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1) Myth: My spouse can make all of my healthcare and financial decisions because he/she is my spouse.Reality: This is not always the case. To make sure your spouse can indeed make important medical decisions on your behalf, you should sign a durable power of attorney...read more
Most people think of probate as a private process. However, since wills are filed at the courthouse, probated estates become a matter of public record. That means your nosey neighbor Nellie can simply go down to the courthouse or hop online and...read more
If you or someone you know has received an inheritance, it is important for you to understand how to manage your basis “step up.” A “step up” in basis is the adjustment of the value of an appreciated asset - for tax purposes - upon inheritance.IRS TaxesAn executor who...read more
When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee does what you do right now with your financial affairs - collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate...read more
You have a family that depends on you. As a parent, you have certain responsibilities ensuring your children’s well-being. Perhaps you have even heard something about estate planning and it sounds like something you should do to protect your kids, but you are not...read more
Your wedding is over, and the day was absolutely perfect. You went away on your honeymoon with your new spouse and had the time of your lives. Now you are back and can breathe a sigh of relief and watch the rest of the years ahead unfold before your eyes. Well, not so...read more
What if I already have (or I’m getting) life insurance to care for my family. Why would I need a will or trust too?
If you don’t have a will, the court will decide who settles your estate and raises your children and state law determines who gets your assets - and it may not be who you think. Most people want to make those decisions themselves; don’t you?Additionally, life...read more
What if the guardian I choose would be a great guardian, but they are not good with money, can I still select them?
This is a great question I talk through with lots of clients! Of course you can select them to the be guardian for your children. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can “split up” the roles: one person manages the money (the successor trustee) while another person...read more
Guardians for your minor children must usually be named in a will or a separate guardian nomination document. If you fail to appoint guardians, the court will decide who raises your children. For parents of minor children, this is the most important estate planning...read more
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Disclaimer: Crista B. Hermance is licensed to practice law solely in California and meets with clients by appointment only. Nothing in this website should be taken as engaging, or offering to engage, in any activities in any jurisdiction where those activities would constitute the unauthorized practice of law or would otherwise be unlawful or improper. The materials appearing on this Web site are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon any single source of information, including advertising on this Web site.