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Orange County Probate and Estate Planning Blog

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  • Minimizing Your Taxes through Thoughtful Planning

    President Trump has vowed to overhaul the tax system. Aside from reducing the federal tax rates, Trump has proposed eliminating most deductions including the state tax deduction. As California has the dubious distinction of extremely high tax rates, Trump’s proposal could have serious consequences for many Californians. As such, it would behoove everyone to make sure that they avail themselves of ...
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  • Trust Matters

    If you are lucky enough to own a home, it is likely that you currently have done some type of planning for after your demise. However, how long has it been since you looked at the documents in that shiny red folder labeled estate plan? If you are like most clients I know (including yours truly), the only time, if ever, you even glance at the documents is when you a re-financing your home and the ...
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  • A Deeper Look into Probate, Last Wills and Revocable Living Trusts

    In a previous article, I shared a few stories about some eccentric persons’ last wills. Although the wills provided some entertainment value, most likely, none of you garnered a lot of useful information from reading them. I merely reinforced the notion that you should plan for your death. No news flash there. Unfortunately, as an estate planning attorney, I deal with taboo subjects like death and ...
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  • Colorful Goodbyes

    Many people view their last will and testament as a final opportunity to make a statement to the world about who they are and who and what they care about. Some of the most notorious devisees immediately come to mind. Leona Helmsley aka the “Queen of Mean ”: The infamous tax felon left 12 million dollars to her Maltese “Trouble” while two of her grandchildren received the big goose egg. The other ...
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  • Is An A/B Trust Still Necessary And Advisable?

    IS AN A/B TRUST STILL NECESSARY AND ADVISABLE? To understand why an A/B Trust may no longer be necessary, one has to understand the estate tax system. In the U.S., every person can transfer a certain amount of property (whether real or personal) to loved ones without being subject to estate tax. Estate taxes are taxes assessed on the transfer of money and property to others at death. For a long ...
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  • Do You Need To Update Your Trust?

    DO YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR TRUST? You bit the bullet years ago and finally have an estate plan in place. At the centerpiece of your plan is a revocable living trust. When you die, your assets will be in your living trust and your successor trustee will distribute your property pursuant to the terms of your trust. Hooray! Your heirs will likely not have to deal with the expensive and time-consuming ...
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  • What Is a Health Care Directive?

    A health care directive is a document whereby you appoint an agent to make health care decisions for you should you become unable to make decisions for yourself. In the document, you specify under what circumstances you wish for your life to be sustained. The health care directive also can serve the purpose of permitting your health care providers to disclose sensitive information to certain ...
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  • Gay Married Couples Can Now Avoid And/Or Delay Paying Federal Estate and Gift Taxes

    Recently, the IRS ruled that same-sex married couples can file federal joint returns, even if their state does not recognize their marriage. In addition, gay couples can now avoid or delay paying federal estate taxes because couples can transfer property to each other without incurring federal tax consequences. Married couples can pass an unlimited amount of property to their spouse without ...
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  • Beneficiaries' Rights and No Contest Clauses in Trusts

    Many times, clients plan ahead and have an experienced lawyer draft an estate plan which includes a trust. The clients then duly transfer their assets into the trust. As a result, when they die, their heirs do not have to go through the California probate process because their property will be distributed by their named successor trustee pursuant to their wishes as outlined in the trust. ...
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  • What do you do when your loved one dies and you can't find a will or trust?

    Unfortunately, when people die, they do not necessarily leave directions as to where important documents can be found. As a result, their loved ones end up sorting through piles of paperwork to try to find a trust or will. Obviously, the best way to avoid this situation is to set up an estate plan and either give copies to your loved ones or tell them where they can be located. In the absence of ...
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  • Trust Provisions Result in 30-Year-Old Billionaire, Youngest in America

    In-N-Out Burger has been family owned since the first simple stand opened in the late 1940s and upon turning 30 years old, Lynsi Torres has inherited half of the company. Since it was first established by Torres' grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, in 1948, family members have always owned the restaurant and as a result, the restaurant has expanded into a very popular and successful chain. ...
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  • Finlay Law Group, APC Offers Free Initial Case Evaluations

    Are you wondering what will happen to your estate after you pass? How will your assets be passed on to your loved ones? Who will carry out your will in compliance with your wishes? These are all valid questions that deserve an answer. I, Mary Finlay, believe that preparing for the future is the best gift that you can give to your family, by preparing a comprehensive estate plan, you and your ...
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  • Learn More about the Finlay Law Group!

    Every adult should be planning for their future by creating a will or trust that they can pass on to future generations. Whether you are newly married and want to include your spouse in your estate plans, or are a grandparent of seven grandchildren and want to apportion your assets to them all equally, it is best to have assistance when creating documents that could affect your future. Oftentimes ...
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  • Welcome to My Blog!

    At Finlay Law Group, APC , I am intent on providing answers, information, and legal assistance to my clients. Check back frequently for helpful information and tips regarding probate , trusts , and other estate planning issues.
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