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Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes

As a California estate planning and probate attorney I see both sides.  I see the planning process and I see what happens, after death, when the planning wasn’t done right.  Here is a top 10 list of estate planning mistakes: 10. Name your estate the beneficiary on your IRA, 401k, and other retirement plans. This […]

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California Insurance Code Section 10113.71 Form

Have you gotten forms from your life insurance companies giving you the option of providing them an alternate person to receive your lapse notices? I love this! It all stems from California Assembly Bill 1747 which became effective January 1, 2013. It was written into law as California Insurance Code section 10113.71. I think it’s […]

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Does a life insurance beneficiary change by divorce?

How would you feel if your evil ex-husband or witch of an ex-wife received your life insurance after you die?  Talk about rolling over in your grave!? Upon filing for divorce, in California, there are automatic restraining orders. Among them, you are not allowed to make changes to non-probate transfers without the consent of your […]

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Joint account ownership

What’s better joint account ownership or trust account ownership? Different account titling is better for different people in different situations.  However, in most cases ownership in the trust is the most flexible and long last answer.  For example, I was talking to a client last week who has a trust. Her adult son is co-trustee […]

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Simple “Advanced” Estate Planning

As I stated yesterday some advanced estate planning techniques are over-used in that they are overly complex for a lot of people.  In addition they cause recurring costs. There are two advanced estate planning tools that are under-utilized in my opinion.  The two are: 1) The Qualified Personal Residence Trust and 2) The Irrevocable Life […]

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Divorce and Life Insurance in California

I was contacted today by a client whose father just died. It was a painful death and, even more sad, he is probably now rolling over in his grave to learn what I am typing. He never changed the beneficiary on his life insurance policy and it goes to… his ex-wife. Ughhhh. I am happy […]

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Life Insurance Beneficiary – Trust or No?

Each asset you own has different issues when considering if it should be coordinated with your trust.  In my opinion life insurance is simple and there is one right answer… or at least one most correct answer. In my opinion the primary beneficiary of your life insurance policy should be your revocable trust in most […]

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ILIT’s Do not Have to be About Estate Taxes

An ILIT is the standard acronym in the industry for Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust.  An ILIT is one of the most dynamic estate planning tools available and that’s why I mention them from time to time. The key on this blog post is the idea that an ILIT need not have anything to do with […]

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