Every year, during our free 3-year reviews, without fail, we find that a few of our clients have inadvertently placed a piece of real estate in danger of going through Probate.
When interest rates fluctuate, like they have in the past few years, many people rush to refinance and significantly reduce their mortgage payments, or pull equity to buy a new investment property.
What most people don’t realize, is that whenever you refinance a property, most banks will make you take it out of the trust and put it into your individual name(s). There’s no real legal reason why they do this, but they often cite the unauthorized practice of law to cover themselves. Very, very few banks will let you keep it in the trust. Once it’s out of the trust, it is your responsibility to put it back into the trust.
Most, if not all realtors, are explicitly told by their brokers never to give advice on how to hold title. The way in which title is held, can have tax consequences for which the broker could ultimately be liable. Since most banks will not let you title the property directly into your trust and your realtor cannot give you advice on how to hold the title to the property, quite frequently the property will be titled in your individual name(s), and not protected from probate by your trust.
Adding Someone to Title
There are times when you may need to add someone to a property; like when you take on a new partner or partners in an investment property. Unfortunately not all people or services who can prepare a property deed should be preparing them. Since property deeds have real tax consequences, you should always consult an attorney when having them prepared. Frequently we see properties being taken out of a trust, and placed back into the individual’s name. We also see bigger mistakes too, like adding a partner with the wrong type of tenancy. They add the partner as a joint tenant, when it should be a tenant in common, and vice-versa.
Things like this matter, not only because of probate, but if the property is titled incorrectly, you could end up accidentally disinheriting your kids. This is probably the most dangerous mistake people can make with their property, and we encourage you to learn more about the problems with joint tenancy. To put it plainly, if the property is in your name, and you die, this will trigger a probate.
Estate planning is the process of establishing a Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and other related documents during your lifetime.
Probate is the legal proceeding supervised by the Superior Court used to transfer title to assets when a person is deceased.
Advanced Estate Planning
Families with substantial estates require additional strategies beyond a typical Estate Plan to reduce and offset Estate Tax liabilities.
The quickest way to get assistance is to contact us directly at 310-316-2400 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Assets and Estate Planning
When estate planning for digital assets, it’s important to consider the following: Identify what digital assets you have: This includes social media accounts, email accounts, online banking and investment accounts, and any other digital assets that may have financial or sentimental value.
Determine who will have access to the assets:
Common Estate Planning Mistakes
There are two common estate planning technique mistakes that we see in our office all the time.
They are Payable on Death (POD) and Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS).
California Estate Planning Laws and your Family – Fourth in a Series: How To Initiate a California Probate
The DE-111 California Probate form is an important document that initiates the probate process in California. Probate is the legal process in which a court supervises the distribution of a deceased person’s assets to their heirs.
Ready to do business and handle any trust issues. mary grimes06:15 09 Jun 22 I’ve dealt with 3 different lawyers in regards to my will, my trust. and my LLCI’ve spent... thousands of dollars.This is by far the best experience I’ve had, he’s handling all that, eliminating the LLC, putting my houses back in my name, he’s fair and has a great attitude.I don’t have to go to another lawyer again!read moreRed Castro06:58 31 May 22 Super friendly and helpful staff. Felt confident with their services from the start. Roxanne Ramirez18:14 07 May 22 Samuel Ledwitz has been my attorney for years. Friendly, knowledgeable and accessible. mary emily smiley06:43 06 Mar 22 I am so pleased with everything about this law firm. Thank you Attorney Ledwitz for all your help... and information. Creating my Trust with your firm was a great experience and done in a timely manner. I will highly recommend your business to anyone. Once again, THANK YOU!read moreJenniffeir Suarez03:48 14 Jan 22 I heard about this firm through a friend of mine and decided to make an appointment to see them.I... was so impressed with how confidant and comfortable I felt putting my case in their hands.read moreMercedes Morales21:01 19 Oct 21 Thank you Sam for all your help! Desiree Gasca18:41 19 Oct 21 By Darren Chaker: Having dealt with San Diego attorneys too long, I was happy to accompany a friend... there office to update a trust. The staff was very professional, attorneys could articulate a response for any question posed. Definitely talented attorneys.read moreDarren Chaker17:40 20 Oct 20 My wife and I completed our Estate Planning from The Law Firm of Bezaire. we were thinking about... having our estate planning done from last couple of years and it's all done .. Thanks to The Law Firm of Bezaire!!read moreVerna Gonzalez19:15 12 Dec 19 We got our trust restated The Law Firm of Bezaire and we are very satisfied with the service we... have received. They answered all of our questions quickly and made this process easy for us. We would definitely recommend this firm to our friends and families. Thank you!read moreGloria Smith17:43 22 Nov 19 Fantastic firm! Richard Knapp02:52 10 Jul 19 The people there are just plain friendly and helpful. Couldn't get better service Jill Gilliam20:54 25 Apr 19 I was referred by a very close family friend to Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates to do my... Grandmother's Will and have me act as Power of Attorney for my Grandmother quite a few years back. Every time we needed legal assistance, the staff has always been professional and The Law Firm of Bezaire accommodating and because of this, I have always recommended their firm to others as wellread moreBryan C. Carrington09:05 13 Feb 19 We’ve dealt with Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates on numerous occasions for Estate Planning matters... and have been very happy with their services and friendly manner. They helped us with family estates, real estate and is our first choice for the updating of our wills in the near future. I strongly recommend them.read moreJames D. Barker09:36 12 Feb 19 We found Samuel and his staff to be very efficient and helpful in our recent business with them.... They were always accessible and quick to answer questions or give advice when we called.read moreNick Locis09:28 12 Feb 19 My family and I have dealt with The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates numerous times for... Estate Planning matters - always finding them compassionate, approachable, and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.read moreJack N. Goulet04:24 12 Feb 19 The Law Firm of Bezaire did a last-minute will for my mother with very little advance notice. The... staff did a fantastic job!read moreLathen Cheas04:20 12 Feb 19 only the best says it all !!! VERY happy with Mr. Samuel Ledwitz esq. and staff.Now I have peace... of mind thank-you .read moreWillow Jones-Heger22:46 07 Jan 19 We had a great experience dealing with Samuel Ledwitz when it was time to revise and update our... family trust and legal documents. We feel very confident that we are in very good hands, and that our estate and our legal affairs will be handled with the utmost professional and personal care. Highly recommended.read moreAnn Imberman21:42 22 Aug 18 I was very happy with how my estate planning was handled by Sam Ledwitz & Associates. I would... highly recommend this firm.read moreandrea mitchell21:55 19 Jan 18
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