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Do Beneficiary or Joint Accounts Avoid Probate?

Whether intentionally or not, some people are of the opinion that a trust is not necessary either because they have someone else named on their account or because there is a beneficiary. So can beneficiary-designated accounts or joint accounts avoid going through probate? Well, it depends. Keep reading… Avoiding Probate with Beneficiary Accounts If an…

What is a probate?

WHAT IS A PROBATE? You may think that after your loved one passes away, everything they own will simply go to their spouse, children, siblings, or closest family members. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.    With a few exceptions discussed below, when you die, your assets will go through court. This is called probate. (For…

Should I Add My Child’s Name to the Home Deed?

Many answers to questions from attorneys begin with, “It depends,” followed by a long list of rules, which themselves are followed by a longer list of exceptions. This is not one of those answers! Instead, the answer to whether you should add your child to the home deed is almost always, “Never.” There are many…

What is an ILIT?

This is a part in a series of articles I have written on various types of irrevocable trusts. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts Why set up an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT)? An irrevocable life insurance trust (referred to as an ILIT) is a type of irrevocable trust that typically is used to own life insurance policies…

in-SECURE: Why you May Need to Update your Trust

Feeling in-SECURE? In January of this year, a new law came into effect known as the SECURE Act, which is the most impactful legislation affecting retirement accounts in decades.  You may have read politicians applaud the bill but be very weary — what Congress cloaked under the guise of “freebies” turns out to be nothing…

What happens when a beneficiary dies?

When a Beneficiary Dies “When the RMS Titanic sank into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, one of the lesser-known problems it raised was how to handle the estates of married couples who refused to part as the ship went down. Several women chose to remain with their husbands on board the ship instead…

What is the gift and estate tax?

This is Part 1 in a two-part series about Transfer Taxes. In Part 2, I discuss what is the generation skipping transfer tax. Understanding the Estate and Gift Tax There are two types of federal taxes.  The first, and more well-known one, is called income tax. The second type of tax is known as transfer taxes. …

Should I Create an LLC?

This is Part 1 in a two-part series about LLCs. In Part 2, I cover how to setup an LLC to maximize asset protection. Why do People Create LLCs?  If you own a rental property, it is strongly advised that you create an LLC.  I’m going to give you 3 reasons why, but before that…

Buckle up and Beware of Cheap Estate Plans

Why are some estate plans more expensive than others? If this is your first time doing an estate plan, one question you are probably asking yourself is, “How much is a trust going to cost?” This is a reasonable question to ask. But it should not be the only question you ask. Instead, you should…

Prop 19 – What you need to know

PROP 19: REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES BEFORE FEBRUARY 16TH! Proposition 19 will affect each and every person who owns a property, whether it’s a primary residence, a vacation home, a rental property, or a commercial property. According to the new law, we have a limited window to take action in order to lock in our property taxes under the old…

“Simon Says”: Bridge Law Partner Simon Khinda Speaks on Legal Issues re: Covid-19

Important Update for Landlords and Tenants In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cities, and counties are taking steps to minimize the impact on tenants, including placing moratoriums on evictions, holds on shutting off utilities due to nonpayment, and prohibiting late rent fees. The federal government has suspended evictions and foreclosures in public housing until…

Estate Planning Should Not be a Near-Death Experience

A New Era of Estate Planning in the Age of Covid-19 The spread of Covid-19 has caused a huge spike in the number of people looking to get their estate planning done immediately. This is not surprising given the number of people who have not done their estate plans yet. But what may be spreading…

“It isn’t possible to love and part”

‘It isn’t possible to love and part.’ In my last personal note from May 2019, I spoke of the Big Bad Wolf: “Here’s the thing.  We don’t know when the Big Bad Wolf will come to our doorstep, but we all know that he will come one day.  And when he does, we also know…

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