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Palo Alto CA Estate Planning Blog

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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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

For many, passing along religious beliefs and values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate planning creates many opportunities to do this, including:


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners

Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners—opposite sex or same sex—it is critical.


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Friday, March 14, 2014

How to Leave Assets to Adult Children

When considering how to leave assets to adult children, the first step is to decide how much each one should receive. Most parents want to treat their children fairly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they should receive equal shares of the estate. For example, it may be desirable to give more to a child who is a teacher than to one who has a successful business, or to compensate a child who has been a primary caregiver.


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Should You Disinherit a Child?

Most parents choose to leave their estates equally to their children. But sometimes, parents intentionally choose to not leave anything to a child. There may be what the parents consider to be a legitimate reason: one child has been more financially successful than the others; not wanting a special needs child to lose government benefits; or not wanting to leave an inheritance to an irresponsible or drug-dependent child. Sometimes a parent wants to disinherit a child who is estranged from the family, or to use disinheritance as a way to get even and have the last word.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Value of Having a “Plan” in Estate Planning

All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction.


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Tuesday, February 11, 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, January 29, 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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Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make a Family Meeting a Successful Part of the Estate Planning Process

You’ve made the hard decisions, your documents are signed, your trust is funded, a business succession plan is in place. Congratulations, you’ve finished your estate planning. But have you, really? Have you explained your planning to your family? Will they understand how your plan will work and what they may need to do if you become ill or when you die? Will they wonder why you made certain decisions?


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Paying for College . . . and accomplishing estate planning too

With higher education costs outpacing inflation by 5-6% per year, and the average cost of a four-year public school at nearly $20,000 per year (double that for private schools) it’s no surprise that many parents and grandparents are deeply concerned about how they will pay for higher education...


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Monday, May 13, 2013

Advance Directives/Living Wills are a Critical Component of Estate Planning

March 31, 2013 marked the eighth anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old who succumbed after her feeding tube was removed as part of a very public legal battle between her husband and parents.


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Gadzo Law, P.C. assists clients throughout Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Francisco County, and Santa Cruz County and also in Palo Alto, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Belmont, San Carlos, Burlingame, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell and San Jose, California.



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