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Articles Posted in Rancho Mission Viejo Estate Planning

What Happens if I Wait Too Long to Make an Estate Plan?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

If you wait to long to establish an estate plan, upon your passing your heirs may be subject to the delay and expense of probate court.  We encourage our clients to plan early because it can be too late to establish an estate plan.  In California, in order to make a will or trust you…

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What is a Charitable Remainder Trust?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

A charitable remainder trust or (CRT) is a type of irrevocable trust that allows the person who creates it (called the “Grantor”) to receive income from the trust and even split the income with other beneficiaries for a period of time.  After the period expires, the assets that remain in the trust are gifted to…

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What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

A Spousal Lifetime Access Trust or “SLAT” is a special type of irrevocable trust.  A SLAT is created by one spouse for the benefit of the other.  The spouse who creates the SLAT is referred to as the grantor and the spouse who receives gifts from the SLAT is referred to as the beneficiary spouse. …

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What is a QTIP Trust?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

A QTIP trust or a qualified terminable interest in property trust is a type of irrevocable trust that allows the person who creates the trust (the Grantor) to provide for a surviving spouse during her life but also maintain control over the trust’s assets once the surviving spouse dies.  The QTIP may be set up…

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Why Don’t You Have an Estate Plan Yet? 
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

Did you know that it’s National Estate Planning Awareness Week?  In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed House Resolution 1499 designating the third week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness week.  According to Caring.com’s 2022 Wills Survey, over 66% of Americans believe that having an estate plan is important, but only 1 in 3 Americans…

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What Is the Unlimited Marital Deduction?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

The unlimited marital deduction is part of the United States Federal Estate and Gift Tax law.  The law allows married U.S. citizens to transfer an unlimited amount of property and money to their spouse at any time free of any taxation (both estate and gift taxes).  These spouse-to-spouse transfers are not taxed.  The largest transfers…

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What is the Surviving Spouse Elective Share and Does California Have One?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

Some states have surviving spouse elective share laws.  These laws provide that a certain portion of a married individual’s property and money be given to his spouse upon death regardless of whether the spouse is named in the decedent’s (the spouse who died) will.  The amount of the elective share varies by district and several…

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What is a California Power of Attorney?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

A power of attorney (“POA”) is a legal document where you (the “Principal”) authorizes another person (your “Agent”) to handle your affairs—typically in the estate planning context—when you are incapacitated.  The type and amount of power given to an Agent depends on the terms of the POA.  An Agent can be authorized through a POA…

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What is a Revocable Living Trust?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

A revocable living trust is a type of trust that can be modified during the creator’s lifetime.  California residents commonly use revocable living trusts to: Name the individuals who will inherit your property (your “beneficiaries”). Avoid probate (a time consuming and expensive court proceedings where a judge determines who inherits your money and property). Avoid…

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What is an Advance Health Care Directive?
Law Office of Jonathan D. Alexander, Esq.

An advance health care directive or “Advance Directive” is a legal document that authorizes an individual to make decisions regarding health care, medical attention and personal care for you in the event that you cannot.  An Advance Directive is an important component of a well-drafted comprehensive estate plan that should also include, at a minimum,…

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I am so grateful to have been able to work with Jonathan. I knew I wanted to have a Living Trust and I had no idea what to expect going into the process. Jonathan was easy to talk to and explained the process thoroughly of what was required. He was patient with my multiple questions and replied in a...

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