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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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