Children’s Trusts


WHY “DO IT YOURSELF/FILL IN THE BLANK” WILLS & TRUSTS OFTEN RESULT IN DISASTER Retaining the services and expertise of an attorney who can assist you in preparing a smart estate plan requires a serious investment of time and money. The benefits (however) far outweigh whatever the upfront costs may be. Having the assurance and peace of mind that you and your family will be legally and financially protected in taking on the challenges of the future is inestimable. However, these guarantees vanish immediately when one chooses to forgo retaining experienced legal advice and opting for the “do-it-yourself” approach to estate planning. Many unpleasant scenarios and real potential dangers await those who want to save a few dollars in the short-term; and whose loved ones will probably end up having to pay tens of thousands of dollars correcting their mistakes. Everyone is unique. No two families are the same. The slick advertising that online legal services utilize (especially with using formercelebrity attorneys to pitch their offerings) cannot deny this simple fact: virtual legal document preparers that promise cheap, fill in the blank options for estate planning will never replace the professional, confidential relationship between a lawyer and his/her client. When circumstances require urgent technical advice and counsel, these do-it-yourself websites are of no use to a distraught client. Their staff is prohibited from rendering any kind of practical legal guidance to consumers. If you are making a terrible mistake in your estate planning, they can’t prevent you from doing so (the   unauthorized practice of law is a criminal offense in all 50 states). In addition, these online services...

Now that you are recently divorced, what should you do with your estate plan?

On the wedding day nobody expects to get divorced ever. We often think we will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. However, the sun rises the next day and problems occur. A day of problems turns into weeks of problems and then into years of problems. Your friends tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and they are right; however, it is the headlight from an oncoming freight train called divorce.

Estate Planning For Your Children – It’s Not Just About The Money

Most people near the age of majority do not have large estates (money or property) and many families assume that this means an estate plan is completely unnecessary. This is simply not true. A comprehensive estate plan does much more than protecting property from probate and directing the disposition of assets—estate plans also tell medical and financial institutions who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf. Without current, effective documents, these institutions may refuse to release medical information and will likely not allow family members to make healthcare decisions.

What You Need to Know About Pet Trusts

Pets are the most often overlooked members of the family when it comes to estate planning. Some might think that it’s a bit silly to think about estate planning for pets, but pet loves sure don’t. It’s really a serious matter. Most pets eventually end up in some sort of a rescue shelter after their original owners pass away. Most pet owners assume, that if something were to happen to them, their loved ones, or a neighbor would take their pets in. There are financial responsibilities associated with owning a pet, family compositions change, and many people are unwilling or unable to take on the responsibility- hence why so many pets end up in shelters. California is one of a few states in the country, that recognizes that pets are more than just property. In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into a law Probate Code Section 15212, which allows you to create an enforceable pet trust. This vehicle makes sure that your pet will find a good home, and allows you to allocate funds to make sure your pet are well cared for. Pet Trusts are simple to create, and work much in the same way as the provisions you might insert into your trust to care for underage or special needs children. 5 steps to get started to get started with a pet trust: 1. Find the right home and care givers for your pet. 2. Determine the average cost to care for your pet. This includes costs such as food, vet visits, medicine, and grooming. 3. Multiply the average life expectancy of your pet by the average care...

How Can I Use a Trust to Take Care of my Children?

You can use a Revocable living trust to specify a trustee to hold the trust assets and keep them invested until your child or children reach an age your feel comfortable with. This type of trust is referred to as a Spendthrift Trust, and can be folded right into your Revocable Living Trust. Statistics show that, on average, within 3 generations a family fortune will be spent. In order to beat the statistics, you can arrange for the trustee to pay for the child’s college education, care and support until that age. This helps prevents the beneficiary from squandering their inheritance at a very young age. Most people chose between 21 and 30 years of age for distribution. Spendthrift trusts are a great way to protect your children from squandering their inheritance, but they do require foresight to make you can properly provide for your children until they reach that age. You’ll typically need the help of several professionals to make sure set it up correctly, including: Estate Attorney Financial Planner Life Insurance Specialist Accountant Real Estate Appraiser  ...