Palo Alto CA Estate Planning Blog

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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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ensuring Income Tax Deferral for Retirement Plan Beneficiaries

Some of the most generous provisions of the tax code are those that permit beneficiaries of IRAs and other qualified retirement plans to defer income tax on the plans until time of withdrawal. This allows the IRA or qualified plan to grow significantly ...

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Potential Problems with Beneficiary Designations

Many clients use beneficiary designations, and for good reason. Some significant assets, including life insurance policies, IRAs, retirement plans and even bank accounts, allow a beneficiary to be named. It’s free, it’s easy, and, when the owner dies, these assets are designed to be paid directly to the individual(s) named as beneficiary, outside of probate. But that is not always what happens. For example ...

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Estate Planning for Second Marriages

In first marriages, the couple generally has the same goals when it comes to their estate planning: take care of the surviving spouse for as long as he or she lives, then whatever is left will go to the children. They may own many of their assets jointly ...

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Why You Should Name a Stand-Alone Retirement Trust as Beneficiary

Naming the right beneficiary for tax-deferred retirement accounts is critical. Most people want to continue the tax-deferred growth for as long as possible, pay the least amount in income taxes and get the maximum stretch-out. Required distributions after ...

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Estate Planning Today Must Include Digital Assets and Social Media

It wasn’t very long ago that we had only paper for financial and tax records. We could simply point to a file cabinet or drawer and tell someone, “Everything is in there when the time comes.” But now we have computers and the internet, and so much of our lives is online. Unless we include our digital assets and social media in our estate planning, our family or administrator may not be able to find...

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Estate Planning After Divorce

One area that is often overlooked in the divorce process is the need to update estate planning. Most people would agree that their ex-spouse is the last person they want to inherit their assets when they die—or to have that person make life and death decisions for them.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid


From time to time, it’s good to review why having a complete, up-to-date estate plan is so important. In addition to confirming our own actions, it can provide us with valuable information to pass along to friends and family who, for whatever reasons, have yet to act. So, here are five common estate planning mistakes to avoid.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Treating Children Fairly Does Not Necessarily Mean Equally


Most parents want to treat their children fairly in their estate planning, and many assume that means having their children inherit equally. But fair does not necessarily mean equal. There may be special circumstances to consider.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Four More Common Estate Planning Mistakes


Here are four more common mistakes in estate planning. If your plan is in place and current, this will serve as more validation that you are on the right track. Feel free to share this information with friends and family members, especially those who may not have a plan in place.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Estate Planning for Women

While estate planning is important for everyone, women especially need to understand estate planning and have a plan of their own in place. Here are some issues that are of particular interest to women and their estate planning.

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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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