Tag Archives: Advanced Healthcare Directive

Estate Planning for Childless Couples

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article entitled “Estate Planning for Childless Couples” that emphasizes the importance of different estate planning tools for your personal situation. I often tell people who do not have children that estate planning may have even more important repercussions for them than people with children because if you die without a will, the State of California decides who will inherit your estate through intestacy laws.

If you die without a will, you are said to have died “intestate.” The Probate Code sets forth who would receive your estate. If you die without a will only family members will be able to inherit (even long lost ones). Therefore, it is sometimes more important for persons without children to have an estate plan.

The Wall Street Journal article highlights why having a plan is important particularly if you want to leave your estate to close friends or a charity. Both categories would not receive anything if you die without a will. It would also be important to create a revocable living trust for the same reasons anyone should – namely to avoid probate.

It is also very important for childless couples to address a power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive because without one, decisions that need to be made if you are incapacitated will most likely be left to strangers.

For these reasons a couple that does not have any children should address all of these issues in their estate plan. Attorney Anthony Marinaccio can properly advise you for your particular situation if you have any questions or concerns. Please contact him at (818) 839-5220. 

6 Estate Planning Moves You Should Make in Your 30s

Daily Finance has an interesting article for estate planning that should be addressed in your 30s. Estate planning is often equated with older people; however, there can be some estate planning moves that you can make as you are younger that might make sense. In addition to having a will, a revocable living trust, a healthcare directive, and a power of attorney, the article also talks about planning for retirement.

The article is 6 Estate Planning Moves You Should Make in Your 30s.

Memorial Day Weekend Discounts

For Memorial Day, Marinaccio Law is offering a 10% discount on all estate planning services for current U.S. military, U.S. military veterans, and law enforcement. Marinaccio Law offers a variety of services for estate planning, including drafting revocable living trusts, wills, advanced healthcare directives, and powers of attorney. This discount is good through May 30, 2014.

Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at (818) 839-5220 for more information.

Painless Estate Planning

CNN has a great article entitled “10 Steps to Painless Estate Planning” which discusses many of the issues I have discussed in past blog posts. It highlights the importance of having a written estate plan, including a will and a revocable living trust, amending these documents when necessary, and creating a power of attorney and advance healthcare directive.

If you have questions regarding drafting your estate plan, amending your estate plan, or to initiate a probate or trust administration, please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio at (818) 839-5220.

Tips to Begin the Estate Planning Process

Before seeing an attorney an estate plan, it may be important to sit down and think about some major issues that will need to be discussed with your attorney when you begin to craft an estate plan. Generally, an estate plan will consist of a will, a revocable living trust, a durable power of attorney, and an Advanced Healthcare Directive; however, the contents of those documents will vary depending on your wishes, goals, and concerns. Therefore, even before the documents get drafted it is important to think about these topics:

Gather Information Related to Assets and Liabilities

Gathering documents related to your assets and liabilities will greatly assist an attorney in determining the total value of your estate. Further, you will want to be able to determine what assets you are leaving to beneficiaries or heirs. Often times, after a death, heirs are left not knowing what property the deceased had. Assets include real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, vehicles, and other personal property. In order for a revocable living trust to be most effective, it must own the property, so it is important to know how assets are titled. Any errors in title can be fixed early rather than later. In addition, it is important to know about liabilities because bills will still need to be paid after your death, so it is vital for heirs to know what bills to pay.

Determine Who Will Get Your Assets

It is also important to think about who will be your heirs in a will and beneficiaries in a revocable living trust. You should also think about if you intend to disinherit any close relatives. If there are any particular requests you would want to make to certain people, you should think about writing them into the will or revocable living trust.

Select an Executor and Trustee

Selecting an executor (for a will) and a trustee (for a trust) is an important decision. You should choose someone who would take the job seriously and carry out your wishes that you wrote in your will and revocable living trust. When drafting a Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive, you should also think about who will carry out your healthcare and financial decisions while you are alive. It is also important to consider a back up executor and trustee in the situation where your original choice is unable to do it.

Find an Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney can greatly aid in drafting an estate plan for you in the manner you want. An estate planning attorney will explain the process and can be an advisor throughout the process. Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio if you would like to get your estate plan started at (818) 839-5220. 

Estate Planning Tips if You Have Minor Children

Estate planning is different for every age group and for every person; however, there are certain categories of persons that could especially benefit from estate planning. People with young children often do not think about estate planning as they are busy raising children, starting professions, and beginning “adult lives;” however having children should be a reason to have a basic estate plan if you do not have any major assets.

Without an estate plan, the State of California would decide who has guardianship rights over your children. Further, if you do have any property, your children may not be able to use your property for their benefit quickly. A will, a revocable living trust, a durable power of attorney, and an Advanced Healthcare Directive should be part of your estate plan in order for your children to have the best support and least uncertainty if you die while they are still minors.

The following provides a short list of some estate planning tips if you currently have children who are under 18 years old.

  • Consider naming a guardian for your children and a separate guardian to manage any property for your children. You do not need to choose one guardian to be in charge of your children and to be in charge of your children’s property. There are many reasons you may want two.
  • Name a dependable executor and/or trustee. An executor (for a will) and a trustee (for a trust) will be in charge of your assets after you die, so you would want to ensure they are dependable and knowledgeable. It does not need to be a family member, so you can choose whoever you want. You should also have a back up in the case the executor or trustee is unable to serve.
  • Designate beneficiaries to your retirement accounts. Retirement accounts (401(k)s, Roth IRAs, or IRAS) can be passed on to heirs by filling out a Beneficiary Designation Form provided by your employer or whoever is holding your retirement account (i.e., brokerage). You can change the beneficiaries at any time.
  • Consider insurance. Life insurance and/or disability insurance are methods to provide for children or your spouse in the case you are unable to care for them financially. Although less a legal issue and more a financial issue, it is important to consider when making an estate plan.
  • Have a will and/or revocable living trust. The most important tip for an estate plan is to have one. You would not want your family struggling after your death or need to fight for assets that you wanted to leave to them. Even if you do not have any assets, a will is important to name a guardian for your children.

Please contact Attorney Anthony Marinaccio if you would like to discuss your estate planning options at (818) 839-5220.