Why make an estate plan? Because you can plan for your family’s future. If you have a home, investments, a retirement plan, or a business, you can protect your family from paying more taxes than they should. If you have children, you need to plan for their welfare. Additionally, you can protect your family from the unfortunate consequence of a judge making decisions which should be yours. Should you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself, if you’ve already put a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Directive in place, your wishes about your finances and medical… Read More
Service, loyalty, experience, knowledge, and commitment to community, when you stack them all, it’s a high bar to reach, but that’s what it takes to be awarded the “Best of the San Gabriel Valley” honor. We couldn’t be more proud, or grateful, to be selected as the 2019 Best Living Trust Lawyer. The Star-News, Daily News and Tribune annual Readers Choice Awards let the people decide, and the people have spoken. For two consecutive years, HAVENS MALCZYNSKI GRIGOLLA, LLP has been honored by the community and we don’t take this lightly. Having been voted Best Living Trust Lawyer in 2019,… Read More
Here’s a post by one of our favorite consumer watchdogs, Clark Howard: 7 Senior Scams and How to Avoid Them.
One of the most important questions grandparents ask me as their estate planning advisor is how they can help their grandchildren with college expenses. It’s complex, with tax implications for the clients, and financial aid implications for their grandchildren. Here are five options I give them to start with: 1. Make direct tuition payments. Make the payments directly to the college. This way, you avoid gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax without using up any of your gift or GST tax exclusions or exemptions. But this strategy is available only for tuition, not for other expenses, such as room and board,… Read More
Every trust should be reviewed every few years to make sure it is up-to-date with the law and to ensure that it continues to meet your goals. Below is a checklist of trust features that must be reviewed: 1. Do you have the right successor trustees? In most trusts, you will be the trustee of your own revocable trust with your spouse as co-trustee (if you’re married). Trusts should name one or more successors in the event the original trustee or trustees are unable to serve. Make sure that you still want the successors you originally named. Also, do you… Read More
Here’s an important article about pre-paid funerals: “Ponzi-Like” Scheme Highlights Risks of Pre-paid Funerals.
An article about our own Cloyd Havens II in Suit Magazine: A Lawyer Who Avoids Courtrooms.
What is a Revocable Living Trust? A trust is an agreement that determines how a person’s property is to be managed and distributed during his or her lifetime and also upon death. For an explanation of the tax benefits and reasons to establish a trust, go to our estate planning page. A revocable living trust normally involves three parties: The Settlor – Also called grantor or trustor, this is the person who creates the trust, and usually the only person who provides funding for the trust. More than one person can be a settlor of a trust, such as when… Read More
I draft many Powers of Attorney for my clients. It’s a common legal procedure, but often people have many questions about the terms of the Powers of Attorney and exactly what they mean. Here’s a complete explanation. A Power of Attorney (POA) allows a person to take administrative action for you (signing tax returns or legal documents) and manage non-trust assets (retirement plan assets, government benefits, etc.) for you if you are incapacitated. A properly drafted Power of Attorney may avoid the need for a conservatorship if you are incapacitated. A conservator is a person, official, or institution designated to… Read More
Many people have been to trust seminars, or read about trusts in the paper, and believe that if they have a trust, their estate plans are finished. That is not true. The trust is an important part of an estate plan (the centerpiece) but not the entire plan. Other important documents include: A WILL. Yes, you need a will, even if you have a trust. A trustee (a person who has the legal obligation to manage the assets of the trust according to the terms of the trust) can only administer and distribute assets that are owned by the trust.… Read More