What You Need to Know About Proposition 19 in California

Proposition 19 was passed in November’s election by an approximate 51% of the vote. It will go into effect February 16, 2021, but before it does, it is important that you understand the current law, the new law, and how the changes could affect your estate planning decisions.

The Importance of Titling Assets in the Name of your Trust

The revocable living trust is a popular way of avoiding probate. However, creation of the trust doesn’t automatically circumvent the probate process. It’s all about title. How is title held? Each asset that is held in your name alone will require a probate, which can be unnecessarily costly and time consuming.

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

During the last days of 2012, the country was abuzz with talk of the financial cliff. One key piece of legislation passed during this time was the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. A number of different areas were affected by these changes including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and gift tax.

You, Yes, You, Millennial, Should Have An Estate Plan.

I would like to tell you that I am not sure what prompted this blog post, but that would be completely untrue. The truth is that I'm turning 30 next month. It sounds strange, but I am absolutely shocked! Thirty! It seemed so far away. When I look back on the last 5 years, I realize that they were comprised of so many life-changing decisions and events-- marriage and starting a family, to name two big ones!

I'm using myself as an example, but chances are that if you were born between 1981 and 1996 (there is some variation in what, exactly, constitutes a "millennial"), life-changing events have happened or are about to happen to you.

Comprehensive Planning: The Documents That Make Up An Estate Plan

Estate planning is the process that you undergo during life to arrange for any of life's many, often unpredictable, situations. Some people are surprised to discover that estate planning involves more than just a will, especially if you want to avoid the probate process.

Probate: Four Things To Know

At death, property passes one of three ways. The first is by law (e.g. a life insurance policy where you have designated a beneficiary). The second is by trust (a legal document executed by you). The third is by probate. In California, the probate process is not necessarily complex, and in some circumstances, there are alternatives.

Aging In Place: Estate Planning To Keep You In Your Home

I was on the phone with my 92-year-old grandmother a couple months ago. “Well, the doctor says I am beginning to show signs of macular degeneration.” My first thought was, at 92 years old, something had to start degenerating! My otherwise very healthy, capable grandmother was suddenly being faced with age-related macular degeneration, a quickly advancing disease that can cause the loss of vision.

The Private Foundation And Your Retirement Plan: A Way aTo Preserve Value And Minimize Estate Tax

If you have a taxable estate, one of your estate planning goals is or will be to minimize estate tax (and consequently, to maximize estate value). Creating a private foundation is one way to accomplish this goal. One way to fund a private foundation for this purpose is to use your retirement accounts.

San Francisco Chronicle Op Ed: California Should Follow Nevada In Offering Education Savings Accounts

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an article on some new legislation passed by Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval. Though we here at ELG have a lot of questions (namely, accountability for parents), it's an interesting idea! Great for Nevada for addressing their education issues! I hope it works!

Read the full article here: California should follow Nevada in offering education savings accounts.

Getting Help For College Expenses: Tax Questions And Answers

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition for the 2014-15 school year was $31,231 for private schools, $9,139 for in-state residents at public schools, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents at public schools.

These numbers are shockingly high.