Practical Trust Management | Estate Plan Pros
Columns

How to Evaluate a Good Estate Plan

When I go car shopping, I have a number of metrics I can use to evaluate the value of what I’m buying – miles per gallon, horsepower, and length of warranty for instance.  But what kind of metrics can the average person use to evaluate the value of the trust they have?  Pretty binder?  The length of the document?  Here are some key things to look at when evaluating the...

Read more...


Avoid Hiding Your Estate From Your Kids - Leave a Treasure Map

Tips On Implementing Your Estate Plan

Assuming you’ve created a plan that contains your unique goals and wishes for your family, the next step is to ensure that your plan is carried out.  The first tip is to not hide your estate plan.  It’s easy to hang on to “important” paperwork for years, burying the legal “treasure” (your estate plan, and other helpful information) in a mountain of irrelevant papers.  Let’s create...

Read more...


Next in line to be a successor trustee?

What To Do When The Current Trustees Become Disabled

Are you next in line to be a trustee for a family member?  Or, your spouse, who has taken care of everything, is suddenly unable to carry on as before.  With proper planning, you should be equipped to take over immediate medical and financial affairs.  This checklist is for you– what you need to do when neither parent is able to continue caring for themselves or each other. First a...

Read more...


California Tax Tricks for Seniors

California Tax Tricks for Seniors

Looking for property and income tax breaks?  California has a few options for seniors that could keep money in your pocket. Property Tax DeferralsWhile not eliminating property taxes, seniors 62 and older or disabled individuals with an annual household income of $35,500 or less can apply for postponement of property taxes on their home.  Information and the application are posted on...

Read more...


Transferring New Assets Into Your Existing Trust

Transferring New Assets Into Your Existing Trust

What happens to your trust when you open a new bank account or buy a new home?  Many people worry that a change in their assets will require a trust amendment.  The good news: it doesn’t, but there are two simple things you need to do when you get rid of an asset or acquire a new one. Keep Your Trust Exhibit Up To DateYour trust exhibit does two important things: first, it shows your...

Read more...


Give Your Trust an Annual Inspection

Give Your Trust an Annual 10 Point Checkup

This is the check engine light on your estate plan.  I’m going to give you ten quick and easy things everyone can check off on their estate plan.  1. BanksTrusts avoid probate because they are funded with your assets, and yes, that includes your bank accounts.  It is important that your successor trustee be able to instantly take on your responsibilities if you should become...

Read more...


For Seniors Downsizing, Props 60 and 90 Offer Relief

For Seniors Downsizing, Props 60 and 90 Offer Relief

In California, Prop 13 famously keeps your property tax low, making it potentially an expensive move to sell a home you’ve had for years for a new home, which will be taxed at the current fair market value.  But for seniors over 55, Propositions 60 and 90 allow you to take your old home's tax value with you to your new home.Proposition 60 lets you buy a new home of equal or lesser value in...

Read more...


Will an Unfunded Trust Leave Your Children Stranded?

Will an Unfunded Trust Leave Your Children Stranded?

I don’t know if you’ve ever run out of gas driving down the road.  If you have, I’ll bet it was a pretty memorable experience.  The closest I’ve come to experiencing that is the time I was driving in some back roads with my younger siblings and blew a tire.  Which wouldn’t have been a problem except that we didn’t have a car jack.  Being miles from any help, no cell reception...

Read more...


Bad Advice From Social Security Staff Could Cost You

Claiming your social security benefits should be an easy process – but it isn’t.  What’s worse is that the people in charge of explaining your options to you do a horrible job according to the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office), potentially costing you thousands in benefits. When You Claim Social Security MattersSenate Special Committee on Aging committee co-chair Senator Susan...

Read more...


Homeowners, Save with These Tax Tips

Sacramento Homeowners, Save on Taxes with These Tricks

If you feel like Tom Hanks in the “Money Pit” maybe these ideas will cheer your up.  After all, who can resist saving on taxes?  Then again, if you do have a house like the “Money Pit” you’ll need a lot more help than these few tips.  Save Your Remodel ReceiptsWhen you put on a new roof, install a sprinkler system, or re-do the master bathroom, save those receipts.  All those...

Read more...


Ready to Start Your Estate Plan? Schedule My Appointment