Author Archives: Helene P. Dreyer Koch

About Helene P. Dreyer Koch

Estate Planning Attorney (Wills, Trusts, Probate) Indian Wells, California * 760.360.2400

Poll: Why don’t people make their Wills?


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Name the Right Life Insurance Policy Beneficiary


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

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Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 1 – Waiting Too Long


Procrastination is the number one mistake people make in estate planning. Everyone knows that death is certain to occur but uncertain as to timing. Despite this, numerous surveys suggest that more than half of adults in the U.S. fail to … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts: # 4 – Failure to Avoid Probate


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

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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

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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

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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

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Catch Me on the Radio!


I was the guest on the Ron Siegel Home and Finance radio show on Wednesday, June 19th [Money Radio 1200 AM (Desert), AM 1510 (Inland Empire / Orange County) and AM 1450 (North San Diego)]. You can catch the archive … Continue reading

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