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Bay Area Estates and Tax Law Blog

Charitable contributions: maybe your adviser should wear two hats

Although certified public accountants provide valuable assistance to their clients across a wide universe of financial matters having material tax-related implications, their services do not typically extend in equal fashion to the giving of reflective advice on estate planning and administration.

Conversely, proven estate planning attorneys are often invaluable advisers and strategists for individuals and families with concerns spanning the entire spectrum of estate-related issues, but their expertise in many cases falls short of advocacy relevant to complex tax considerations.

Estate planning in your 30s: Choosing a trustee

A growing number of younger individuals, such as those in their 30s, are beginning to take advantage of the many types of estate planning trusts.

In the past, most of these people turned their attention to a simple will. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it's important to learn more about trusts before making a final decision on how to move forward.

Families and estate planning: you can't overvalue communication

Is there a malcontent in your family, say, a brother or sister who constantly complains of some perceived inequity in how he or she is treated vis a vis all the other siblings?

Or is there perhaps a sibling who, compared with other family members, always seems unduly sensitive and is easily hurt when a family decision affects him or her even slightly differently from other members?

Ending an estate battle prior to a total dissolution of assets

"In the ballpark" was the comment uttered by a now-deceased business tycoon some years back in response to an estimate of his net worth pegged at about $500 million.

That concurrence would be far off the mark today, though, if businessman Jeno Paulucci -- who died in 2011 at 93 years of age -- were still alive to voice it.

Far more to estate planning than cross-generational asset transfers

A chart appearing in a recent study focused upon estate planning reveals a clear trajectory regarding Americans' progressive appreciation of key planning considerations as they get older, coupled with their increased willingness to proactively embrace estate planning.

Facially, the evidence is clear: Whereas, only about one in five individuals in the 18-36 age demographic have executed a will or trust, more than 80% of Americans aged 72 or older have done so.

How things can turn south with even a well-crafted estate plan

A recent article in an online California publication is quite instructive -- even eye-opening -- regarding the need for any estate planner to periodically revisit material points in planning documents and, if necessary, make adjustments to conform with present realities.

Because, as the following notes, here is what might happen if you don't.

3 things to do to minimize probate battles after you die

Now that your children are adults, you might expect that they would be able to handle dividing up your things and taking care of your final arrangements without a lot of conflict. This might not be the case, even if your adult children get along. Money and assets are often the sources of contention when adult children handle their parent's estate. You can take steps now to minimize the chance of a battle over your estate occurring when you die.

Family costs for mom and dad: often exceeding outlays for kids

A writer and advocate for the elderly notes what he describes as a stark dichotomy regarding the financial outlays made by legions of families across the United States for different purposes.

Those dual purposes: child-rearing up to the age of 17 and providing care for aging parents, respectively.

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