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Placer County Estate Law Blog

3 tips for choosing your executor of estate

When you leave this earth, your worldly possessions will stay behind. As in the famous 1930's play, you can't take it with you. However, the value of your home, savings and other assets do live on, in a sense. You can bestow them upon your loved ones or a worthy cause.

Unfortunately, moving these assets from point A to point B can be far from simple, but someone must do this job as the executor of estate. You can choose the person who will oversee inheritance and bring your financial matters to a close ahead of time. We have a few suggestions for making this decision.

Filing final taxes after the passing of a family member

When faced with the death of a family member or loved one, dealing with practical matters after death during a period of intense grief can seem overwhelming. Nonetheless, as Ben Franklin said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Sadly even death does not excuse a person from a final reckoning with the taxman and paying final income and estate taxes is part of finalizing an estate.


Establishing a trust to care for your pet

Have you ever read about someone who left their entire estate to their cat and thought, “I could see doing that?” It’s not a sign that you have lost it, not at all. Many pet owners want to be sure that their pets are properly taken care of when they are gone. Peace of mind the most important part of any estate planning, and we all want to be sure that our loved ones are cared for.

This is especially critical for horses. Any owner can tell you how much love these herd animals need and how expensive their care can be. Making sure that they are taken care of when you are gone is an important part of any estate plan for pets of all sizes.

How to get a loved one's finances in order after they pass away

Aside from the sadness and the stress from dealing with the loss of your loved one, there can be frustrations when trying to sort out their financial situation. Here are five things you should do to get your loved one’s finances in order.


  • Obtain multiple copies of the death certificate

Don't forget beneficiary designations during estate planning

Estate planning is much more than just drafting a will or moving assets into a trust. Of course, those are very important parts of the process, but there are many additional aspects of a comprehensive estate plan.

Did you know, for example, that health care directives are key parts of your estate plan? A health care directive allows you to explicitly set out your desires regarding medical treatment, including listing any preferred providers or hospitals, put limits on resuscitation efforts, and state whether or not you want artificial respiration, ventilation and nutrition. With a health care directive (sometimes known as a "living will," "health care proxy," or "healthcare power of attorney"), you can also name someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Charitable Donations Reduce Income Tax, Estate Tax

As we head into the holidays, you may notice more end-of-year nonprofit fundraising letters in your mailbox. That's because many people make charitable donations at the end of the tax year, knowing that they can deduct charitable donations from their income tax for a year in which they made a contribution. Besides year-to-year income tax reductions, however, you can use charitable donations as a way to reduce your estate tax. A person who donates to an approved charity at the time of death can have the amount of the donation subtracted from his or her estate, thus lowering his or her estate tax.

What is a "qualified" charity?

Should I Prepare a Will or a Living Trust?

After a lifetime of hard work to save up to take care of your family, all you will want is to be able to pass your estate on to your family and loved ones. However, what seems like a simple action can actually be a complicated process that may go awry if not handled properly. Legal fees, taxes and other unnecessary expenses may set you back unless you take these steps. 

Don't Forget Your Horse In Your Estate Plan

If your horse has been an important part of your life, don't forget to take him or her into consideration with your estate plan. Yes, it is a possibility that your horse could outlive you, and if that happens, you want to make sure that your horse continues to receive the best possible care. So how does this happen?

Make sure your instructions are clear

Write down what you would like to happen with your horse in the event that you die first. You can do this in a will, but after you die, a will has to go through probate, and during that time, your horse will still need food, shelter, water and care. You can make sure your horse is cared for in the interim period by creating a letter of last instructions providing practical instructions about how to care for your horse. This letter can specify, for example, who should take care of the horse, and important details about how you prefer that happen. A letter of last instructions is not legally binding, but it can be helpful in that it provides clear direction about your wishes instead of leaving loved ones to scramble to figure out care for your horse.

Planning ahead in parenthood

As a new mother myself, I understand the rush of emotion that comes with a new child in the house. You just want to relax and bond with your newest family member, but there are important matters to settle as you and your new bundle of joy get used to life together.

We've previously discussed the financial and legal matters that a new parent should set up before the birth, but there's also long-term planning for the "what if" and "just in case" scenarios. It's your job as a parent to always provide for your child, including when you can't be there to do it in person. By establishing guardianship and a revocable trust, you can help your children throughout life no matter what happens to you along the way.

A financial checklist for expecting moms

Your life is about to change. You are both excited and nervous. Having a baby is a lot of responsibility. Becoming a mom is something that you have always wanted. You've plotted out the nursery. You have a running list of baby names that you have narrowed down. Loved ones have slowly stocked you up on adorable onesies and soft blankets.

As your baby-bump grows, so does the checklist in your head. You know you have to get the house ready. You know you want to pack a hospital bag, and that some furniture for the nursery needs put together. You also know that you need to really think about your finances and securing the future for your baby.


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Rocklin, CA 95765

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