Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two of Six Reasons Why Your Family Will Have to Hire An Attorney For Your Estate

Lynn A. Dean,
Estate Planning Attorney
2. The assets were never transferred to the trust

When a living trust is created, the person’s assets should be retitled into the name of the trust. However, during the course of a person’s life, they generally change their assets. If the house is taken out of the trust to be refinanced, or if a new property is acquired, the assets must be put into the name of the trust. 

Too often people create an estate plan, shove it in a drawer or safe deposit box, and never look at it again. This is a problem, because an outdated estate plan is typically worse than having no estate plan at all! Reviews of your estate plan need to happen every two to five years to verify the plan still supports your current needs and goals.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One of Six Reasons Why Your Family Will Have To Hire An Attorney For Your Estate

Lynn A. Dean,
Estate Planning Attorney
Reason #1 -  No documents were created

When there are no documents (Wills, Trust, Powers of Attorney), the estate cannot be managed either during life or at death without the assistance of the court system. The court process is time consuming and expensive. Even when a couple is married, the spouse cannot act on behalf of the other spouse if there are no documents, unless the spouse’s name is on the asset. The estate will pass to the surviving children, but only through the probate process, which will take a minimum of 6 months. 

Many people make the incorrect assumption that estate planning is for the elderly, or for older clients looking to protect large estates. In reality, most people benefit by having an estate plan that keeps pace with their changing needs over time. A solid Estate Plan ensures that your family and beneficiaries will be able to settle your estate in the simplest, most cost effective manner.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BACK TO SCHOOL – The Advanced Health Care Directive for the 18 year old and the parent

Lynn A. Dean,
Estate Planning Attorney
High school graduates have had a summer of transition.  Most have turned 18 or soon will.  The back-to-school theme means gearing up for change; the seasons, moving away to college or travels away from home.  There is excitement about the adventure and independence.  In the eyes of the law, once a child turns 18 they are adults, living at home or not.  Being considered an adult from a legal standpoint has many responsibilities and consequences.  (For more on this, download a free pamphlet provided by The State Bar of California, “When you turn 18, A survival Guide for Teenagers"

For parents and guardians, these milestones are filled with some trepidation.  Your child will be making decisions independent of your watchful eye. Sometimes, accidents happen and there is a safety net you can implement that the law will recognize.  The advanced health care directive is a legal document that gives you peace of mind should a medical emergency occur and here’s one reason why: 
Without an advanced health care directive, if you are notified your adult child has been taken to the emergency room, hospital officials will not divulge any information to you.  This form of power of attorney can be created and allows you to have authority to make decisions for your child’s health, ask questions and get answers should something happen.  

To learn more about powers of attorney, click here: