In his effort to keep us fully informed about all things related to estate planning our trust attorney Jon Alban let us know that:
- As strange as it sounds, a hand-written will that is signed and dated is in fact valid
- That writing a will is NOT a hedge against probate for your estate
- Will a living trust help you avoid probate? Sometimes, that sometime being if you have your assets in a trust
- Will a trust help you avoid estate taxes? Possibly. Assets in a revocable trust are still subject to the estate tax. However, you can include estate tax-planning provisions in your trust. Consultation with an estate tax-planning professional can assist you in avoiding or reducing the estate tax.
- Is life insurance subject to estate tax? Yes, life insurance is subject to the estate tax. However, proper planning with an “irrevocable life insurance trust” (also called an “ILII”) can remove the life insurance from your estate.
- Are assets left to a spouse subject to estate tax? Yes, but there is currently an unlimited “marital deduction” available for assets transferred to a spouse which can offset the estate tax.
- Are assets left to my grandchildren subject to an additional tax? Possibly. There is another tax, known as the “generation-skipping” transfer tax, which applies in addition to the estate tax, subject to an exemption.
If you need an expert wills, trusts and probate attorney to help you with your estate planning please contact Jon K. Alban for immediate assistance.
3010 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 225
Seal Beach, CA 90740