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Stephen Cockriel

Deciding to challenge a will

The validity of a will is important as an individual's last wishes are carried out in California. State laws can play a role in determining whether a will is considered to be valid.

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Stephen Cockriel

2 advantages of a qualified personal residence trust

A valuable home in California can be subject to expensive estate taxes following the death of the property's owner. However, a qualified personal residence trust offers estate planners one technique for insulating heirs from major taxes.

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Stephen Cockriel

Concerns about trust enforcement

A California resident who is the beneficiary of a trust might wonder about the responsibilities of the trustee. A lack of awareness related to a trust could cause beneficiaries to be concerned about the terms of the trust as well as their rights.

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Stephen Cockriel

Why create pet trust funds in California

When an individual dies, his or her pets are generally considered to be property. Therefore, they could be sent to a shelter if there is nothing in an estate plan providing for their care.

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Stephen Cockriel

Revocable living trusts and when they might be important

Californians may have heard of revocable living trusts and they might wonder if they need to set one up. Revocable living trusts allow people to pass assets directly to their beneficiaries without having their estates go through probate, but they are not necessary for many people.

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Stephen Cockriel

Asset protection strategies for California residents

California residents who do not wish to see the property that they have toiled tirelessly to amass lost to creditors or litigants may wish to consider asset protection strategies that go beyond the types of trusts that typically appear in estate plans.

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Stephen Cockriel

Executor's responsibilities in California

While the executor of an estate is tasked with carrying out the terms of a will or trust, that person generally cannot make decisions on his or her own. In many cases, that person has a fiduciary responsibility to beneficiaries and must also conform to state and federal laws.

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