and appraisal for an estate

One of the most important steps for someone administering an estate is completing the inventory and appraisal of the deceased person’s property. They provide this information to the state using the Inventory and Appraisal Form, which includes two attachments. The attachments are the essential part of the form, as they are the actual lists of assets.

Today, we cover the essentials of the California Inventory and Appraisal form.

How often should I review my existing estate plan?

Estate plans work best when they are up to date. This means that creating your estate plan is only part of the estate planning process. You must also review your estate plan regularly to make sure that it still reflects your current wishes, abides by current laws and utilizes the most effective strategy for your current situation.

Many people choose to review their plan with a professional annually. This can help ensure that any necessary updates are made in a timely fashion, including updates that may be needed due to changes in estate planning laws. However, there are also a variety of life events that should trigger an immediate estate plan review.

First-party v. third-party special needs trusts

One of the nice things about trusts is that there are so many different kinds. It is safe to say that California families could find a variety of trusts that fit their individual needs. 

In fact, many of those trusts include different kinds within one type of trust, including special needs trusts.

Preparing for taxes in your estate plan

Many of us have heard the old saying, “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” Sometimes, the two go hand in hand. When creating an estate plan, it is essential to consider tax implications for your property and assets. Today, we look at the essentials of “death taxes” in California.

How is guardianship different from conservatorship?

People often ask us, “What is the difference between a guardianship and a conservatorship in California?” In many ways, the two accomplish the same goal. Both are a process where the courts give someone legal authority to manage another person’s affairs. However, the duties and responsibilities involved vary between the two, as does the age of the person the court seeks to protect.

How to add a charitable remainder trust to your estate plan

Many people make charitable giving a part of their estate plans. Giving assets to charity provides tax benefits as well as a legacy you can be proud of. But with so many charitable organizations out there and numerous methods of giving, where does one start?

Charitable giving in an estate plan can work in a variety of ways. Today we cover the basics of charitable remainder trusts and their benefits.

How a special needs trust can secure your child’s future

Estate plans are exactly that: a plan for the future. They ensure your loved ones are cared for, even after you are gone. For parents whose children have special needs, the estate plan should also include considerations for their care. This can be stressful, especially if you aren’t sure what kind of care your child will need in the future or whether they will need government assistance.

A special needs trust can help. Special needs trusts specifically help people who, because of physical or mental disabilities, need help managing their finances.

Estate planning is not just for the elderly

It may be very difficult for you to think about the need to plan for your incapacity or end of life. However, in both matters of your healthcare and assets, it is best for you to provide direction in advance. Doing so can help you avoid probate, save money on taxes and prevent your loved ones from having to make decisions based on what they think you would have wanted. But if you are young and healthy, do you really need to be concerned about estate planning?

End-of-life concerns are not just for those at an advanced age. Neither are they only for people who struggle with health concerns. Perhaps the most unfortunate part of estate planning is that it may be only way to control the inevitable. It provides a way you can communicate your wishes in case something happens to you, while many other things remain outside your control.

Why having an estate plan protects you and your family

Several high-profile celebrities have passed away recently without an estate plan. Though your estate is likely not as large as Prince's or Aretha Franklin's, their lack of planning does highlight some important issues.

Here are five reasons creating a comprehensive estate plan protects you and your family.

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