Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo  Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
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July 2016 Archives

Three things to help you think about estate planning

Many people put off estate planning for as long as possible, but the unintended consequences of this frequently have negative outcomes. ideally, the estate planning process should begin at a relatively young age, particularly if you have children, substantial assets and/or property, or own your own business.

Knowing when one is competent to create a will

Whenever disputes arise over the disposition of an estate in Woodland Hills, one of the more common accusations thrown around by those challenging the validity of estate planning documents is that the decedent was not of a sound mind when he or she created them. When clients come to us here at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo with such claims, they usually want to know if the law specifies when one may or may not be competent enough to engage in estate planning. If you have the same question, you may be happy to hear that the answer is yes.

Exotic car collection being returned to Paul Walker’s estate

Many in Woodland Hills may assume that the estate administration process is a brief, fleeting matter that those to whom it may concern will only have to deal with for a short time. While that may be the case in certain situations, other cases may continue on for years as disputes and other matters are dealt with. The size of an estate may certainly play a factor in how long it takes to be properly executed and closed. Larger estates with a high volume of assets may take longer to disperse. Questions involving liability in the death of the testator of such an estate may serve to further delay its administration.

Terminating a trust

Many in Woodland Hills may understand that a trust is a tool used in estate planning, yet not fully comprehend its nature or its purpose. Some could simply view it as an account managing assets that extends in perpetuity. It is true that there are types of trusts that are irrevocable by even their settlors (those who set up the trust). According to the American Bar Association, these are valued because of the unique asset protection and tax advantages that they provide. Revocable trusts (or living trusts as they are more commonly known) tend to be more popular even though they are subject to estate taxes. This is likely due to the added control they offer.

What is the Uniform Prudent Investor Act?

When appointed as a trustee in Woodland Hills, one of the duties assigned to you by the trust article may be to invest trust assets in an attempt to grow them. When doing so, you are held to a standard designated in the California Probate Code as the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. Understanding the exact investment responsibilities inherent with your role may be vital if you hope to avoid being accused of malfeasance by the trust’s beneficiaries.

Martin Luther King’s Bible, Nobel Prize at center of dispute

When many in Woodland Hills hear stories about estate disputes, they may immediately assume that the discord is simply related to money. While it may seem that most estate administration issues arise from monetary causes, one should remember that cash may not be the only thing of value included in an estate. Some items may hold a high sentimental value to certain estate beneficiaries. It’s often when such an item’s actual value approaches its monetary one that a great many issues arise.