Helene P.Dreyer Koch is an estate planning attorney in Indian Wells, California, focusing on Wills, Trusts and Probate. She is also a skilled legal writer and dynamic public speaker. (760) 360-2400.
- What Is a Discretionary Trust?
- How Can You Help with Their College Expenses?
- What Is a POLST and Do I Need One Instead of a Medical Power of Attorney?
- California Passes Right to Die Law
- DIY Death Transfer by Deed Is No Substitute for a Good Estate Plan
- Supreme Court Upholds Same Sex Marriage
- Remember: Update Insurance Policies When You Put Property In Your Trust
- Dangers of Do It Yourself Wills and Trusts
Author Archives: Helene P. Dreyer Koch
How Not to Name a Life Insurance Beneficiary In estate planning, there are right ways and wrong ways to designate beneficiaries for your life insurance. Here are some common mistakes people make: ♦ Assuming a Will or Trust controls the … Continue reading
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 2 – Too Much Reliance on Self Help
A frequent mistake people make is relying too much upon self help. Most self-made plans or informal arrangements sound good on the front end, but turn out bad in the long run. For example: Don’t put property into joint names … Continue reading
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 3 – Inadequate Planning for Adult and Minor Children
Many people mistakenly think that planning for children only applies to minors. Not so! While minor children certainly present unique planning issues, it is just as important to think through the needs of your adult children as well. Some of … Continue reading
California probate is well worth avoiding! Unlike many states, where probate of a will is a fairly quick and easy process, California probate is expensive, time consuming and very public. California probate is very expensive. The probate court filing fees … Continue reading
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 5 – Failure to Follow the Estate Plan
Don’t go through the time and expense of making an estate plan, then fail to follow it! It is an estate plan and, as they say, the best laid plans are only as good as their execution. Failure to follow the estate plan … Continue reading
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 6 – Failure to Coordinate with Beneficiary Designations
People wrongly think that their Will overrides beneficiary forms. This is categorically untrue! An asset carrying a beneficiary designation will not be controlled by your Will (unless the beneficiary is your estate). This includes life insurance, bank accounts, brokerage and … Continue reading
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 7 – Failure to Plan for Incapacity
Planning for Incapacity is easily overlooked for two reasons: (1) most people associate estate planning with death; and (2) thinking about one’s own mortality is discomforting enough — thinking about the possibility of Alzheimer disease, dementia, coma or other mentally … Continue reading