Palo Alto CA Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Truth About Personal Risk Management Part 2: Using Trusts in Estate Planning

Paying insurance premiums to protect against potential losses frees us mentally to enjoy driving a car, leave our house empty while on vacation and receive medical treatment for an injury or illness. In the same way, the use of trusts acts like insurance and can shift anxiety to comfort, turmoil to peace, and complexity to understanding.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1: Insurance

Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. Insurance plays a big part in managing risk. Most people don’t like paying insurance premiums, but when something happens and the insurance pays for a covered expense, they are relieved they had it.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Budgeting, Part 3: Instilling Money Values in Children and Grandchildren

Money values can be a guiding light that is a component of your legacy. If communicated frequently and purposefully, these values can be an important reference for your loved ones as they learn to handle money.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Budgeting, Part 2: A Fulfilling Method for Setting Spending Priorities

Setting spending priorities will allow you to process your income in a rational way, while giving you the satisfaction that your wealth objectives are on their way to fulfillment.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Budgeting, Part 1: Budgeting as a Friend and not a Foe

Budgets do control spending behavior. However, budgets also allocate resources to the areas of highest impact or interest. When a budget is structured based on priorities and values, much of the controlling element is removed.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How to Choose a Trustee

When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee basically does what you do right now with your financial affairs—collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records and generally keep things organized and in good order.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Organize Information for Your Family

Think for a few moments about what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do? Would they know where to find important records, assets and insurance documents? Would they be able to access (or even know about) online accounts or files on your computer? Would they know whom to ask if they need help?  Putting the effort in now to establish a formal document inventory can alleviate unnecessary anxiety and turmoil in the future.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why Does a Living Trust Cost More than a Will?

It will probably cost more initially to set up a well-drafted living trust than to have a will prepared. A true cost comparison should include not only the expense to establish the will or trust, but also what it will cost should you become incapacitated and after you die.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Providing for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

If you are part of the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), you may also find that you are a member of the sandwich generation, with responsibilities to both your parents (now or in the future) and your children. This should change the way you think about estate planning—instead of the traditional approach of how to leave assets to your children and future generations, you may also need to include providing for the previous generation (your parents).

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death.  The Successor Trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Leave Assets to Minor Children

Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results.

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