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Estate Planning

We are an Orange County investment management and tax strategy firm that has developed a national reputation serving sudden wealth clients with financial planning.

Should You Write Your Own Will?

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Maybe you have seen those will-in-a-box kits. Maybe you have even considered picking one up. Think twice about that. While you can draft a will on your own, there are plenty of reasons why you may not want to go that route. Most people do it to save money, but they may overlook or forget…

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Estate Planning Primer

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Estate planning professionals often contend with ambiguities. A plan may need to be modified in the future when some development in family life occurs – and there are some estate planning tools that may help to provide that kind of flexibility. Standby trusts. These are unfunded revocable living trusts that go into effect when and…

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Minimizing Probate When You Set Up Your Estate

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Probate subtly reduces the value of many estates. It can take more than a year in some cases, and attorney’s fees, appraiser’s fees and court costs may eat up as much as 5% of a decedent’s accumulated assets.    What do those fees pay for? In many cases, routine clerical work. Few estates require more…

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An Essential Estate Planning Checklist

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Estate planning is a task that people tend to put off, as any discussion of “the end” tends to be off-putting. However, those who die without their financial affairs in good order risk leaving their heirs some significant problems along with their legacies. No matter what your age, here are some things you may want…

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What is Mortgage Term Life Insurance?

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A potential “helping hand” for a homeowner’s heirs. No one wants to saddle their heirs with the hard choice of paying off an unsettled mortgage or selling or losing a home. A mortgage term life insurance policy can provide relief in such a dilemma. Simply put, this is a term life policy designed for homeowners.…

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Choosing the Right Beneficiary

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Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), life insurance policy, or savings account? You may be able to answer such a question quickly and easily. Or you may be saying, “You know… I’m not totally sure.” Whatever your answer, it is smart to periodically review your…

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The Benefits of TOD & JTWROS Designations

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TOD, JTWROS…what do these obscure acronyms signify? They are shorthand for transfer on death and joint tenancy with right of ownership – two designations that permit the automatic transfer of bank or investment accounts from a deceased spouse to a surviving spouse. This automatic transfer of assets reflects a legal tenet called the right of…

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Trust Protector: The Guardian Angel of Your Trust

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How would you like a guardian angel watching over your investments? Impossible you say? Many sophisticated investors who have their assets in a trust are using something called a “trust protector” to look over the activities in the trust and to protect the beneficiaries. A trust protector is something (and someone) you can describe in…

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Charitable Remainder Trusts: What You Need to Know

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In planning for your retirement, you may face several financial issues.  Maybe you’d like to generate retirement income, but want to minimize the taxes on investments you’ve held for several years.  Perhaps you’d like to minimize your income taxes during retirement.  You also might like to reduce the size of your taxable estate so more…

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Early Planning is Key for Inheritance Transfer

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I recently appeared in an article on Investor’s Business Daily about the urgency of estate planning for inheritance transfer. While most people understand the importance of estate planning, few grasp its urgency. Learn more and read  a few brief excerpts from the article below: Use the Fear Factor “To make estate planning urgent, I use…

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