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What to Look for in an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Plan

You probably realize that you need estate planning of some kind, whether it’s a simple document naming someone with authority to handle your finances in the event of your incapacity or a complex estate plan.  These decisions will involve the people and property that you care most about, and you should not make them without legal advice from a trusted source.  While you understand that, choosing an estate planning attorney can be overwhelming.A fast Google search for “estate planning attorney” will reveal hundreds of attorneys who advertise as having estate planning expertise and experience.  Most will take the time to...

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Underestimating the Risk of Disability – The Importance of Being Prepared

No one likes to think about the possibility of their own disability or the disability of a loved one. However, as the statistics below demonstrate, we should all plan for at least a temporary disability. This newsletter examines the eye-opening statistics surrounding disability and some of the common disability planning options. Disability planning is one area where each and every person and family we work with should have great comfort in knowing that, if they or a loved one becomes disabled, they will be prepared.Most Americans Grossly Underestimate the Risk of DisabilityThe most important takeaway of this newsletter is this:...

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What Every Estate Planner Should Know About Planning for Non-US Citizens

Pablo and Lena Rodriguez are wealthy South Americans who have three children, ages 18, 17, and 15, who will be attending college in Southern California in the not-too-distant future. Rather than have their children live in student housing, Pablo and Lena have decided to purchase a home in the Los Angeles area that their children will live in while attending college on student visas. Neither Pablo nor Lena is a resident or citizen of the US, and at this time, neither intends to become a US resident. However, it is unclear whether one or more of their children will remain...

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Recent Developments in Estate and Tax Planning . . . and What to Expect in 2015*

2014 was a relatively quiet year by historical standards, but there were nonetheless some major cases and pronouncements from the IRS that have a significant impact on clients and our practices. This article addresses the more significant events of 2014 . . . and planning ideas and actions you may want to consider as a result. FACTAThe Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) took effect July 1, 2014. Originally signed into law in 2010, FACTA was designed to fight tax evasion by taxpayers with undisclosed foreign financial accounts and other offshore assets by requiring reporting with respect to those accounts and...

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The ABLE Act: A New Tool for the Special Needs Community

Late in 2014, the ABLE (“Achieving a Better Life Experience”) Act was signed into law. The law is aimed at achieving a manner in which those with special needs can save money without losing needs based public benefits such as SSI or Medicaid (Medi-Cal here in California). This is an important issue and, perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the Act is that it brings attention to this valuable community and addresses a serious struggle that they face. The fact that the ABLE act had strong bi-partisan support is encouraging for the special needs community and those who serve it.While an...

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The First Seven Steps to Take After the Loss of a Loved One

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be traumatic. At best, it is a difficult and confusing period which can last an indeterminate time. you do not need to shoulder the extra burden of mining through the myriad documents associated with a lifetime of financial affairs., business dealing and transactions. We have created put together this guide to help you understand the seven steps you should take immediately after a love one has passed away. 1) Social Security Call your local Social Security office to report your loved one's passing.  If you were married to the individual who passed away,...

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Five Essential Things Every Adviser Must Know About Estate Planning & Elder Law*

*This is an abbreviated version of Bradley Erdosi’s article originally published in the OC Lawyer magazine. Estate planning, probate and elder law are very specialized areas of the law. Often an adviser working in these areas must consider many different issues in order to properly advise a client. Besides the many cross-over issues, these areas of the law are typically highly emotional for a prospective client and/or his or her family members.Nevertheless, estate planning, probate and elder law issues present themselves in many other areas of the law when counseling a client. Therefore, it is essential that those who counsel clients in...

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You Don’t Have It Made Unless It Is Protected

By: Jeffrey R. Matsen Recently we have had several clients who have come to us for estate, income tax and asset protection planning because they have either built up a substantial net worth over a period of time or they have suddenly come into large sums of money because of selling a business or through inheritance. These clients are, obviously, interested in formulating an estate plan to pass their wealth through to their children and other heirs in the most tax efficient manner possible. However, they are also very concerned (or should be) about preserving and protecting the assets that they...

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Why Go Offshore?

Asset protection planning has been practiced by attorneys, financial planners and accountants for several decades. Business persons have always had concerns over the exposure of their personal assets to claims against their business. The corporate form of business entity with its shield of limited liability has been invoked for centuries. Certainly, protecting one’s assets from the myriad of risk involved in business and personal financial planning is not a novel objective or planning idea.Since the 1970’s, expanding theories of liability and the proliferation of litigation have given increased emphasis to asset protection planning to the extent that it is now...

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How You or Your Trustee Can Use Trusts to Reduce Taxable Income Now

With the year-end approaching fast, now is the time to consider ways to reduce your 2014 income tax bill. In this issue you will learn:      How you can use charitable trust-based planning to reduce your taxable income; and       If you are the Trustee or beneficiary of an irrevocable, non-grantor trust (such as a Bypass Trust or Dynasty Trust), how you can use distributions, trust reformation, and investment shifting to reduce the trust’s taxable income.If you would like to learn more about these trust-focused, income-reducing strategies, please call our office at (714) 384-6580 today.Quick Review of...

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