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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.

Estate Planning and Financial Planning for Women

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Women often become guardians of family wealth. Many women outlive their spouses, and have the opportunity to have the “final say” (from an estate planning standpoint) about the wealth they have built or inherited. Legacy planning is essential for single women and couples, too, as one or two successful careers may leave a woman or…

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Putting Your Home Into a Trust: Uncommon, or Uncommonly Wise?

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Uncommon, or uncommonly wise? Occasionally, a couple or a family will elect to put their home into a revocable living trust, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) or a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this. People make this move for a variety of reasons. They may want to save…

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Charitable Gifting: Could it Make the World a Better Place? Does It Make Sense Financially?

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A gift to charity may prove to be a great financial favor to you. Some charitable gifting methods offer you notable tax advantages. Here’s a brief look at some popular options. Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs). These trusts can be useful estate planning tools. People with highly appreciated assets – such as stocks or real estate…

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A Realistic Assessment of Living Trusts

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Living trusts are created with a clearly defined objective: to avoid probate. Misconceptions about living trusts have spread to the point where people think they can accomplish much more than they really do. Here is a realistic assessment of living trusts. If you fear probate, consider a living trust. If you worry about your will…

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Minimize 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. Think tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more. What do those fees pay for? In many cases, routine…

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Living Trusts: Fact Versus Fiction

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Living trusts are created with a clearly-defined objective: to avoid probate. Misconceptions about living trusts have spread to the point where people think they can accomplish much more than they really do. Here is a realistic assessment of living trusts. If you fear probate, consider a living trust. If you worry about your will being…

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Estate Planning: What You Need to Know

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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 leave this world 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…

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How the Middle Class Can Make a Difference for Charity

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Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions. Partnership gifts. These gifts are made via…

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The Impact of ATRA on Retirement & Estate Planning

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The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) brought major changes to federal tax law, and it profoundly impacted retirement and estate planning. Here is an overview of seven big changes particularly relevant to retirees and/or those approaching retirement age. Federal income tax brackets were altered. Where we once had six tax brackets, we now…

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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 annuity? 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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