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What is a Beneficiary of a Living Trust?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 07, 2021 | 0 Comments

The terms for each role in a living trust oftentimes get confused with each other. Sometimes people mistakenly believe that a trustee is the beneficiary and vice versa. While this confusion is common, it can cause some misunderstandings amongst family members. Through this article, we plan to dispel some of this confusion.

What is a Trustee?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Feb 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

This question is often asked by clients both during the estate planning process and in the trust administration process after someone has passed. Through this article, we plan to clear up a bit of the confusion surrounding this important role.

Avoiding Conservatorship

Posted by Jim Filippi | Feb 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Have You Done What It Takes to Avoid Conservatorship? If you have been a reader of our newsletters and blog articles for any period of time, you know we offer many solutions to avoiding probate.  However, you should be equally concerned with avoiding conservatorship, for many of the same reaso...

Medicaid (Medical) Planning for Your Estate Plan

Posted by Jim Filippi | Dec 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

A very important part of establishing your comprehensive estate plan is addressing Medicaid benefits. Medicaid is the federal government program that provides medical care for those who do not have the means to do so. Here in California, the program is administered by the State under the Medical program. If you don’t plan for these government benefits, you or a loved one may encounter grave, unintended consequences.

The Importance of an Estate Planning Checkup

Posted by Jim Filippi | Oct 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

After arranging your revocable trust and other estate planning documents with an attorney, it is easy to assume that you have checked estate planning off of your list forever. The reality is not so simple. Not only do tax laws frequently change, but so does your life. The smallest change could have a big impact on your estate planning. You therefore need to revisit your estate plan each year to ensure your plan still accurately reflects your values, needs, and hopes for your legacy.

Thirteen Estate Planning Terms You Need to Know

Posted by Jim Filippi | Oct 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Estate planning is an incredibly important tool, not just for the uber wealthy or those thinking about retirement. On the contrary, estate planning is something every adult should do. Estate planning can help you accomplish any number of goals, including appointing guardians for minor children, choosing healthcare agents to make decisions for you should you become ill, minimizing taxes so you can pass more wealth onto your family members, and stating how and to whom you would like to pass your estate on to when you pass away.

Estate Planning Strategies to Consider this Election Year

Posted by Jim Filippi | Sep 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Regardless of your political affiliation, the next election stands to greatly affect our lives going forward. In regard to the laws taxing your estate, this couldn’t be truer. With a promise by the Democratic party to make sweeping changes to the current tax laws, including a return of federal estate taxes to their historic norms, taxpayers need to act now before Congress passes legislation that could adversely impact their estates.

Do I Have Time for an Estate Plan?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Sep 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Time is life’s most valuable asset. In economics, scarcity of a particular item often drives up its value. No matter how much wealth you have accumulated, when your time is up, your money cannot buy you anymore. In fact, the minute we were conceived a clock immediately began ticking on our lifespan. We are the only known animals to understand that our life will end at some point in the future. This is the exciting, and scary part of our human existence. Indeed, it can be argued that the meaning of life is finding the best way to cherish our most scarce resource.

Can an Irrevocable Trusts Be Amended or Modified?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Aug 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

When a trust is made irrevocable, either through the death of a settlor (the person who created the trust) or through expressed language in the trust agreement, the trust generally cannot be unilaterally amended or modified. However, this doesn’t mean that if the trust is no longer serving its original purpose, you are stuck with a useless trust.

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Living Trust?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Aug 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

It is likely that you have heard of both a will and a living trust, but you may not be able to discern the difference between the two. You may even think that a living trust is just for the super-rich, or even worse, that both a will and a living trust are only for those in a more “advanced” age. This article is going to dispel these myths and give you the knowledge you need to understand the differences, so you can make the right decision on what is best for you and your family.

What Every Parent Needs to Have Written

Posted by Jim Filippi | Jul 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

If you are a parent, or a soon-to-be parent, you know the love we hold for our children is unlike anything else. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my children and I'm willing to bet you feel the same as well. This article is for the parents out there wondering if they have done everything necessary to protect their children if the unthinkable would happen.

Why Avoid Probate?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Jun 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

You will often hear of talk about why you should take steps to avoid having your estate end up in probate court being divided and distributed by the approval of a judge. Those with the knowledge of how this process works will be the ones leading the charge when it comes to avoiding probate.

Can a Trustee also be a Beneficiary in a California Trust?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Apr 20, 2020 | 4 Comments

The short answer to the topic question is yes, in California, a trustee can also be a beneficiary, but there are several serious concerns you need to be aware of to ensure your trust doesn’t become legally invalid. To truly understand how this can go wrong, we have to dive into a little property law.

You Have Options in this Downward Economic Shift

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

The current shift in the economy was sudden, unexpected, and indiscriminately harsh on a lot of families that didn't see it coming.  Whether you were prepared or not, this downward shift in the economy has caught us all by surprise, not unlike the Great Recession that began 2007.  This time ...

What to Do with Your Beloved Collection?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Estate planning is a great way to share the value and meaning of these much-loved items with those you leave behind. Through your estate plan, you can explain to your loved ones why you collected these items in the first place as well as the meaning or value they have for you.

Does My Estate Plan Need to Include All of My Property?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

If you own a vacation home, timeshare, investment property, or any other asset outside of the state where you are domiciled you must make sure it’s included in your estate plan. If you fail to include these in your estate plan, or fail to have an estate plan at all, your heirs will encounter issues, and usually the expense and hassle of court costs, when inheriting these assets.

Can DUI Lead to Murder?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

We all know that a simple first-offense DUI arrest is typically charged as a misdemeanor.  So how can DUI be murder?  Murder is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” (Penal Code §187(a)) Nothing in that definition even mentions driving under...

Can My Estate Plan Support a Charity?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

As we have discussed in previous articles, estate planning covers more than just financial matters and healthcare decisions. Indeed, many use their estate plan to pass along their values as well as their wealth. One way to do this is to give thanks with your estate plan by designating charitable giving or specific gifts that will help ensure your legacy. It is important, however, to balance your income and the needs of your beneficiaries with the available tax incentives that can come with one’s charitable giving.

3 Things You Must Do Once Your Divorce Is Final

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 05, 2020 | 0 Comments

The divorce process can be long and expensive. However, the work does not end once the divorce decree is signed. In order to ensure that your assets and estate planning wishes are carried out in light of this major life change, there are three things you must do as soon as possible. A delay can have disastrous results if something were to happen to you before you had a chance to complete these tasks.

Do I Need an Attorney to Draft My Estate Plan?

Posted by Jim Filippi | Mar 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

The answer to this may surprise you. Especially coming from an attorney whose living is made drafting estate plans for families in the Rocklin and Roseville area where many families have made the decision to plan for their future. And the answer is a resounding no. You do not need an attorney to draft your will or trust documents at all.

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