Tonight’s class topics: Constructive Trusts; Resulting Trusts; and Estate Taxation.
Interpretation and construction of wills, will contests, miscellaneous will issues. Interested? Call me at 858-519-8020 or sign up for the paralegal certification at the University of San Diego!
Tonight’s “Estates, Trusts & Wills” classe will cover: Classes of heirs, intestate succession issues, requirements for a valid will, holographic and statutory wills.
Come to the University of San Diego and check it out!
I’m testing posting remotely to my tumblr stream from my Hootsuite dashboard. If you’re reading this, I must have been successful!
My loved one has passed away, and I don’t know what to do now. How do I find an attorney to help with probate? The Law Office of Daniel K. Printz represents all parties in probate and trust administration matters:
We handle all forms of post-death administration:
- Continuing trusts
- Administrative trusts
- Small estate administration
- Formal probate
- Ancillary probate
- Spousal property transfers
Mistakes in these areas can cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Get the best representation possible! Since 2007, I have taught “Estates, Wills and Trusts” in the University of San Diego’s intensive paralegal program.
In other words, I teach the processes and procedures of probate, trust administration, and other post-death transfer techniques to the top paralegals in San Diego County. I make it simple for them, and I can make it simple for you. Call today: (858) 740-4370.
“Should I help my child buy a house?”
It’s surprisingly hard to buy a house. In today’s depressed housing market, home prices and interest rates are low. Normally that would mean that homes would be rapidly purchased, thus driving up home prices. But here in the “Great Recession,” buyers are finding it hard to qualify and often need to provide significant down payments.
More and more often, young people and couples are turning to parents for help in making that house purchase. From an estate planning perspective, the devil is in the details; the success of the transaction will lie in making the proper choices given the facts.
First, you need to decide whether the help is a gift or a loan. Second, you need to decide if there will be any type of security if it is a loan. Third, you need to decide how to treat the assistance in the parents’ estate plan (will or living trust).
If the assistance is a gift, then the advantage to the parent is that they move some money out of their estate, thus reducing potential estate taxes on estates over five million ($5,000,000). The disadvantage to the parent is that they might have to pay gift taxes on the transfer.
If the assistance is a loan, then there are two advantages that leap out. First, the parent can can secure the loan with a lien against the home. This would be a second, since the mortgage company is going to take the first position as the primary lender. Second, as a lender, the parent is creating a stream of income, essentially creating an annuity earning some interest.
The disadvantage of a loan is that if the parent suddenly needs money, the parent can’t pull the money out of the house, the way they could if they had put the money into a different investment vehicle like a mutual fund. Also, if the child doesn’t pay back or misses payments, they are unlikely to enforce the lien, thus making the lien a hollow threat. Finally, if the assistance the parent provides is to actually co-sign the loan, then they could be on the hook for the entire loan amount if child defaults, goes bankrupt, passes away, and can suffer credit blows from late payments.
Parents who want to help out should always remember that their investment could be lost due to child’s creditors foreclosing on the home with no other security. Therefore, it’s the assistance, rather than the investment, that should be the driving motivation.
Whatever choices the family makes, the parent’s act should be memorialized in a writing so it can be understood in the context of their estate planning. If this was a gift, was it an advance on their inheritance that should be taken into account when diving property among children? If it was a loan, will it be forgiven on parent’s passing or should it count against the inheritance? The idea here is to minimize the possibility of litigation between children on the parent’s passing by making the parent’s wishes about the assistance to that one child very clear.
If you’d like to help out your child with buying a house, or if you need assistance from your parent with a purchase, sit down with a certified financial planner and with an estate planning attorney to make sure it’s done right. You can call my office at any time for a free consultation at (858) 720-8250.
- Can I Make My Own Will?
- You can, but you shouldn’t. For some people, online or over-the-counter software works alright. Whether you should use a lawyer depends on your personal circumstances and comfort level. But if you’re at all unsure, it’s probably worth paying for a professional. Actually, the introduction of do-it-yourself software has forced lawyers to dramatically lower their prices for these entry-level estate planning documents, so it’s well worth your investment to hire an attorney.
- If you are naming a guardian for children hiring a lawyer is a must –software won’t talk to you about the important questions like a lawyer will. For example, let’s say you name your sister Sarah and her husband Bobby as guardians of your child. What if Sarah and Bobby get divorced - do you want the child to stay with Sarah, or Bobby? Okay, Sarah. Now say Sarah has passed away or become incapacitated. Do you want your child to stay with Bobby, who isn’t any relation to you at all, or move to another family member? This is not something you want to get wrong.
- Others who should seek a professional help: Small-business owners, parents of children with special needs or couples where one partner is facing an illness like Alzheimer’s or who may have early signs of dementia.
- Or maybe you’re remarried but still want to leave most of your assets to your children. This may also call for a lawyer’s assistance, since “disinheriting” a spouse can get tricky. You may want to invest in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.
- Find a good San Diego lawyer to help you out. Contact us via www.TheLegacyLawyer.com.