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
Category Archives: Wills
New Law Permits Terminally Ill Patients to End Their Lives. Known as the End of Life Option Act, California’s newest law decriminalizes self-end to one’s life and allows terminally ill people to end their lives humanely. The law becomes effective … Continue reading
Joint Tenancy or California’s new “Transfer on Death Deed” May Help with Do-It-Yourself (DYI) Planning, But It Is Easy to Make Mistakes. Existing law allows a “joint tenancy with right of survivorship” deed (“JTWROS”), which gives two or more persons … Continue reading
In a previous post, I discussed An Example of What Can Go Wrong When You Make Your Own Will, as well as an article, Consumer Reports: Write Your Own Will? We tested 3 software products that claim to help you … Continue reading
Do-it-yourself Wills: a sad story of planning gone wrong. Here is a case study by Janet L. Brewer, detailing some of the bad things that can happen when you make your own Will. Read about John, widow and father, faced … Continue reading
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
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