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September 2014 Archives

Understanding probate and the benefits of a living trust

Probate is a process of distributing assets to beneficiaries upon the death a person. The process is started and organized by the executor named in the deceased person's will or possibly by another family member if there is no will. The probate court will work to resolve disputes between family members, and the final disbursement of assets must have court approval. The probate process in California comes with many statutory fees and can become very expensive if the decedent's estate is complex.

Dealing with California probate issues

The estate planning actions individuals take can affect the probate process after their death, potentially impacting those who may be poised to receive remaining assets. Probate is the court process for legally transferring those assets, and during this action, the outstanding financial obligations of the decedent are handled as property distribution is addressed. Additionally, probate is used to determine the validity of a will if one exists.

Bypass trusts and their modern function

Married California residents who are looking for a way to preserve their estates after they pass away have sometimes turned to the bypass trust. However, with recent revisions to estate tax law and portability of exemption rules, a bypass trust may not necessarily be the most efficient method of estate protection.

Determining assets to hold in a California estate

When an individual passes on, the person's family may be the beneficiaries of an estate plan. However, it is important to understand how assets will be valued before and after being placed into an estate when the benefactor is considering liquidating some before his or her death. This is because some assets may expose heirs to higher taxes than necessary.

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