Tag Archives: will

What Is a POLST and Do I Need One Instead of a Medical Power of Attorney?


POLST stands for “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.” It differs from an Advance Healthcare Directive (aka medical power of attorney or power of attorney for healthcare) in several ways and is NOT intended to replace the power of attorney. A … Continue reading

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DIY Death Transfer by Deed Is No Substitute for a Good Estate Plan


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

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Dangers of Do It Yourself Wills and Trusts


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

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An Example of What Can Go Wrong When You Make Your Own Will.


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

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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: # 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: # 10 – Failure to Plan for Liquidity


Failure to Plan for Liquidity is a common error. This mistake can occur regardless whether you’ve made a Will or estate plan, and even if you have a trust. For example: →  You want to keep your vacation home available … Continue reading

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5 Things People Forget in Their Estate Plan


Remember These 5 Important Things in Your Will or Trust. Think you’ve thought of everything?  Consider these five things people commonly forget: 1. Digital Assets. Keep a list with your Will that identifies accounts, bills, email addresses – everything you … Continue reading

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What to Expect When You See a Lawyer About Estate Planning (Part Two)


What Happens in the Estate Planning Process After the Initial Consultation. Different lawyers conduct estate planning in different ways.  Part One of this post topic explored the initial consultation. This post discusses what happens after that consultation. The basic phases … Continue reading

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