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10. Estate and Gift Tax – Part 1

This is part 10 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. Part 10. Estate and Gift Tax - Part 1 The estate tax, aka the death tax, and the gift tax are separate but related. Let’s start with the estate tax. Estate Tax The estate tax is the tax the federal and state government levies on your estate when you die. The tax is based on the value…

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6. Revocable Living Trust

This is part 6 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. Part 6 - Revocable Living Trust. The solution for probate is a revocable living trust. A revocable living trust is a legal contract you make with yourself, or, if you are married in a community property state like California, with your spouse. The trust is a set of instructions on how you want your assets to be…

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5. What If I Only Have a Will?

This is part 5 in my series, Estate Planning – What You Need to Know. 5 - What If You Have Only a Will? So maybe you’ve done some planning. You’ve executed a will. Is that enough? Maybe not. The will states who gets your assets, and if you have young children, it names the guardians to raise your children. That’s good and it’s certainly better than no plan. However, the downside…

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3. What if You Don’t Have an Estate Plan?

Here is Part 3 of my series, Estate Planning - What You Need to Know. What if You Don't Have an Estate Plan? Simply put, if you don’t have a will or a revocable living trust, then when you die, your assets will go according to state law found in the probate code. If you live in California it goes like this: if you are married, your assets will go to your…

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