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The Best and Worst Way to Own Your Property

PRIMARY HOMES If you are married and own a primary home, chances are you own it as either “joint tenants” (JT) or “community property with rights of survivorship” (CPWROS). Both are forms of joint ownership, so is there a difference? Oh yes!  A big difference. In California, you get what’s called a “step-up in basis”…

How Step-Up in Basis Works

Should you hold appreciated assets in community property or joint tenancy?  That depends if you live in a community property state like California. If so, let’s start with the following assumptions: You bought land as an investment in 2000 for $40,000.  This is called your BASIS. Today, in 2018, it’s worth $220,000. Capital Gains If you…

The 2018 Tax Bill and what it Means for Estate Planning

BACKGROUND: There can be many reasons why you need a trust – but here are 2 of the most common. The first reason is to avoid probate. Probate is a court process that occurs after you die when you don’t have a trust, when your home, bank accounts, and all other assets will be held by…

Planning to Protect Your Assets

Asset protection planning is an important step to take in safeguarding your hard-earned assets from being lost, inadvertently, because you overlooked something important. The most foundational level of asset protection is to plan for what will happen to your assets in the event of your incapacity or death because you are 100% guaranteed to have…

How to Buy Life Insurance Like a Pro

Life insurance is a purchase only made once or twice in a lifetime, so it is common to be unaware of the ins and outs of policy protection. The potential pitfalls are significant, however, so review the following tips before purchasing a life insurance policy. Get the Right Type and Amounts Life insurance policies are…

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the Blockchain — What Happens When You Die?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin. But, you may not know what it is or how it affects your estate planning. Or, maybe you’ve got yourself some Bitcoin, but haven’t given thought to what would happen to your digital currency in the event of your death or incapacity. So…

The Real Cost of Caring

Dealing with the financial stressors of caring for an aging loved one can affect your ability to provide them with the care and compassion they need. It can also put the security of your financial future at risk. To mitigate these concerns, consider these useful tips to help you make informed decisions about how to…

Think Your Salary Can Bring You Safely to Retirement? Think Again.

In the sea of financial planning wisdom, there are too few messages about the importance of mindset. Gone are the days when simply saving money was enough to get you to retirement. With pensions practically a thing of the past, it takes more than just a big piggy bank to afford retirement. Saving strategies aside,…

Divorcing? Here’s What You Should Know About How it May Affect Your Trust

Trusts vary in their structure, funding, and terms, so it’s hard to know how divorce will impact your trust without review. It’s safe to say, without question, your trust (and really your entire estate plan) should be reviewed during your divorce to prevent unforeseen negative outcomes. The impact of a divorce on your trust can…

Tax Lessons to be Learned from Celebrity Estate Plans

A celebrity’s image and likeness can continue to produce considerable income after death. This type of intellectual property is considered part of your estate, and the IRS can tax its value. In the case of pop star Michael Jackson’s estate, that recently meant an IRS bill to the tune of $64.5 million, years after his…

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Contact Us

We want you to feel comfortable discussing your legal issue with us, so we offer a free consultation to learn about your problem. Contact us today to setup a time to come in and talk with our team.