A Spendthrift Trust is a legal framework that protects the assets within a trust from a potentially irresponsible beneficiary who might harm the trust by overspending or squandering the assets. The spendthrift trust also protects the trust and its assets from creditors of the beneficiary. The creditors are not able to seize the assets of […]

Probate is when a will or other form of last testament is fulfilled and assets are appropriately passed from the deceased to their heirs. The will/ last testament ideally clearly dictates who amongst the living is inheriting which items/assets the deceased owned. More simply, it means passing belongings once the person is passed. However, there […]

California, like many other states, does not have an inheritance tax. If you receive a cash gift or other form of inheritance you do not have to claim it as income in California. The federal level has different protocols, so it’s always important to keep that in mind.  The only time you have to include […]

The Three-year rule is part of the IRS tax code that deals with assets, transfers, and estates. The rule places certain assets in the total for the decedents’ gross estate when those assets are transferred within three years of the person’s death. When someone transfers property or assets to another person within three years of […]

To contest a will, whether you live in California or outside the Golden State, simply means that you are legally checking to see if the will is valid. If you live outside of California you must file your contest in California. The legal relationship is between California law and the Estate. An outside state will […]

What are the six essential steps to producing a quality estate plan, and how do you implement that plan? This is a common set of questions that apply to most people who want to plan for after they have passed. The six steps are as follows, and they will change slightly depending on your goals […]

Here are four benefits to setting up a Special Needs Trust and why you might need it.. 1. They Work With Governmental Programs When you set up a special needs trust correctly, you create a revenue stream that does not impact access to government programs such as SSI or Medi-Cal. The money or assets in […]

What is the best tool to handle your estate when you pass? Some people find a will and last testament to be the best tool for disbursing assets. Others may find an irrevocable living trust to be a better match for controlling their assets at death. However, a third option may be the perfect tool […]

When choosing someone to choose an executor, guardian, or trustee of your will, be sure to choose a fiduciary. Many advisors can handle the basic guidelines of your will or trust, but not all of those are fiduciaries. The difference is that a fiduciary makes financial or other decisions for you, while a financial advisor […]

“A loved one just passed away. Do I need to open a probate estate?” At Charles D. Stark, we hear this question often. In most cases, the answer is yes – an estate gives you greater control over your loved one’s assets. Sometimes, though, you do not need to open an estate. Probate is a […]

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