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2502 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128
140 Town and Country Drive, Suite A, Danville, CA 94526

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925-233-4399 or 408-290-7210

Estate Planning for High Net Worth Individuals: More Money, More Problems?

“More money, more problems.”

This is a common phrase that is used to describe the complications of expanding a business as well as the lifestyle inflation that can occur as people increase their earnings. In the pop culture realm, it served as the basis for a hit by the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.

“More money, more problems” rings true when it comes to estate planning, especially in cases involving high net worth estates that haven’t been safeguarded thoroughly by an experienced estate planning attorney.

The good news is that by engaging in a process tailored to your estate now, you can make sure your heirs won’t be dealing with financial problems when you are no longer there to help.

You have worked hard to amass a valuable portfolio of financial accounts and real property, and it is crucial to take the proper steps to protect it. That’s where our team at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP comes into the picture.

We start by creating an inventory of your estate, including your home, your bank accounts, your retirement accounts, your stock holdings, your businesses, your vacation properties, and other assets.

From there, we will work to make sure you are aware of all the options available for protecting your assets, maximizing the value of your estate and limiting your exposure to taxation. Depending on the specifics of your estate, it may be necessary to create arrangements such as:

  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Powers of attorney for financial matters
  • Beneficiary services for retirement accounts

From creating trusts to helping you select a qualified fiduciary, you can leave all your estate planning needs in the hands of our proven attorneys. Failing to prepare for the future of your estate will only lead to – yes, you guessed it – more problems.

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Do I Need An Attorney For A Trust Administration?

“Do I need an attorney for a trust administration?” 

That depends.

If you are asking whether you are required to have an attorney in order to administer a trust, the answer is “no”.

On the other hand, if you are asking whether it is in your best interest to have an attorney guiding you through the trust administration process, the answer is an emphatic “yes”!

With all of the responsibilities and duties a trustee has, it is to your great benefit to have an experienced attorney guiding you through the process. In addition to protecting your legal rights, working with an attorney can safeguard the finances of the estate and reduce the amount of stress you are under as you balance being a trustee with your day-to-day life.

The reasons to hire an attorney for your trust administration needs are numerous, but the most important are:

  • Attorneys knows what you don’t know, as they are well versed in all aspects of the trust administration process
  • If the trust you are administering is somewhat vague, an attorney can help you fill in the blanks and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out as intended
  • An attorney can help you communicate with beneficiaries and other interested parties, helping you avoid family strife and further legal entanglements during an already difficult time
  • Properly handling assets such as real property and financial accounts is no simple task, but an attorney can take the guess-work out of it
  • Perhaps most importantly, an attorney can make sure the estate stays on the good side of Uncle Sam, avoiding tax-related complications

If you are ready to benefit from the skill and experience of our estate and trust attorneys, call Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP at 925-233-4399 or 408-290-7210 to arrange a consultation.

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Understanding The Benefits Of A Revocable Living Trust

Of the instruments available to avoid probate, the revocable living trust is perhaps the best and most flexible option available. You may wonder what about a trust makes it special? The answer is very simple. A normal will substitute is a single account, and doesn’t have the flexibility of a trust.

A single account like a life insurance policy or a 401k is like a box; it can only contain the assets within its interior walls. A trust is more like an umbrella that can extend to cover all of the boxes you can possibly collect.  A trust can cover all of the life insurance policies, brokerage accounts, real estate, or any other property you own, and can protect it under one umbrella.  In fact, this umbrella actually functions like a legal storage unit for all the property you hope to later benefit someone else. Entire blog →

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When Does An Estate Require Probate? Navigating Difficult Concepts in Difficult Times

One of the first obstacles which must be tackled in determining when an estate needs to be probated, is understanding the basic terminology associated with estate planning. Probate is simply the system of supervision provided by the court for distributing the decedent’s property at death.  Paramount in understanding the functions of probate, is understanding that each state has its own probate laws.  Some states follow the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), and some follow derivatives of common law.  The information shared here is not intended to substitute actual research of your state’s laws concerning probate, but is instead intended to give a general idea of how things work with probating an estate. The need to probate changes depending on whether or not a person dies with a will (testate) or without a will (intestate).  The person who has passed is often referred to as a decedent or testator if they had a will. Entire blog →

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Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Attorney For An Estate Plan?

Many online businesses offer wills and trusts through an automated process. The online process generally consists of a fillable questionnaire that, once answered generates an estate plan without the assistance of an estate planning attorney. A good estate plan consists of more than just a will or a trust. Further, if you do not know what the questionnaire is truly asking you, it is difficult to generate an estate plan that accurately reflects your intentions.

In order to provide the maximum benefit to your loved ones and to achieve favorable tax consequences, an estate planning attorney will construct an estate plan that includes a custom drafted will, trust, durable power of attorney, advance health care directive, and other essential documents. An effective estate plan involves many individual components working together to reflect the intentions of the person that it is being created for.

Additionally, a good estate planning attorney will be available to provide you with ongoing legal advice even after your estate plan is in place. This is critical because estate plans must be updated periodically especially after major life events such as marriage or divorce, the birth or death of a child, or major financial transactions. An estate planning attorney who is already familiar with your particular estate plan can advise you when such changes are necessary and will make the required changes efficiently and effectively.

The experienced estate planning attorneys at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP create comprehensive estate plans for clients throughout Northern California. Call our San Jose office at 408-290-7210 or our Danville office at 925-233-4399 or contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP online today.

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