What Should My Estate Plan Include?

Everyone’s estate plan will vary depending on an individual’s assets and desires on how to distribute those assets.  However, at a minimum, everyone’s estate plan should include the following:

Contact Anker, Hymes & Schreiber, LLP today to speak with our experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Los Angeles regarding your estate plan.

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Will A Living Trust Eliminate Estate Taxes?

A revocable living trust allows couples to effectively double the estate tax exemption (currently $5,000,000).  If you only had a will, as opposed to a trust, which left everything to your surviving spouse, you would lose your exemption.

The trust lets you keep your exemption, which could potentially save over $1,000,000 in taxes.

For specific questions about setting up a living trust and estate taxes, please contact our Estate Planning Attorney in Los Angeles today at (818) 501-5800.

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What Happens to My Assets After I Pass Away?

Whomever you named as successor trustee will take over the administration portion of our trust and distribute your assets in the manner you specified.

Please see the following previous posts for additional information regarding trustees:


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Is a Living Trust Difficult to Maintain?

A revocable living trust can be drafted and executed in a short time frame.  There are no recurring costs for management or administration.  So long as your trust is fully funded at the outset (which our Trust Attorney in Los Angeles can assist you with) then all you have to do to maintain it is to review the terms of the trust every couple of years and put any new assets that you acquire into the name of your trust.

For additional questions about living trusts, please contact our trust attorney in Los Angeles at Anker, Hymes & Schreiber, LLP today: (310) 519-0324.

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Will I Lose Control of My Assets That Are In The Trust?

NO! You will not lose control of your assets that are in the trust.

You will be the trustee of your trust during your lifetime.  You are able to buy, sell and borrow just as you were when your assets were held in your name as an individual.  Here is more information regarding setting up a trust.

If you still have questions, please contact our Trust Attorney in Los Angeles today to schedule a consultation.

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What Does a Will Do?

Wills can be of various degrees of complexity and can be utilized to achieve a wide variety of family and tax objectives:

  • If a will provides for the outright distribution of assets, it is often characterized as a simple will.
  • If a will establishes one or more trusts, it is often characterized as a testamentary trust will.

Alternatively, the will may leave probate assets to a preexisting living trust, where it is characterized as a pour-over will. Aside from providing for the intended disposition of your property, there are a number of other important objectives that may be accomplished, such as:

  • Designating a guardian for minor children
  • Eliminating the requirement for bond
  • Designating future custodians for minors

For specific questions about drafting a will, please contact our will attorney in Los Angeles today at (818) 501-5800.

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How Does Setting Up a Trust Avoid Probate?

If you do not have a trust there will undoubtedly be a probate proceeding upon your death.  Probate is a court supervised proceeding necessary to transfer your assets to your heirs.  The probate proceeding is costly in terms of both time and money.  Furthermore, all probate proceedings are public record.

Having a trust in place insures a less costly and smoother transition of assets to their designated heirs.

For more information about setting up a trust, please contact our trust attorney in Woodland Hills.

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What is a Living Trust?

A revocable living trust is a legal document that designates what you own and who you want it to go to and when. Because this document is revocable, it may be modified during your lifetime.

The revocable living trust avoids the need for probate and/or conservatorship proceedings. Additionally, it can allow you to reduce or even eliminate taxes.

Most importantly, the revocable living trust allows you to see your compete financial picture which may help you better prepare for the future.

For additional questions about setting up a living trust, please contact our Trust Attorney in Los Angeles today.

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What is HIPAA?

H.I.P.A.A. stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The original purpose of this Act (established in 1996) was to limit access of insurance companies to your medical records, however it actually limits everyone’s access to your medical records , including:

  1. Spouses
  2. Parents
  3. Children

The HIPAA Authorization allows you to designate certain individuals to receive your protected medical information.

For more information about the HIPAA Authorization, please contact our estate planning attorney in Woodland Hills.

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What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

Formerly called a “Living Will” or “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care”, an Advance Health Care Directive allows us to deal with the situation where decisions regarding our healthcare need to be made and we are unable to communicate at that time.

The Advance Health Care Directive names an “Agent” (any person(s) of your choosing) to manage your medical and health care affairs in the event you are unable to express your preferences.  The medical professionals will make this determination.

This document, like the Durable Power of Attorney is fully revocable and amendable.

For additional advice and information about an Advance Health Care Directive, please contact our estate panning attorney in Los Angeles today.

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