Estate Planning Articles And Tips

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A last will and testament is a document stating a deceased person’s wishes after they’re dead and is an important part of estate planning containing a legal mandate for how the deceased’s property is to be distributed.

This includes naming beneficiaries, the people, or organizations you want to inherit your property after you die.  Some beneficiaries will receive specific bequests, and others will receive the remaining assets divided up as the heirs themselves decide. But what if you are disappointed with your share of the estate? Read more.

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The anticipation of going through a probate court hearing process can be stressful.  Coping with the death of someone you love is one of life’s biggest challenges.  Besides the typical grieving process, other logistical concerns need to be dealt with, most likely including starting the probate process. 


When it comes to managing a decedent's estate, the process is referred to as “probate”. Many people worry it is daunting and difficult because they don’t know what to expect from a probate court hearing.  However, it can be as simple as five steps! Read more.

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A living trust can be a useful tool when planning your estate. It is a legal document of an arrangement that lets you specifically grant ownership of your assets to a beneficiary.


The person, called a trustee, holds legal title to properties to manage assets on behalf of beneficiaries. 

The trustee is also responsible for making sure the assets in the trust are distributed to your beneficiaries according to the trust’s directives. Read more.

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As coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States at an alarming rate, these uncertain times also serve as a glaring reminder of the importance of having a well-considered estate plan. There’s suddenly a pressing need to get your affairs in order. 


It can feel scary thinking about getting sick or not being able to make decisions for yourself, but an estate plan is meant to ensure that the burden of making health and financial decisions will never fall on unprepared family members.  Read more.

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Dying without a will is a problem for our loved ones. You have worked hard all your life, so you want to make sure your wealth goes to your loved ones when you die and is distributed according to your wishes.  


But what happens when you pass away without a will in California?  If there is no will who gets the decedent’s assets, house, or other real estate? 


 A person who passes away without first establishing a valid will is said to die “intestate”.   What does that mean? Read more.

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Talking about estate planning is one of the most sensitive and emotional topics among family members.  Death or incapacity is never the best topic during family gatherings, and this is understandable, because no one finds their death or incapacity as a comfortable point of discussion. 

However, making an estate plan is an essential part of preparing for the future. It ensures that there are measures in place to control, manage, and distribute your hard-earned properties among your loved ones and to ensure that taxes won’t eat up most of the estate that you set aside for your family. Read more.

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Because estate planning can be a bit complicated, going it alone brings potential trouble for those without a background in law. 


Properly planning your estate, however, can be a great way to take care of yourself and your loved ones. 

Being aware of these five common estate plan mistakes will help you feel secure enough to handle whatever the future may bring.  Read more.

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Talk about an advance healthcare directive and most people will tend to think that it’s just done when one reaches old age.  


When you’re healthy and at the prime of your life, thinking about emergency medical care is the farthest thing from your mind. 

But life is full of surprises and in a blink of an eye, a medical crisis can leave you too ill to make your own health care decisions.  

Read more.

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What Is Probate?  Probate is controversial and often gets a bad rap.  Without even understanding what it really is, people pull out all stops to avoid it.  But what’s the fuss really about?  And is it as bad as people think it to be?

According to Investopedia, leading source of financial content on the web  “A probate is a legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether it is valid and authentic. Probate also refers to the general administering of a deceased person's will or the estate of a deceased person without a will.”  Read more.

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Guardianship is a legal relationship formed by the court when a child, minor, or an incompetent adult is under a custody of an institution or someone other than the parent. The appointment of a guardian may be through a declaration in a will or an appointment by the court.

Guardianship laws vary between each state in the US. In California, a guardian is needed in the event a minor’s (below 18 years of age in California) parents are no longer qualified or capable to make legal decisions for them whether they be incapacitated, incompetent, or deceased.  Read more.


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Andrea Aston

Trust and Estate Planning Attorney


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