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San Jose Estate Planning Blog

A closer look: Who are the witnesses of your will?

Creating a valid will can involve several details. But these details are necessary to ensure individuals clarify their wishes for their loved ones after they are gone. 

Individuals making a will must meet quite a few requirements. They must be at least 18-years-old or older and of sound mind. A will must also adhere to California's specific estate planning laws.

Should you and your spouse make a joint will or a separate will?

When a California couple gets married, they usually adhere to the adage of "what's mine is yours." They buy a house and apply for a mortgage that could be under both of their names. They often open shared bank accounts and credit cards as well to combine their incomes. 

If couples have so many joint assets, then they might consider making a joint will to save time and money. But is this truly a good plan?

Estate planning is important for young people too

It is common for young people to believe one of the most common myths about estate planning: that creating an estate plan is reserved for older or wealthier individuals, not them. Many of them think that they do not have to worry about the end of their life when they are so young.

But the reality is that no one, no matter their age, can predict what will happen in the future. However, an estate plan can help individuals plan for unpredictable events.

Digital estate plans protect essential assets (and selfies)

You may know the melancholy feeling of seeing a friend or follower on social media who has passed away in the real world, their digital afterlife remaining just the way they left it. Over time, our feeds accumulate these “ghost” or “zombie” accounts.

Our lives have become so entwined with digital technology that a digital estate plan isn’t just about your fate on social media. Dying without a digital estate plan is sometimes at least as damaging as disinheriting your loved ones.

Things To Consider To Choose The Right Trustee For An SNT

Creating a special needs trust can bring many California parents peace of mind. They know that their child will receive the supplemental care they need when they are gone. 

However, it is important for parents to choose the right trustee to ensure that the trust actually provides for the beneficiary as they want it to. With any trust, it is critical to choose the trustee carefully. But there are a few questions parents should ask themselves when choosing the trustee for a special needs trust:

Frequently asked questions about paying the debts of an estate

Acting as the executor or administrator of someone’s estate is rarely an easy task. They are entrusted with important tasks that must be carried out for assets to distribute as the deceased intended. One of those tasks is paying off any debts attached to the estate. 

Changes in your life can necessitate changes in your plans

You may be of the mindset that once you establish your will, you are prepared for the future. However, while having a will is an essential part of your estate planning process, making sure to update your will can be equally important as your living and family situations change over time.

Certain changes within your family unit or financial situation can alter the way you want your estate handled after your passing. They may also change the beneficiaries to whom you would like to designate your assets. But how do you know when you need to update your will?

Three reasons Californians might wish to avoid probate

For many Californians, an essential goal of their estate planning is avoiding probate. However, unless someone spends much of their time examining estate law issues, they might not know why so many people wish to avoid the probate process. Today, we aim to demystify probate by discussing the primary reasons a person might want to keep their estate out of the process.

How to choose the right conservator for your estate

Few among us want to think about what will happen in the event we are suddenly incapacitated. Who will ensure we get medical care according to our wishes? Who will pay our bills?

In many states, the terms “conservator” and “guardian” are used interchangeably. However, in California, the person who oversees the affairs of an incapacitated adult is known only as a “conservator.”

Giving to charity in your estate plan

A contribution to charity provides all sorts of benefits, both to you and the cause to which you’re donating. In addition to supporting an important cause, donors often also receive tax benefits. By incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan, you can extend these benefits beyond your lifetime. Below, we outline some of the ways Californians can give to charity through their estate planning.

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