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Central Coast Law

The Impact of Jointly Owned Property on Estate Planning

One of the most common estate planning tactics for married couples is the joint ownership of their assets. When one spouse passes away, the other receives all the property without having to go through the probate process. This also eliminates any potential estate taxes at the first death because federal law allows for an unlimited marital deduction. Although this strategy certainly has its benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks. It’s important to know about those advantages and disadv...
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Central Coast Law

California Legislature Mulls New Estate Tax

California State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) recently introduced S.B. 726, a measure that would serve as a response to a recent federal proposal from the administration of President Donald Trump. The President has been vocal in his desire to repeal the federal estate tax. As it currently stands, there is a 40 percent tax on individual estates valued at $5.49 million or more, with anything over that exemption limit subject to taxation upon the asset holder’s death. Republicans in C...
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Central Coast Law

Qualified Domestic Trusts for Non-Citizen Surviving Spouses

There are various methods available to married couples that can help them reduce their estate tax burdens. The marital deduction trust is one of these mechanisms, as it allows spouses to pass their estates to the surviving spouse without that property is subject to taxation at the time of the first spouse’s death.
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Central Coast Law

Pension Benefits Through the US Department of Veterans Affairs

Wartime veterans of the armed forces have access to numerous benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) upon returning home from their service. Among those benefits, one of the least-known is the “Aid and Attendance” pension available to both the veteran and his or her spouse. Which veterans qualify for Aid and Attendance?
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Central Coast Law

‘Springing’ Powers of Attorney Present Some Legal Complications

Springing power of attorney is a specific form of power of attorney that has its powers “spring” into effect as soon as an individual becomes incapacitated. Many people favor this form of power of attorney because they do not want to have their arrangement take effect while they are still fully capable of managing their own affairs.
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Central Coast Law

How to Use an AB Trust to Minimize Estate Tax Obligations

For married couples who own a substantial amount of wealth, the federal estate tax threshold is double the limit applied to individuals. In other words, these couples can pass on up to $10.98 million before the estate tax kicks in. However, couples whose wealth exceeds that limit will need to work with an estate planning attorney to develop what’s known as an AB trust to reduce their tax obligations. How do AB trusts work? Under current tax law, each spouse has his or her own estate tax e...
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Central Coast Law

A Guide to Veterans Pension Benefits and How to Qualify

VA Pension Benefits Knowing What is Available, How to Qualify and Who to Trust with Assistance The VA Improved Pension provides financial assistance to qualified veterans and their spouses. The pension is a benefit that veterans earn due to their service to our country, but few have ever heard about it. We hope to change that and assist veterans and their families with their financial needs. Learn who qualifies, the steps necessary to apply, and how to get knowledgeable assistance. Give us ...
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Central Coast Law

How an Irrevocable Trust Can Play an Invaluable Role in Your Estate Plan

If you have concerns about distributing your assets and property to your loved ones per your exact wishes while minimizing your tax obligations, an irrevocable trust is a highly effective tool to do just that. With an irrevocable trust, you would place a certain amount of your assets in the trust. Once you do that, you no longer technically own those assets—they belong to the trust. However, you may still retain a lot of control over what happens to that money in the short and long term. Y...
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