wills & trusts Archives

Why would I want a testamentary trust?

There is a lot of hype, much of it well-deserved, given to the practice of using trusts in order to avoid probate. When one creates a trust in order to avoid probate, he will usually draft what is called a living trust or, in some circles, an inter vivos trust. This type of trust take effect immediately once the ink dries on the legal documents.

Overview of the elective share in California

Like other states, California law gives special rights to a person's spouse when that person dies. The idea behind these laws is that a person's spouse ought have a right to a portion of the deceased person's estate, even if the person's spouse is not named in the deceased's estate planning documents.

How does life insurance get handled in an estate?

Like retirement plans and many other financial accounts, proceeds from life insurance policies typically do not pass through a person's estate. In other words, upon the death of the insured, the insurance company will pay the proceeds directly to the person named as a beneficiary on the policy.

Pitfalls to avoid when naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary

One thing that has big impacts on what happens with an IRA after a person dies is who the person named as the IRA’s beneficiary. There are many options people have when it comes to who to designate as beneficiary. For one, they could name their desired heirs directly.


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