. . . "Now that the government has increased the estate-tax exemption to $5 million, do we still need a Living Trust?" The answer depends on what you want to happen to your estate (house, savings, life insurance money, retirement accounts, investments) if you die unexpectedly. A mainstream Living Trust can still provide: Protection for some (or possibly all) assets in the event of a lawsuit Safeguards so that children/grandchildren do not inherit too much, too soon Incentives so that a … [Read more...] about People Are Asking Me . . .
Just released, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TXMVOjloos stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as an unmarried couple legally appointed to become legal guardians of a baby -- if its parents die. Well, the parents do die, so the unmarried couple takes over the legal responsibility of raising the baby to adulthood (about 18 years). I've seen the trailer (but not the movie) and it looks both fun ... and also thought provoking. Most people with minor children have never had their … [Read more...] about Asking Someone to Raise Your Children if you Die
Pets are an important part of life for the majority of Utahns and Americans. One of my clients refers to her dogs as "my children." Pet owners are devoting more and more time, concern and money to the care and well-being of their pets. I have many clients ask me if their Will or Trust can be designed to include directions for the care of their pet(s) and how that care will be paid for. I'm now including "Pet Provisions" in Living Trusts and Wills that I prepare. The general themes … [Read more...] about Don’t Read This If You Don’t Have a Pet
People ask me "What's the difference between an Executor and a Trustee?" They are similar, but different. Similarities: They are each responsible for seeing that your wishes are carried out when you die. To ensure that your desires and instructions are carried out, choose someone who is dependable, responsible, and available to serve. Differences: An executor takes care of administering a Will. That includes the process of "probating" the Will. A trustee takes care of administering a … [Read more...] about What is an Executor?
If you have a Living Trust, and you are relying on it save your survivors (family, spouse, relatives) the cost and hassle of probate, REMEMBER that it must be the owner of your assets at the time you pass away. For example, a surviving spouse met with me this week. She and her husband owned a vacation cabin in another state. My office had prepared a deed to transfer the cabin to their Trust, but the husband wanted to record it with the County Recorder instead of us mailing it to the Recorder for … [Read more...] about YOUR LIVING TRUST needs your attention
Today is the day after Christmas, 2009. I’m gearing up to try to write something interesting, regularly, about my estate-planning law practice. As to the above topic, my friends, acquaintances (and clients) sometimes think that estate planning and financial planning are the same thing. They’re not. Here’s a short distinction. Estate planning is your will or trust (or other entities designed to protect assets from various perils). An attorney usually handles your “estate planning”. … [Read more...] about Estate planning and Financial planning are not the same thing