Creating an irrevocable trust may be one of the best things you’ll do when planning your estate. A trust moves money and assets from one person (or entity) to another. This legal document allows you to state who receives your assets, and how and when they receive them. A trust can provide you and your […]

“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 […]

A power of attorney or POA is a legal document. It gives someone else your legal rights to make decisions on your behalf. The decisions can vary, and a POA can be as specific or general as you would like. The person who is giving this power away is called the “principal.” The person receiving […]

California law defines a holographic will as “a Will that is handwritten, dated and signed by the person writing the Will.” That may be an easy solution to writing a will, but there are some elements that must be proven to the probate court for the will to be valid. Pros and Cons of a […]

A Will contest is a legal claim that there is some reason that a will is legally invalid. These lawsuits are often brought by family members who are left out of Wills or feel that they did not get as much as they should have from a will. At its core, a Will contest challenges […]

You may have heard that you do not need a will as part of your estate plan if you have a living trust or even a revocable trust. However, trusts and wills provide very different functions in your estate plan. As a result, you generally cannot completely replace your will with a trust. Instead, you […]

Have you ever considered writing a will, but wondered if you are too young to need one? You are not alone – many people think they can put off writing a will until they are older. Unfortunately, none of us knows how long we will live, and the end sometimes comes before we have a […]

Your First Steps as an Executor in California If you are named as an executor of an estate, you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. Your loved one is counting on you to carry out their wishes as set out in their will. The beneficiaries are also relying on you to carry out […]

Asset Protection Planning: Should It Be Part of Your Estate Plan? Asset protection is part of financial planning that helps you protect your assets from creditors and others. By planning correctly, you can shield some or all of your assets from creditor claims both while you are living and after your death as part of […]

Be Ready to Take These First Steps as an Executor The legal definition of an executor is “the person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of the will.” To accomplish this, probate gives the executor certain authority to manage the affairs of the deceased. This includes using those funds in […]

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