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November 2014 Archives

Why California residents may wish to consider trusts

California residents with assets of $100,000 or more may be wise to consider using trusts as part of an estate plan. Trusts allow an individual to stipulate when and how their estate will be distributed, and they can provide peace of mind by ensuring that all heirs will receive their inheritance. Trusts may also mitigate the impact of estate and gift taxes.

Estates with charitable trusts must satisfy IRS rules

The IRS maintains specific definitions concerning what constitutes a valid trust that can be included in a Californian estate. Although many people want to donate assets to charitable causes, the estate devices they employ to do so don't necessarily benefit from the same tax protections a charitable organization might. For instance, charitable trusts that fail to satisfy the exclusion requirements demanded of public charities are usually deemed tax liable.

Preventing will contests in California

The vast majority of wills in California are presented to the probate court and their instructions are carried out without any problems. However, on rare occasions the validity of a will may be contested. Most successful challenges to a will are based on either the assertion that the person who made the will was not competent to do so, or that the testator was under the undue influence of someone else so that the will does not reflect the individual's true wishes.

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