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November 2015 Archives

How do you relinquish the role of executor?

When a family member, friend, or colleague names you as the executor of his or her estate, he or she is tasking you with an enormous responsibility. What if you fear, however, that you may not be able to adequately fulfill the role? Properly seeing an estate pass through its administration and/or the probate process may require a significant amount of time and energy on your part. If you fill that you simply aren't capable of handling such duties at the moment, you do have a way to decline the responsibility.

Living wills vs. other estate planning documents

When most in San Fernando Valley hear the word “will,” they likely think of a last will and testament that states how or to whom one wants his or her assets distributed following his or her death. Yet few likely know that there are many different types of wills, some of which have little to do with death. One of these is a living will. As the name implies, this estate planning document addresses issues while one is still alive. However, unlike a living trust, a living will does not deal with the management of one’s assets, but rather his or her health.

Canceling a revocable living trust

Many of the Woodland Hills clients that we here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo help to set up their estate planning tools see their situations change over time. These changes will often prompt them to consider changing the provisions of a living trust. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you may be questioning whether or not it is even possible to cancel a trust once you’ve signed the trust article. Suffice it to say that it is referred to as a revocable living trust for a reason.

How can you determine the fair market value of estate assets?

If you have been asked to serve as the executor of an estate in Woodland Hills, a potentially daunting task lies before you: determining the fair market value of the estate’s inventory. Many go into an estate distribution vastly overestimating the value its assets. In reality, most estates in the U.S. are much more modest that most believe. According to information shared by CNN Money, the average value of an inheritance in America is $177,000. Yet when you are dealing with beneficiaries who may be expecting much more, convincing them that your valuations are sound can be difficult. Thus, it is imperative that you do your due diligence in getting an accurate estimate of your estate’s assets.

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