Lost Money Resources for Life Insurance

Many people know that you can search for lost money on the California Secretary of State website as well as similar sites in most every other state in the union. Also, is another great resource. Lost money, found money, unclaimed property, or whatever you want to call it. They are ASSETS that should be in your trust or estate if you are administering one after death. There are also resources for finding old life insurance policies. Here are a couple of key ones: New York has a free service which searches all New York life insurance companies. Since many comp
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What will tax laws be in 2013 and beyond?

I saw the following in Stephen Leimberg’s Estate Planning Newsletter.  This week’s issue written by Marty Shenkman and Bob Keebler who are well known national experts on tax law. I will quote Mr. Shenkman and Mr. Keebler’s words and then provide a couple of points below that as my added commentary: “Likely Changes to the Current Estate and Gift Tax Laws:
  • The estate and gift tax exemption may decline. While the law provides for a $1 million exemption in 2013, President Obama has proposed a $3.5 million exemption.   However, the gift tax exemption is unsettled and may be only $1,000,000.
  • The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption is scheduled to decline to $1 million inflation indexed in 2013, but again President Obama has proposed
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Community Property in California

California is a community property state, a distinction that may have significant estate planning consequences for couples who live here. When dealing with specifics assets, the first thing that must be determined is the classification of the property, whether it is community or separate. According to California Family Code § 760, community property is everything that the spouses bought or received during their marriage while living in California. It does not, however, include an inheritance or a gift made only to one spouse so long as the property is not co mingled. Separate property is everything that was purchased or received by either spouse prior to the marriage. It also includes inheritances or gifts made to only one spouse. Once a classification of property has been made, the nex
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How to Avoid Probate in California

With a little careful planning, you may be able to avoid the probate question, or probate “problem,” all together. Avoiding probate saves money and greatly reduces the strain placed on your family by time in court. A meeting with an estate-planning attorney can help you figure out how to structure your estate so that probate is not necessary, no matter how large the value of the estate. The following is a list of estate-planning tools that can help you avoid having to go through the probate process.
  1. Living Trusts: Living trusts (also called an “inter vivos” trust) is a trust that is created while you are alive, rather than one created upon your death. Living trusts are great vehicles to avoid the lengthy and expensive probate process.
  2. Jo
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