A good estate plan typically includes a Health Directive where you appoint a trusted friend or family member to not only make medical decisions for you, but to also take care of how your remains are handled at your death.
Having an estate plan is critical to ensuring the right people are in place should you ever be unable to take care of your needs.
Many people assume that if you have been a couple for a long time in California, that you eventually become legally married under common law. California does NOT recognize common law marriage regardless of how long you have been together, and/or if you declare to others that you are married. Under California law, unless a couple is legally married or has a legal domestic partnership, the surviving life partner may not be provided for by the estate. Learn how to avoid this!
Federal estate taxes have been significantly decreased, effective as of Jan. 1, 2018. For single individuals, if you die in 2018, there is no estate tax imposed unless you own more than approximately $11.2 million. For married couples, the estate tax exemption is now over $22.4 million per couple. This exempt amount will continue to increase until Jan. 1, 2026, when the law automatically sunsets and the exemption returns to approximately $5 million per person. Learn more about the New Tax Fix AB Split.
You finally committed to making an estate plan, and now you are in possession of a big binder or envelope full of your original documents. Now, the question is where to put it, or if you created your documents many years ago, do you know where they are? Here are some tips to keep these documents organized, handy, and safe.
There have been significant to the laws in the past 5 years. In 2012, congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”). The most relevant changes in the law that impact the average living trust include tax exemption changes and portability. Learn more…
Learning about estate planning can be confusing since there is so much misinformation out there. Simply, estate planning allows you to legally appoint agents to act for you if you cannot act for yourself, and it allows you to document your wishes as to your end of life decisions, and how you would like your belongings to be distributed to your heirs at your death. It does require some time and effort to put in place; however, getting it done will give you peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order.