Understanding Wills in California

Wills are just one of many tools that can be used in the estate plan process to help clarify a person’s final wishes. A properly written Will can be a legally binding document that adheres to the probate code of California, dictating, among other things, who will be in charge of the distribution of your assets, how your assets will be distributed, and who will receive an inheritance. When I meet with clients, they … [Read more...]

Understanding Probate In California

Understanding Probate in California If you really want to scare someone, all you have to say “probate.” As soon as I mention probate during an initial estate planning strategy session, a terrified look washes over my clients’ faces. Even if they don’t understand what probate is, most adults know probate is not good. This article will help you better understand probate in California. When does probate … [Read more...]

Estate Planning for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New York Times best-selling author Gretchin Rubin offers this Secret of Adulthood: “Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time.” Estate planning often falls into this category. My office aims to bring peace of mind through estate planning. Despite my best efforts to inform the public about the importance of preparing your estate plans before emergency strikes, many people still falsely assume … [Read more...]

Common Questions About the Advanced Health Care Directive

When we talked about the Advance Health Care Directive (AHD) in this blog post, we covered the basic facets of an AHD. Mostly, we discussed the need to pick a primary agent that will make medical decisions on your behalf, if you are unable. When discussing the AHD with my clients, there are some common questions, concerns, and misconceptions about the AHD that I would like to address in this blog post. What will … [Read more...]

Making SMART Goals – What Have You Been Meaning to Get Done?

At the beginning of each year, many people consider resolutions and bucket lists in hopes of achieving new levels of success in a variety of areas in their lives. Common goals include breaking a bad habit or gaining a good one, reducing stress, getting more sleep, reading more books, making healthier choices, taking more trips, and tackling big projects. Some people choose theme words to help guide their year, while … [Read more...]

An Intro to the Advance Healthcare Directive

In earlier blog posts you have learned about the Durable Power of Attorney, the primary document dictating who has legal power over your finances when you are incapacitated. Now I will introduce the Advance Health Care Directive (AHD), the document that designates who will make your healthcare decisions when you cannot. Usually when we talk about a loss of capacity, people assume that I am referencing gradual … [Read more...]

How Do I Become Executor of an Estate with No Will?

Most people who ask this question have recently lost a loved one who died without any estate planning documents in place. This can be a confusing time, made worse by the emotional strain of losing someone you love. Luckily for you, an attorney who is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law can help you handle the legal aspects of your situation. Someone who dies without a will is said to … [Read more...]

Has the Ship Sailed?

In my experience as an estate planning attorney, I have come across two types of clients: proactive and reactive. Proactive clients meet with a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law before incapacity or death strikes. Reactive clients, on the other hand, meet with a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law because inevitable incapacity or death are on the line. It cannot … [Read more...]

Top 10 Things Not to Do When Someone Dies

Often, when a person dies, there will be one person who steps up to handle everything. Sometimes this is a spouse, a parent, a child, a close friend, a grandchild, or some other relative. Maybe you’ve just lost someone you love, and you’re the person who has stepped up to handle everything. Maybe you’ve just lost someone you love, and you are not the person who is handling everything, but you want to help the person … [Read more...]

Next of Kin: Who Inherits if There is No Will or Trust?

So, you’ve had a loved one pass away and you’re not sure who will inherit their estate, assets, and belongings? Or, you’re curious who would inherit your stuff if you (or someone you love) died suddenly without an estate plan in place? You are not the first person to wonder about this. It’s actually such a common question that the State has a set of complicated “laws of intestate succession” in their probate code. … [Read more...]