Orange County Estate Planning and Probate Blog

/Orange County Estate Planning and Probate Blog/

What You Need to Know to Keep Your House Out of Probate

What is Probate? Probate is the court supervised process of transferring your assets (e.g. your home) to your heirs upon your death. Why do you want to avoid Probate? Several reasons, but most notably: 1) it is expensive (approximately $30,000 for a $1 million home); 2) it takes between 1-2 years before your heirs receive your home; and 3) it is open to the entire public to witness. How do you avoid Probate? The best way to keep your home out [...]

By | June 14th, 2017|Probate|0 Comments

Keeping Your Home Address Private Through a Confidential House Trust

Keeping Your Home Address Private As a part of their estate planning, many of our celebrity clients want to keep their home address private for obvious reasons.  We are able to do this through a confidential house trust. Many of our clients who are not in the public eye also want anonymity.  Why do they care?  Let's first take a look at what information is readily available to the public. Information Available to the Public This is going to sound [...]

By | June 1st, 2017|Asset Protection|0 Comments

Estate Planning Without Children

Estate Planning Without Children The need for estate planning without children is not always immediately evident. Most people think about estate planning from the perspective of what happens when you die.  While this is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed in your estate plan, it is not necessarily the most important issue for you.  If you don't have children, or even if you do, your primary concern may be ensuring that you and/or your spouse are taken care for the rest [...]

John L. Wong Featured in California Business Journal: My Way

By Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal Attorney John Wong left one of the country’s biggest and most prestigious Los Angeles estate planning firms to launch his own private practice in Orange County because he knew “there was a better way.” When John Wong was hired by the esteemed estate planning law firm of Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker in Los Angeles, in legal circles it was akin to making the Major Leagues. “It is considered the estate planning firm, not only [...]

By | May 7th, 2017|Publications|0 Comments

Estate Planning for Blended Families (Second Marriage)

Estate Planning for Blended Families Estate planning for blended families requires addressing issues specific to the blended family scenario. What is a Blended Family? Generally, in the estate planning world, the term "blended family" is used to describe a family where there is one or more step-children.  This can take several forms: 1) Second marriage for both spouses with children from prior marriages; 2) Second marriage for one spouse, where at least one spouse has children from a prior relationship; [...]

By | April 3rd, 2017|Divorce, Estate Planning Basics 101|1 Comment

Estate Planning and Divorce

When going through a divorce, the last thing you probably want to do is hire an estate planning attorney. However, estate planning becomes a vital part of your life before and after your divorce. Why? Well, when you are married, some of your estate planning can be deferred to your spouse if you die first. For example, in California, which is a community property state, most of your assets can pass to your spouse with a summary probate administration. However, when [...]

By | January 16th, 2017|Divorce, Guardianship, Retirement Accounts|0 Comments

Trump’s Proposal to Repeal Estate Taxes

President-elect Donald Trump made several promises during his campaign for President. As your estate planning attorney, we have focused on Trump's promises related to estate tax reform. Based upon Trump's tax plan, the following are Trump's proposed changes to the federal estate tax regime during his presidency. Current Estate Tax Regime Currently, a married couple may transfer assets equal to $10,900,000 to anyone without any federal estate or gift tax. If you have more than $10,900,000 in assets, upon your [...]

By | November 9th, 2016|Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax|0 Comments

Heggstad Petition – The Solution to a House Not in Trust at Death

Are you a trustee and trying to sell your parent's or spouse's house after they have passed away? Did he or she have a Trust, but the house was in his or her individual name (not in Trust)? An all too common problem. Enter the Estate of Heggstad to the rescue! The Problem: House Was Not in Trust at Time of Death Before we get to the solution, let's make sure we understand the common scenarios that cause the problem. [...]

By | October 12th, 2016|Trust Funding|0 Comments

How to Avoid U.S. Gift and Estate Taxes When Becoming a U.S. Resident Alien or U.S. Citizen

If you intend on becoming a U.S. Resident Alien or U.S. Citizen in the future, it is important to consider the need to avoid U.S. gift and estate taxes now.  Once you become a U.S. Resident Alien or U.S. Citizen for gift and estate tax purposes, many of your estate planning opportunities will be lost forever.  Unfortunately, many estate planning attorneys do not have the expertise to handle international estate planning issues and simply apply basic estate planning techniques to every [...]

Medi-Cal Planning: Avoiding Medi-Cal Recovery

Medi-Cal planning is essential for anyone receiving, or likely to receive, Medi-Cal benefits. A major concern for anyone on Medi-Cal is California's Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program. Even if you or a loved one is not currently on Medi-Cal, due to the high costs of nursing home care, you may qualify for Medi-Cal in the future and should consider the following. Current Medi-Cal Planning Currently, the California Medi-Cal Recovery team will collect a Medi-Cal recipient's assets once they die to [...]

By | August 3rd, 2016|Medi-Cal Planning|0 Comments