It’s Your Estate
The “It’s Your Estate” sessions cover all the legal documents you will need to set up an estate plan using a variety of local Orange County estate planning attorneys as instructors. We provide 12 hours of objective education over an 8 week period, 1 ½ hours per week. Each attorney explains their fees in detail and they do not receive your contact information. Click HERE to find your workshop community.
Week 1: Introduction and New Tax Law
This session gives you an overview of the course through the “It’s Your Estate” Quiz. Introduced is the value of the “ASK FIRST” form that should be filled out by any professional you plan to engage. The “ASK FIRST” form takes the professional two minutes to complete and it will give you the consumer an indication of the professional’s education, licenses (licensing is a minimum standard and not a credential), how the person charges, how they are compensated, and if they are involved in product sales. In other words, it gives you more information than just he or she is a “nice” person.
David Brooks's 5-Step Guide to Being Deep
A Formula for Happiness
2013 Tax Reference Sheet
Estate Planning: It's an Art Not a Science
Stepped-Up, Step-Down in Basis
Why Most People Need an Estate Plan
Dear Mom and Dad, Here's something that is easier to read than to discuss
California Bar Issued – Certified Specialist in Taxation Law and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
How To Start A Conversation About Estate Planning
It's Your Estate - Week 1 - Intro and Personal Assessment
Week 2: Estate Planning Basics
In this session we discuss the importance of knowing what you have and how it is titled. Title determines if an asset will go through probate. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Probate, types of wills and intestate succession. On an organizer or yellow pad we recommend you list all your assets including title, cost basis and market value. With this list you will be able to determine your taxable estate (total value of your estate less liabilities), your probate estate and your IRD (income in respect of the decedent estate such IRA, 401K, etc.)
How to Write a Last Will - 5 Tips You Should Know
Four Estate-Planning Documents Everyone Should Have
What to Do If You Become the Executor of Your Parent's Will
Your Clients and Their Children – The Problems With Joint Bank Accounts
Eight Ways To Make Collecting Pay Off (Leave heirs a road map)
Five Ways Joint Ownership Can Sabotage Your Clients
Little Things Can Cause Big Fights When A Relative Dies
7 Major Errors In Estate Planning
Power Grab! Signing Over Power of Attorney To A Loved One Has Never Been Trickier
California Court Gives ‘Rogue’ Wills More Validity
It's Your Estate - Week 2 - Estate Planning Basics
The 5 Documents
Choosing A Guardian
Week 3: Planning for Incapacity
Our third session is a discussion of a Conservatorship, Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) and the Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). It is my belief that this session is the most important because it is about your health and who will make decisions for you when you cannot. It motivates you to think about hospice care, quality of life issues, pain and burial preferences and much, much more. We highly recommend you look at ordering the “Your Way” booklet (2 free booklets per household — do recommend you make a donation) from the H.E.L.P. organization – http://www.help4srs.org/publications/yourway
The DPA is an often abused document. The conservatorship is something to avoid. Avoidance is usually feasible if you have all your estate planning documents in order.
The Conversation Project
*FEL is not connected to the conversation project
*The following purpose statement originates from their website
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.
Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain. It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves. We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late. Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected. If you’re ready to join us, we ask you: Have you had the conversation?
Outline - IYE Week 3 - Planning for Incapacity – Fay Blix
Outline - IYE Week 3 - DPA, AHCD & Conservetorships – Miller
Guide - Managing Someone Else's Money - Guide - Power of Attorney
Guide - Managing Someone Else's Money - Guide - Court Appointed Guardians
Guide - Your Way - A Guide To Help You Stay In Charge
Form - Advance Health Care Directive
Form - Advance Health Care Directive - 2002/2003
Form - POLST - Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
Form - 5 Wishes
Form - HIPAA – Authority to Inspect and Release Medical Information
Ten Questions to Consider When Preparing for the Passing of a Loved One
Having Tough Client Conversations About Health Issues
Help clients avoid disaster when naming financial surrogates
What's a POLST
Everybody Dies. It's Time to Have the Talk
Finding Out Your Power of Attorney Is Powerless
The patient is Code 3 critical. Her 90-year-old body is failing. How much should I do to save her life ?
Friendly Fire - When Family Can't be Trusted
Spelling Out Funeral Wishes Keeps Clients Comfortable
Helping an Aging Parent with their Finances
Key Estate Planning Documents for Seniors
Blood and money - How familial strife can unravel estate plans
Work Smarter With Widows
Game Changers - Dealing with Dementia
The Long Goodbye - Katy Butler on how modern medicine decreases our chance of a good death
Oregon's Death With Dignity law - Brittany Maynard died on Saturday
How to help ensure you die on your own terms
Top 40 host Casey Kasem's disappearance holds lessons for advisers
Excellent Movies with a Dementia Theme
No one wants to talk about death, but you need to anyway
Aging Parents, Embattled Kids – Can You Find Pain Relief
At Life’s End, Many Patients Are Denied Peaceful Passing – NY TIMES
Dear Mom and Dad
References and Contacts
Protecting Mom & Dad’s money
Terminally ill woman who fought for right to die has change of heart
It's Your Estate - Week 3 - Advance Health Care Directive; Conservatorship, and Power of Attorney
Put Yourself First
Week 4: Living Trust and Beyond
The advanced estate planning workshop begins a discussion of using a Living Trust. Many think the most important aspect of a Living Trust is that you avoid probate. This is true but where are you when your estate does not have to go through probate? It would seem this would be a greater benefit to your children and maybe you should ask if they would be willing to pay for the legal services to have one drafted for you!
This session starts to focus on your taxable estate and how you can avoid the estate and gift taxes.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
Your Living Trust Choices
Trusts to Protect Children
How to Fund Your Living Trust
Not Your Grandfather's Irrevocable Trust
When to Use Living Trusts for Estate Plans
The Basics of Income Tax Basis
What happens to your email account after you die
Four Facts of Living Trusts
Where Not to Die In 2013
Permanent – That’s five years under Obama estate tax plan
IRS Estate Tax Return Data up to 2011
Paying it Forward – Funding 529 Plans for Grandchildren
Holding Back Lump Sum Payments
Exposures related to serving as a trustee ILIT
Shielding the Family Business
Estate Tax Tips for Married Couples
5 Biggest Ways to Bungle a a Trust
How do you fund a living trust
IRS Loses a Gift-Tax Battle
The Right Steps – When it comes to blended families, estate planning can be a special kind of hell
How to Choose a Beneficiary
Paying Grandkids’ College Bill
Estate Planning – Introduction To Trusts
Caregivers of Adult Children Are Getting Fresh Assistance
How Low Rates Can Cut Your Tax Bill
It's Your Estate - Week 4 - Living Trust and Beyond
Why Trusts Matter
Will Having A Trust Affect My Taxes?
Week 5: Charitable Income and Tax Planning Basics
In the Charitable Income & Tax Planning Issues session we discuss Community Foundations, Private Family Foundations, Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trust. Charitable tools work well with someone who has low basis assets (highly appreciated) and needs more income.
Charitable Giving - A New Definition of Success
Clients Want To Be Better Donors
Giving in the Last Third of Life
IRS Finally Issues New Regs for Charitable Gift Appraisals
Women Are Taking the Philanthropic Reins
Millennials and Women Are the New Faces of Giving
Tips for Giving While Living
Seven Strategic Philanthropy Lessons
Ten Tips to Help Your Clients Get Started on Their DAFs
Some donations are better than others for philanthropic clients
Why are Americans less charitable than they used to be?
IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions - Everything You Need to Know
American Generosity: Who Gives and Why ?
A Stanford Psychologist Says These 6 Things Are The Keys To Happiness And Success
A Golden Age for Real Estate Gifts
The Tax Advantages of DAFs
'Wait A While' Trust
'Give It Twice' Trust
Donor Advised Fund or Private Foundation
Charitable Plans for a Commercial Building Valued at $2M
You Won't Believe the Overhead Costs at These 10 Nonprofits
The Best and Worst Way to Pick a Charity
More Money, More (Tax) Problems
Charitable Trusts - Advanced Planning Tips
Billionaires' wealth is skyrocketing - Their philanthropy is not
New Ideas for Charitable Remainder Trusts
The Allure of Charitable Trusts
Donor-Advised Funds - 10 Essential Things to Know
Wall Street Muscles In
Buffett Tops 13 Biggest Donors of 2012
Why Generosity is Good for YOU
A Donor’s Declaration of Independence – Understanding Endowments
Boone Calls the Plays as Largess Complicates Life at Alma Mater
Charitable – Pledge to Give Away Fortunes Stirs Debate NY Times 11-10-2010
Tax Rules for Deducting Donations
10 Things Advisors Need to Know About Charitable Giving
Charity begins at home
Five Fascinating Philanthropists
The Quest for the Right Bequest
Should Philanthropies Operate Like Businesses
Tax Write-Off Now, Charity Later
Charitable Donations from your IRA
Will Money Make You Happy?
Charitable Gift Annuity Reinsurance
Affair of the Heart – Charitable Giving
Philanthropies are learning to cope and even prosper in a tough economy
The wealth revolution is changing the way Americans give to charity
Charitable Gift Annuity NY Times article
Estate Tax Debate – Choosing Children Over Charity
Buffet’s ‘well lawyered’ estate plan saves billions
Tough Love – kids or charity?
It's Your Estate - Week 5 - Charitable Income and Tax Planning Basics
Week 6: Retirement Account Planning
IRA, 401K, 403b and 457 Plans are assets that have unique tax rules called “Income in Respect of the Decedent (IRD)” to the beneficiary(s) of your plan. Whatever you distribute is subject to Arizona income tax and Federal income tax and it is taxed at the person’s effective tax rate for that tax year.
There are many opportunities for planning with IRD assets however most beneficiaries spend this money no matter the value within 18 months. The only beneficiary entity that does not have to pay an income tax is a charitable organization. Therefore, if you want to give to a charity in a tax wise manner, make the charity(s) a beneficiary of a commercial annuity or an IRA. You can also name a charity and have the charity give your son or daughter a charitable gift annuity for the rest of their lives and upon their death(s) the charity can use the money.
Five Ways Trusteed IRAs Can Keep A Good Thing Going
Top 5 Beneficiary-Form Boo-Boos
Kitces: Maximize the IRA stretch
Five Things to Know About Inherited IRAs
10 Common IRA Distribution Mistakes
IRA Giving Goes Permanent
State Taxes Can Add Up
IRA and 401(K) designated beneficiary options
IRA mistakes even expert investors can make
Avoid beneficiary designation errors
Inherited IRAs – a Sweet Deal
Learning the Hard Way About Re-Investing Inherited IRAs
Roth 401(k) vs. traditional 401(k) – No contest
IRA in a LIving Trust
Is a Roth IRA Safe From Taxes
Beware the Beneficiary Form
Roth IRA Conversion – NAPFA Planning Perspectives
Market Woes Open Door for Roth Conversions
It's Your Estate - Week 6 - Retirement Account Planning
Week 7: Role of Trustee and Executor
In the previous sessions we discussed the legal documents needed to have a good estate plan. In this session we discuss the people you will need to carry out your estate plan. Theoretically you could have 3 different people for each document (12 individuals.) For example, in your Will you could name your Executor and two successor Executors in the event the person named as primary is not able or does not want to serve as Executor. This scenario is the same for your Durable Power of Attorney for Finances and your Advanced Health Care Directive – your primary agent and at least two successor agents (definitely recommend at least two successor agents.) For your Living Trust we recommend two successor trustees. For your Living Trust give your successor trustee (trust them enough to be your trustee) the power to name a successor trustee (called a Power of Appointment).
The folks you name in these positions are taking on the highest liability under the law – called Fiduciary Liability. Simply stated, these named individuals must serve “in your best interest” else they will be held liable for acts committed not meeting this fiduciary standard.
A major issue that is often overlooked in selecting the appropriate person or institution to act as your fiduciary is that we think they will only serve when you are deceased. However, we believe you should think about their qualifications (talent, communication ability, patience, time, willingness, trustworthiness, etc.) if they were to serve while you are alive. Whomever you selectwill have total control over your finances and health care. If you have dementia, major illness or just old age the person will determine where you live, what you eat and who is caring for you. We recommend you do not name a co-trustee or co-agent because too many decisions need to be made and in a co-relationship both have to agree and are totally liable for the other person’s acts. Determine all the things that need to happen. Then have conversations with the people you have selected or are about to select.
Institutions that serve in a fiduciary capacity are called Trust Companies. All trust companies are not the same and have different corporate cultures just as individuals. Be sure to ask for their present fee schedule and meet with them while you are in good health.
On the individual fiduciary side we have professionally licensed fiduciaries. Remember licensing means the person met the minimum qualification (not a credential) in order to practice as a professional fiduciary and please ask for their fee schedule.
CPA’s, attorneys and other professionals can serve as a fiduciary but be sure to check potential conflict of interests, fees and experience as a fiduciary.
Good old fashion trust is required whether picking a family member (most common), licensed professional or trust company. Please remember that the fiduciary it is not a position of honor. It sometimes requires a lot of work and effort (may want to consider paying a family member) and, depending on your family, a lot of diplomacy!
JPMorgan Loses $4Billion Verdict to Widow
Five Tips For Managing "The Stinger"
Top 10 Executor Mistakes
IRS Audit Period Just Doubled From Three Years To Six Years For Many
Statutory Duties of Trustee & Trust Admin Process Upon Death
So You Want to Be Your Own Trustee
Being a trustee
What You Need to Know About Trust Protectors
Do We Need Protection from Trust Protectors
Few Baby Boomers Financially Prepared For Retirement
The Five Biggest Ways To Bungle a Trust
Trustee Survival Guide
In You They Trust
Estate Executors – An Honor…and a Pain
Key death tax exclusion hinges on speedy filing
It's Your Estate - Week 7 - The Role of a Trustee and Executor
Choosing A Trustee
Choosing The Roles
Week 8: Case Study and Review
In this final session we will review what we have learned and apply it to real life situations. It is my belief the legal documents are the easiest part of your estate plan and the most difficult part is our family or personal situation. What happens if I have no children? Or I have a spendthrift beneficiary? Or I have a Special Needs situation? Or I have multiple marriages and families? And the list goes on.
We do group CASE STUDIES from facts given by actual attendees of the workshop who completed the Personal Planning Survey. Using an anonymous name, the attendees submit the survey prior to week seven of the workshops. We discuss the financial and estate plan issues from these real life situations and give suggestions as to how they may be addressed.
What becomes clear is that most individuals have never thought about their goals and objectives or have an understanding of their net worth or know how they have title to all of their assets. The survey should be able to assist you. You may want to complete the questionnaire for yourself and discuss with your successor fiduciary, fee only financial advisor and estate planning attorney.
And remember your estate plan is not set in concrete. As the law changes, family circumstances change or as you get older you may want to amend or modify your estate plan. We recommend review every 2 to 5 years. It is easy to do. Not having the proper legal documents subjects you to possible conservatorship and family issues. A lot of money will exchange hands and whenever money is involved there can be problems.
A final note: Please write a letter (not to be opened until your death) to your children and friends you love and leave it with your estate documents. None of the legal documents use the word “love” and having a letter to read with your estate documents may alleviate many problems. If you want an obituary you may want to write your own as well. We only die once!
Aging Clients and the Role of the Trusted Advisor
Facing Tough Financial Questions After Her Spouse Death
Toxic Inheritance - When a client's property is contaminated
No More Drama - How To Talk To Your Family About Money
Gifts to Caregivers
Ten Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan
Property Management - Advisors Maintaining Family Compounds
How To Write Your Own Obituary
Top 6 Regrets of the Dying
9 Estate Planning Pitfalls to Avoid
6 costly estate-planning minefields, and how to avoid them
Blood and money - How familial strife can unravel estate plans
Your Heirs Want This Even More Than Your Money
How to handle sudden wealth
Helping clients reach wise inheritance decisions
Amy Winehouse’s Financial Legacy
Estate Planning Lessons From James Gandolfini
8 Big Estate Battles of the Rich and Famous
Wealth ‘Poisons’ Kids, Says Aussie Finance Tycoon
Living with the Realities of Your Estate Planning Documents (Why you should have a Living Trust)
Ideas to Help Your Family
18 Recommendations for Minimizing Inheritance Conflict
10 Things Your Parents Won’t Tell You
Caring for Parents Can Cost Children
Headaches for Same-Sex Couples
Dynasty Trusts Under Attack
It's Your Estate - Week 8 - Case Study & Review
How Can A Trust Protect My Kids?
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