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Annual Estate Plan Checkup

It’s a new year and I want to wish you the best of health and happiness this year.

January is a great time to plan for the year and review some important estate planning issues.  Here are a couple of things I wanted to share with you this January. 

First, we expanded our probate practice in 2018.  This is largely due to new clients that had parents and relatives that didn’t have their property in a trust.  If you find yourself involved in anything needing probate, know that we have great experience and have appeared and settled probate and real estate title matters in Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento, Sutter and Riverside counties.  We also encourage you to call us for advice relating to retitling property after the passing of someone or correcting incorrectly titled real properties.

Second, it is a good time to remind those around you to make sure their families are protected by either getting their estate plan completed, updating their estate plan, or resolving family members’ estates if there are issues and/or conflicts.  We are available to discuss the options.  We will continue to offer a complimentary 30-minute estate planning consultation so take advantage of this if you haven’t already or share it with others.

Third, for those with existing estate plans, here are six questions to answer in this new year.

1. Is everything in the Trust? Have all appropriate assets been properly transferred into the name of the trust?  This is an good time to look at real estate titles, investment account titling. (Hint, look at recent statements to see how the title is held.)

2. Change in real property ownership? Have you sold, purchased and/or inherited any real estate?  If so, was the property titled in the name of the trust?

 3. Receive an inheritance? If any assets were recently inherited, should they be handled as separate property when making gifts upon death?

 4. Changes to beneficiaries in your estate plan? Have any people named in the estate plan, moved, passed away, or otherwise changed status?  If so it’s a good idea to re-read existing estate plans and consider updating beneficiary’s role or status.

 5. Any beneficiaries with new challenges? Have any beneficiaries developed significant creditor, financial, or serious medical issues or become disabled? You may want to consider changing the way in which they receive assets from your estate to make sure they are protected over time.

6. Anyone who may need skilled nursing care in the future? Are one or both spouses having significant health issues that may eventually require long term skilled nursing care.  If so, it may be time to consider estate planning to qualify them for Medi-Cal benefits without spending down the entire estate.

Contact Mark at for more information.
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