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Archive for the ‘Wills’ Category

An alarming but not at all surprising statistic, is that more than half of Americans do not have any estate plan in place, should they unexpectedly pass away or become incapacitated. In a recent online article at caring.com, the author cites a 2017 Princeton Survey Research Associates International survey reflecting that only 42% of U.S. adults have estate planning documents such as a will, a trust, or a power of attorney. Some money quotes from the article, which is well worth reading in its entirety provide:

According to a new Caring.com survey, only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust. For those with children under the age of 18, the figure is even lower, with just 36 percent having an end-of-life plan in place . . .

The study, conducted in January by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, asked 1,003 adults whether they currently have estate-planning documents in case of their death, as well as the reason why not (if applicable).

Forty-seven percent of survey respondents without estate documents said, “I just haven’t gotten around to it.” This is unsurprising to experts, who say an aversion to end-of-life planning is not only rooted in fear but also procrastination . . .

As one might expect, older Americans are the most likely demographic to have an estate plan in place. According to the survey, 81 percent of those age 72 or older have a will or living trust. However, that percentage declines significantly with younger people.

A staggering 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) do not have a will. Even more surprising is that 64 percent of Generation X (ages 37 to 52) doesn’t have a will, and nearly half of respondents in the 53 to 71-year-old age group (40 percent) said they don’t have one.”

Again, I recommend that you read the entire article. If you are one of the adults in this survey that has no estate plan in place, 2019 is a great time to start one. We offer free, in person, one on one, no obligation initial consultations to answer your questions about estate planning and offer suggestions on what might work best for your circumstances. Email me at anytime with any questions if you would like to set up an appointment at guy@guymurraylaw.net.

#jointtenancy #jointtenants #nipomo #nipomolaw #nipomolawyer #probate#nipomoprobate #nipomotrusts #nipomowills #trustsandestates #trustlawyer#probatelawyer #personalinjury #triallawyer #trusts #wills #estateplan #powerofattorney#healthcaredirective #estateplanning #digitalassets #advancedirective #revocabletrust

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This story is indeed tragic; however, it was completely avoidable, and emphasizes with a harsh reality the absolute need to create and have in place a valid, functioning estate plan, including a trust, will, power of attorney, and health care directive. The link to the entire story in the Boston Globe is below. I encourage you to read the entire story. Here are a copy of money quotes:

“Noel Aimes, who never learned to read and write, wanted the house to stay in the family, and in the 1990s proudly built additions to accommodate its growing numbers, Harrison said. But because he died two years after his wife and didn’t name a beneficiary, state law allows his blood relatives — specifically his nieces and nephews in Barbados — to claim the house over a stepchild.

Since you were not an heir-at-law, your appointment is in jeopardy of being set aside,” wrote Gayle Stone-Turesky, a Boston lawyer who was appointed by the state as a public administrator, who is brought in to handle estates where there is no will and no blood heir living in the state.”

If you don’t have an estate plan in place, or if you have one that needs updating, feel free to email me at anytime for a no cost, no obligation, in person consultation. You can reach me at guy@guymurraylaw.net. Tomorrow is promised to no one . . .

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/02/06/patriarch-leaves-will-and-home-meant-for-his-cambridge-family-may-lost/JJ0HULAFuoY38eQUt6JBiJ/story.html?fbclid=IwAR3HnOqU_cmK2dtG6ismgqCw7Dt5rI09E0VWwKM6aQblATeAd2uiA-jwlU0

#jointtenancy #jointtenants #nipomo #nipomolaw#nipomolawyer #probate #nipomoprobate#nipomotrusts #nipomowills #trustsandestates#trustlawyer #probatelawyer #personalinjury#triallawyer #trusts #wills #estateplan#powerofattorney #healthcaredirective#estateplanning #digitalassets #advancedirective#revocabletrust

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If American’s can believe anything anymore about Congress and the Estate Tax it is that they proven incapable of the most simple acts of governance.  For nine years everyone knew the tax would expire in 2010 yet despite that knowledge Congress was unable to agree on a compromise so it expired.  Now with just a few weeks left in 2010 we are no further ahead than where we were last year at this time.  The Wall Street Journal notes that the tax is about to return with a vengeance:

Overlooked in the brawl over expiring Bush-era tax rates is what will happen to the death tax. Without action in the lame duck Congress, the estate tax will rise from the dead on January 1 with a vengeance, the rate climbing back to 55% from zero this year. The exemption amount will revert to a miserly $1 million, unindexed for inflation, so more middle class taxpayers will get hit year after year.

Of course there are compromises that are possible, but given recent Congressional inaction, on the same subject one cannot assume one will actually pass:

Liberals are content to let the rate revert to 55%, with some moderate Democrats arguing for a 45% rate. Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona and Democrat Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas are pushing a compromise that would lower the top rate to 35% with a $5 million deduction. That rate is still 35 percentage points too high for our liking, but we’ll take it as an alternative to the greedy political confiscation of more than half of the wealth built by someone who has saved over a lifetime. An estate of $5 million isn’t all that much for a successful and thrifty business person with some real estate to accumulate over 50 or 60 years.

Most Americans appear to favor some compromise–unfortunately most Americans are not serving in Congress:

President Obama and Congressional Democrats don’t think this is a high priority, but voters do. A November Gallup Poll found that Americans think that keeping the estate tax “from increasingly significantly” is “very important” by 56% to 17% “not too important.” That’s more than think it is a priority to extend current tax rates (50%), extend jobless benefits (48%), ratify the Start treaty (40%) or let openly gay men and women serve in the military (32%).

Congress really only has until about mid month when it adjourns for its current session, and the remainder of the year.  Further inaction will only hurt middle class families more, particularly since they are the least able to cope with the new estate tax rates than are the heirs of the very wealthy.  Stay tuned . . .

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255 N. Wilson Street, Suite B
P.O. Box 180
Nipomo, CA 93444
(805) 929-7150
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guy@guymurraylaw.net

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Below are several links that discuss various aspects of estate planning. Please review them for further in depth information on the subject areas they highlight.

Do I need estate planning

Do I need a will

California Statutory Will

Do I need a living trust

Schiavo case and importance of a living will

(more…)

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We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting Trust and Estate Administration Clients. What exactly is trust and estate administration? When a person dies, the process by which the estate is disbursed is called an administration. Every estate, whether large or small, whether the decedent left a will or a trust must have an administration. Whether it is a probate estate administration, or a trust administration depends on whether the decedent left a will, died intestate, or whether he or she had revocable trust in place at the time of death. (more…)

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