Articles Posted in Estate Planning Basics

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Inheriting an IRA: What to Do?
Inheriting money is not something most of us do more than once or twice in a lifetime, if ever. For the vast majority of us, this money comes to us free of estate tax, because current law only taxes estates worth more than $10 million, indexed each year for inflation. But money that you…
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Aretha Franklin and the Trouble with Handwritten Wills
When Aretha Franklin died in August of 2018, her family thought that she had died without a will, or as lawyers would say it, intestate. When a person dies without a will, the state has a built-in set of rules, called intestacy laws, that determine who will inherit that person’s estate.…
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Keeping Your Important Docs Safe From Fire
California’s recent fires in Butte County certainly got me thinking about my family’s important documents and how best to store them safely. It is so hard to imagine losing everything and having to rebuild from the ground up. Storing our most important documents in a firesafe box…
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Announcing my new book: Every Californian’s Guide to Estate Planning!
My new book, Every Californian’s Guide to Estate Planning is available now and I’m excited to share it with all of you. I wrote it because there isn’t a California-specific estate planning book out there, and we, as Californians, have some special things to deal with. In…
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Life/Death/Law Episode 3: The Practice of Generosity
What is estate planning, really? I know that most lawyers focus on reducing taxes, or the creation of documents, but when you get down to it, what you’re really doing when you make an estate plan is giving everything away, right? So, to me, understanding the practice of generosity and what…
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Life/Death/Law Podcast: Episode 1! Purposeful Prenups
Welcome to my new podcast, Life/Death/Law, where I explore the intersection of life, death, law (and love)–otherwise known as estate planning. In this first episode Emily Bouchard, a family dynamics and money coach and the managing partner at Wealth Legacy Group, talks to me about…
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California Passes New Law Allowing Executors and Trustees Access to Digital Assets
As of January 1, 2017, California has a new law (The Revised Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act) that allows executors and trustees to gain disclosure of a person’s digital assets after the original user’s death under certain conditions. This is a good thing because, until…
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FDIC Insurance for Trust Accounts
Most people know that the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insures bank accounts for up to $250,000 per depositor per covered bank. This insurance was increased from $100,000 to $250,000 in 2008, to reassure people during the chaos of the financial meltdown that started in that…
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