Estate Planning

For Everyone You Love and Everything You've Built

If something unexpected happens to you and you haven't planned for everyone you love and everything you have, the State of California has a default plan for you.

 

Sound scary?  Well, it can be. Those you love would have to deal with the red tape and bureaucracy of government procedures and regulations.

 

We at Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory help you understand the legal and financial consequences of not having a comprehensive Estate Plan to protect your loved ones ... and more.

 

Before meeting, we'll ask you to complete a Family Wealth Worksheet, which will help you understand what you own and what needs to be decided for the well-being and care of your loved ones and cherished belongings.  We'll meet for a Family Wealth Planning Session™, where we spend some time together reviewing this document.  You'll learn about our Planning for Life process and we will both decide if it makes sense to work together to design an estate plan that will best suit the needs of your family.

 

The foundation of your estate plan will often include a revocable living trust, which when done properly and maintained over time, should help your family to avoid the cost and delay of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes. 

 

At Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory, we do not offer a "one size fits all" estate plan.  We form a working relationship with our clients.  We educate you, take the time to get to know you and your family.  We will discuss your concerns, your goals, and will gladly and patiently answer all of your questions.  Our goal is to create an estate plan that is exactly right for you.

 

Our services include a no-charge three-year review to ensure that as your lives change, so will your estate plan to safeguard your assets for maximum protection.

 

If this sounds like the kind of relationship you're looking for, please call us at (650) 761-0992 to schedule your personal Family Wealth Planning Session™ today or schedule online now.


Having a will simply is not enough.  It doesn't guarantee the care of your children if the unthinkable happens!  See how we do it differently...

The strategies that are appropriate for protecting your assets are different for every family.  Check out our proven process that gives you peace of mind...

Our unique legacy process gives your loved ones a precious gift - a lasting expression of your love.  Find out what we offer with every plan... 



Estates Weekly

Articles from the Chief Counsel's desk.  Sign up for our newsletter to receive these in your email with additional discounts, offers and rewards.

3 Legitimate Reasons To Put Off Estate Planning—And How To Do Right By Those You Love

If you have yet to put in place an estate and succession plan for your business, you’re going to leave the people you love most—your clients, your customers, your team, and your family—in the lurch when something happens to you. And while that probably won’t be tomorrow, it could be.

We get it—there are plenty of reasons to put off estate planning, and as business owners ourselves, we truly understand the common excuses for why you probably haven’t created your estate plan yet. But we also know what to do about it, so you don’t leave the people you love at risk. Read on for the top three excuses to avoid estate planning, and what you can do to overcome those excuses and do the right thing for the people you love now.

 

1. I don’t have enough time.

When running a company, it can be a serious challenge just to get all of your most-pressing daily tasks done on time. This is especially true in today’s fast paced business environment, where you move from one task, one meeting, one email, one phone call, one text to the next—and before you know it… a year has gone by, and then another, and it just keeps going.

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10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes Your Family Can’t Afford To Make—Part 1

Because estate planning involves actively thinking about and planning for frightening topics like death, old age, and crippling disability, many people put it off or simply ignore it all together until it’s too late.

Sadly, this unwillingness to face reality often creates serious hardship, expense, and trauma for those loved ones you leave behind. 

 

To complicate matters, the recent proliferation of online estate planning document services, such as LegalZoom®, Rocket Lawyer®, and Trustandwill.com, may have misled you into thinking that estate planning is a do-it-yourself (DIY) affair, which involves nothing more than filling out the right legal forms. However, proper estate planning entails far more than filling out legal forms. 

 

In fact, without a thorough understanding of how the legal process works upon your death or incapacity and applies specifically to your family dynamics and the nature of your assets, you’ll likely make serious mistakes when creating a DIY will or trust. And the worst part is that these mistakes won’t be discovered until you are gone—and the very people you were trying to protect will be the ones stuck cleaning up the mess you created just to save a few bucks. 

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How Creating A Life & Legacy Plan With Us Creates And Preserves Your Family's Legacy

When you think about loved ones who’ve passed away, you probably don’t think very much—or even at all—about the “things” they’ve left you. And when they do leave something behind, what you likely cherish most about the object are the memories and feelings the item evokes, not the thing itself.

For the founder and CEO of New Law Business Model, Ali Katz, the most treasured memento her late father left her wasn’t even something he intended to be special—it was just a random voicemail on her cell phone. And the message wasn’t meant to be anything sentimental.

 

His message, simply said, “Lex, it’s your dad. Call me back.”

 

Following his death, Ali loved listening to that message to hear her father’s voice. Of all the assets he left behind, that tiny voicemail was what she cherished most.

 

Until one day, she went to listen to the message and discovered it had been erased—and her father’s voice was lost to her forever. She still recalls that day as one of her worst ever. Yet, like most painful events, it taught her an important lesson.

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3 Reasons Why Transferring Ownership Of Your Home To Your Child Is A Bad Idea

Whether it’s to qualify for Medicaid, avoid probate, or reduce your tax burden, transferring ownership of your home to your adult child during your lifetime may seem like a smart move. But in nearly all cases, it’s actually a huge mistake, which can lead to dire consequences for everyone involved.

With this in mind, before you sign over the title to your family’s beloved homestead, consider the following potential risks.  

 

1. Your Eligibility For Medicaid Could Be Jeopardized

With the cost of long-term care skyrocketing, you may be worried about your (or your senior parents’) ability to pay for lengthy stays in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home. Such care can be extremely expensive and potentially overwhelming, even those families with substantial wealth.

 

Since neither traditional health insurance nor Medicare will pay for long-term care, you may  look to Medicaid to help cover the costs of long-term care. To become eligible for Medicaid, however, you must first exhaust nearly every penny of your savings.

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How Naming Guardians For Your Kids In Your Will Can Leave Them At Risk

If you are a mom or dad with children under the age of 18 at home, your number-one estate planning priority should be selecting and legally documenting both long and short-term guardians for your kids.

Guardians are the people legally named to care for your children in the event something happens to you.

 

And if you’ve named guardians for your children in your will—even with the help of another lawyer—your kids could still be at risk of being taken into the care of strangers! 

 

One of the most disturbing aspects of this situation is that you probably have no idea just how vulnerable your kids are, since this is a blind spot inherent to the estate plan of countless parents around the world. Even many lawyers aren’t fully aware of this issue—and that’s because most lawyers simply don’t understand what’s necessary for planning and ensuring the well-being and care of minor children.

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Does Your Family Need Umbrella Insurance?

In today’s highly litigious society, you are at near-constant risk for costly lawsuits—even if you’ve done nothing wrong.

This is especially true if you have substantial wealth, but even those with relatively few assets can find themselves in court facing a potentially devastating lawsuit.

 

If you are sued, your traditional homeowners or auto insurance will likely offer you some liability coverage, but those policies only cover you up to a certain dollar amount before they max out, and you can be held personally liable for anything beyond that limit. For this reason, you should consider adding an extra layer of protection by investing in personal liability umbrella insurance.

 

An Extra Level Of Protection

Umbrella insurance offers a secondary level of protection against lawsuits above and beyond what’s covered by your homeowners, auto, watercraft, and other personal insurance policies. Umbrella policies can cover a wide array of potentially ruinous costs related to a lawsuit, such as medical bills, legal fees, lost wages, court costs, and other expenses.

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Protect Your Children's Inheritance With A Lifetime Asset Protection Trust

As a parent, you’re likely hoping to leave your children an inheritance. In fact, doing so maybe one of the primary factors motivating your life’s work. But without taking the proper precautions, the wealth you pass on is at serious risk of being accidentally lost or squandered due to common life events, such as divorce, serious debt, devastating illness, and unfortunate accidents.

In some cases, a sudden inheritance windfall can even wind up doing your kids more harm than good.

 

Creating a will or a revocable living trust offers some protection for your kid’s inheritance, but in most cases, you’ll be guided to distribute assets through your will or trust to your children at specific ages and stages, such as one-third at age 25, half the balance at 30, and the rest at 35.

 

If you’ve created an estate plan, check to see if this is how your will or trust leaves assets to your children. If so, you may not have been told about another option that can give your children access, control, and airtight asset protection for whatever assets they inherit from you.

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Probate: What It Is And How To Avoid It - Part 1

Unless you’ve created a proper estate plan, when you die, many of your assets must first pass through the court process known as probate before those assets can be distributed to your heirs. Like most court proceedings, probate can be time-consuming, costly, and open to the public, and because of this, avoiding probate—and keeping your family out of court—is a central goal of most estate plans.

During probate, the court supervises a number of different legal actions, all of which are aimed at finalizing your affairs and settling your estate. Although we’ll discuss them more in-depth below, probate typically consists of the following processes:

  • Determining the validity of your will (if you have one).
  • Appointing an executor or administrator to manage the probate process and settle your estate.
  • Locating and valuing all of your assets.
  • Notifying & paying your creditors.
  • Filing & paying your taxes.
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Protect Your Home, Family, & Assets From The Growing Threat Of Natural Disasters

Over just the last two years, we've seen historic levels of damage caused by natural disasters in the U.S. From blizzards in Texas and wildfires in California to hurricanes in Louisiana and tornados in the Midwest, few regions of the country are immune to such catastrophes.

Based on the latest data from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), things are only going to get worse.

 

The WMO found that climate change has helped drive a five-fold increase in the number of weather-related disasters in the last 50 years. These calamities are getting more severe each year. As a result of climate change, weather records are being broken all the time, turning previously impossible events into deadly realities.

 

Despite this threat, most homeowners lack the insurance coverage needed to protect their property and possessions from such calamities. Roughly 64% of homeowners don't have enough insurance, according to a 2020 report from CoreLogic, the nation's largest source of property and housing data. One major factor contributing to this lack of coverage is the mistaken belief that homeowners insurance offers adequate protection from natural disasters.

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What To Expect From Your Initial Meeting With Us Your Personal Family Lawyer®

Whether you’ve met with an estate planning lawyer before or it’s your first time, it’s important to understand how working with us, your Personal Family Lawyer®, is different from meeting with a traditional lawyer.

Here we will explain what’s involved with our process, in hopes that it will inspire you to meet with us, your Personal Family Lawyer® and get clear on what your family needs you to have in place, so you don’t leave behind a mess if you become incapacitated or when you die. We promise to help you make the wisest, most affordable, most effective, time-saving plan for yourself and the people you love. 

 

Meeting With A Traditional Lawyer

Given the unique approach of Personal Family Lawyer® firms, an initial consultation with our firm is quite different from an initial consultation with a typical estate planning attorney. A typical “initial consultation” would be a meet-and-greet-type of meeting, in which the lawyer describes the various legal documents you need to put in place and quotes you a fee to provide those documents.

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