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Bay Area Estates and Tax Law Blog

Strategizing when estate planning involves foreign assets

Not every family has assets that contain foreign holdings.

Many do, though. And those bank accounts and other financial vehicles tied to locales outside the United States yield both welcome assets and distinct challenges.

Beneficiary designations: often important, often overlooked

One reason why many prudent California estate planners forgo executing do-it-yourself contracts and forms is their uncertainty as to whether such documents are tightly tailored and comprehensively address their unique planning needs.

Likely, they don’t, which is an oft-demonstrated fact that prominently emerges when it comes times to settle an estate. Concededly, over-the-counter boilerplate offerings are sometimes sufficient tools for responding to straightforward and generic issues. The real-life intricacies involved in most plans, though, demand close attention from a proven professional to be fully identified, optimally dealt with and periodically updated as required.

California estate outcome underscores tax benefit for children

We have chronicled a few estate-planning-gone-wrong stories linked with celebrities over the years in our blog posts at the Bay Area Law Offices of Connie Yi. Those tales underscore that fame and wealth don’t necessarily translate to seamlessly tailored and optimally effective planning outcomes.

Occasionally, though, the details spotlighted in a well-known individual’s estate plan prominently do convey a “things done right” approach. That is certainly true concerning news that is currently being reported concerning the estate plan crafted by actor Luke Perry.

4 criteria for undue influence

Undue influence typically targets financial gain. It may be direct fraud, or it may just be the process of "persuading" someone to do something else with their money.

For instance, say that your parents have $1,000,000 and two children -- you and your sibling. You expected to get $500,000 each when they passed away. When the will arrives, though, you find out that you both got a mere $100,000. The other $800,000 went to a personal caretaker.

This single factor centrally influences estate planning effectiveness

Readers perusing our website at the established Bay Area estate planning Law Offices of Connie Yi might note the repeated reference of one specific term.

Namely, that is the word “comprehensive.” We stress multiple times on a relevant planning page the comprehensive nature of our advocacy on behalf of valued and diverse California clients seeking to implement optimal estate plans.

Wills versus trusts: an endless estate planning topic/debate

Wills in the estate planning world are proven tools. They unquestionably stand as paramount documents in that universe, having demonstrated their utility over time in scores of millions of instances. A recent article spotlighting wills duly notes that they “were invented centuries ago.”

The author of that piece stresses that the seemingly timeless pedigree of wills convinces many individuals and families that they are default go-to planning conveyance in every instance. Many persons across California and the rest of the country automatically fixate on wills alone when they turn to thoughts of estate planning.

How to jumpstart would-be estate planning

It’s no surprise that legions of Californians and individuals elsewhere across the country have a bit of a problem shaking off lethargy when it comes to estate planning.

That is, they’d rather just think about it (if at all), rather than getting off the couch and taking purposeful action to get started.

You didn't make it into the will. Now what?

A loved one passes away. A copy of their will gets passed around, telling people what they have inherited. You never get a copy. Confused, you talk to someone else who got one and ask to read theirs.

As you probably suspected all along, you got left out of the will. They didn't leave you anything. The will does not specifically say that you get nothing. It just does not mention you at all.

New laws, new wrinkles: some estate planning considerations

Imagine if the estate planning realm was essentially static, operating under relatively unchanging conditions and in a manner largely the same from generation to generation.

In such a universe, planning advice would unquestionably be monotonous and even arid. Moreover, there wouldn’t seem to be much need for a professional adviser to be exactingly diligent about having clients timely review and adjust their strategies to conform to new laws and realities.

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