Frequently Asked Questions 

The following information is not offered as legal advice.  Rather, this represents information intended to allow you to reflect on your own circumstances, wishes, and concerns.  Our hope is that by reflecting on this information, and at times clarifying some common misconceptions and legal pitfalls, several things are accomplished.  First, for those new to our firm (or this site), it will motivate you to come in and we with us to discuss the best ways to accomplish your specific estate planning goals and vision.  Second, for those with existing plans from other firms, you may these questions and answers as an opportunity to reflect on whether your existing plan does all that it can or should.  Finally, for our existing clients, this may be a handy, convenient resource in the event some idea or question arises for you or your family and you want an immediate, generalized answer and do not wish to call us to discuss it.
Regardless, we truly enjoy helping people and helping meet their goals and solve their problems.  We invite you to call us if you wish to discuss any of these topics in greater detail or how your specific needs may be met.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Need information fast? Get immediate answers to your questions in plain, easy-to-understand English.

Online Presentations

Need more detailed information? Our online presentations will take you step-by-step through Understanding Estate Planning and Living Trusts, Estate Taxes, Who Should Be Beneficiary of Your IRA and Charitable Remainder Trusts.

Estate Planning Articles

Need information on other important estate planning topics? Our articles will keep you up-to-date.

1.    Estate Planning in 2013 and Beyond
2.    How to Get The Most Out of the Estate Tax Exemption
3.    Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?
4.    The Simplified IRA Distribution Rules
5.    Got Stuff? You Need An Estate Plan!
6.    When Is The Best Time To Plan Your Estate?
7.    When Is It Time to "Service" Your Estate Plan?
8.    Will Your Kids Be Unintentionally Disinherited?
9.    How Can I Prevent My Children from Fighting Over My Belongings After I Die?
10.  The Special Needs Trust: Planning for a Disabled Dependent
11.  The Perfect Gift for the New Adult in Your Family
12.  An Introduction to Planning for Long Term Care
13.  How Should You Hold Title to Real Estate?
14.  Business Owners: Have You Planned Your Exit?
15.  The Family Limited Partnership
16.  Gifting... An Easy and Satisfying Way to Reduce Estate Taxes
17.  Giving Your Assets to Your Children Now Can Cause Serious Problems
18.  Making Gifts Now Can Reduce Estate Taxes Later
19.  Private Charitable Foundation
20.  Qualified Personal Residence Trust
21.  Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) & Grantor Retained Unitrust (GRUT)
22.  Offshore Asset Protection Trusts
23.  Qualified Domestic Trust
24.  Protect Against The Generation Skipping Transfer Tax

Estate Tax Calculator

Curious what your estate taxes and probate fees will be? Fill in your own numbers and get instant results.  Please note: California uses a sliding Statutory Fee Schedule for Probate based on the gross value of the Estate.  For ease you may find it easiest to plug in 3% (three percent) in the Calculator below. Please note: this calculator is for informational purposes only and not offered as legal advice.