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Orange County Estate Planning Blog

Keeping your estate plan simple, but with detailed instructions

The estate planning process is something that many people put off because they are worried that it is going to be too complicated. This isn't always the case. It is true that some estate plans are more complex than others, but we can help you to find out what you can do to simplify things for your loved ones.

As you work on your estate plan, you must think carefully about the goals you have for when you are gone. These goals help you determine what you need to do. You might need to consider multiple solutions to meet your needs.

Did you know there is more than one type of trust?

When it comes time to tackle the estate planning process, many people assume that the creation of a will is the only option they have. While this is something to consider, you don't want to stop there. You may find that some type of trust is exactly what you need in order to reach all your estate planning goals.

The most important thing you can do is learn more about the many types of trust. Once you have this knowledge guiding you, it's much easier to make informed and confident decisions as to what you should do next.

Demystifying trusts in an estate plan

Setting up your estate plan is something that can take a lot of thought, but it is worth it when you realize that you are making plans that can set your family members up after you are gone. Some people think that this is a complicated process, but it doesn't have to be. We are here to help take the uncertainty out of it.

One thing that you will have to determine is whether you need a trust or not. If you do need one, you will have to determine what type of trust is appropriate for your situation and can meet your needs. There are several that you might have to consider. Each one has benefits and drawbacks.

Know when you can challenge a will and prepare for the effects

Finding out that your loved one's will isn't what you expected it to be is a big shock. There are some instances in which you can challenge the will, but you need to think carefully before you take this action.

A will challenge can only be launched by someone who is either named in the will or someone who would have a right to the estate based on the state's laws of intestacy. The exception to this occurs when you are explicitly written out of the will.

What is a revocable living trust?

If you have ever thought about writing a will or an estate plan, you may have come to realize that many documents are required to protect different elements of your future. Some work together and others work separately to secure your needs. One popular tool in estate planning is a revocable living trust. Here we will state the purpose of a revocable living trust, why you might need one and how you can maintain it as part of your estate plan.

Defining its use

What should you include in a will?

Choosing to create a will is a very important decision. It’s one that requires thoughtful planning and careful execution. Acknowledging how you want your affairs handled in the event of your passing is not a pleasant task. But doing so keeps you in control of your own healthcare, ensures your loved ones are properly cared for and offers many other benefits.

What exactly is a will?

Protect your family financially in the days after your death

When you watch shows on television, you probably see people having a reading of the will shortly after a person dies. This isn't the way that things always happen. Depending on the circumstances, the reading of the will might take a while. In some instances, there isn't a will to read. These situations can pose problem for people who have counted on the decedent for support.

We realize that you might not feel ready to deal with the questions that come up during the estate planning process. The truth is that you don't know how long you have to live, so making the plans now is necessary so that you can try to make things easier for your family members.

What should I know about the probate process?

The probate process is something that is mystifying for many people. It is easy to assume that when a loved one dies, you just split up his or her stuff and that's the end of the story. This is the case for some families, but there are also times when dividing the estate is a bit more complex.

The probate process is a court-supervised sorting of a decedent's estate. There are certain conditions that must be present in order for the court to note that the estate has to go through probate.

Succession plans are a must for all small businesses

Small businesses often hinge on the decisions of one person, the business owner. When you are the person who owns the business and are the only one who decides everything about the business, you need to think about what is going to happen when you pass away.

Making a succession plan might not be what you'd consider a fun thing to do or even something on the top of your list. It is imperative that you take the steps to get this done because you simply don't know when something will happen to you.

Hugh Hefner's widow signed prenuptial, but still gets millions

When 91-year-old Hugh Hefner died this past week, many people wondered how his widow, Crystal, was going to fare. It was common knowledge that the 31-year-old former Playboy cover model had signed an ironclad prenuptial agreement with Hefner. Still, it was speculated that he was going to take care of her for the rest of her life, but the question was how he would accomplish that since she wasn't in his will.

Some speculated that he would do this through Q-TIP trusts, which is a Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust. This type of trust would provide his widow with an income stream that is likened to an annuity or pension payment. Since she wouldn't have control of the trust, she couldn't control who gets the benefits of it when she passes. Instead, Mr. Hefner's instructions prior to his death determines this.

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