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.

Everything You Need To Know About Including Digital Assets In Your Estate Plan - Part 2

Recent advances in digital technology have made many aspects of our lives exponentially easier and more convenient. But at the same time, digital technology has also created some serious complications when it comes to estate planning. In fact, if you haven’t properly addressed your digital assets in your estate plan, there’s a good chance that most of those assets will be lost forever when you die.

Without the proper estate planning, just locating and accessing your digital assets can be a major headache—or even impossible—for your loved ones following your incapacity or death. And even if your loved ones can access your digital property, in some cases, doing so may violate privacy laws or the terms of service governing your accounts. Plus, you may also have certain digital assets that you don’t want your loved ones to inherit, so you’ll need to take steps to restrict or limit access to those assets.

 

There are a number of special considerations you should be aware of when including digital assets in your estate plan, and this series addresses each one. Last week in part one, we discussed some of the most common types of digital assets and the current legal landscape governing what happens to those assets upon your death or incapacity. Here, we offer some practical tips to ensure all of your digital assets are properly included in your estate plan, so these assets can provide the most benefit for your loved ones for generations to come.

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Everything You Need To Know About Including Digital Assets In Your Estate Plan - Part 1

Recent advances in digital technology have made many aspects of our lives exponentially easier and more convenient. But at the same time, digital technology has also created some serious complications when it comes to estate planning. In fact, if you haven’t properly addressed your digital assets in your estate plan, there’s a good chance that most of those assets will be lost forever when you die.

Without the proper estate planning, just locating and accessing your digital assets can be a major headache—or even impossible—for your loved ones following your incapacity or death. And even if your loved ones can access your digital assets, in some cases, doing so may violate privacy laws or the terms of service governing your accounts. Plus, you may also have certain digital assets that you don’t want your loved ones to inherit, so you’ll need to take steps to restrict or limit access to those assets.

 

Indeed, there are several special considerations you should be aware of when including digital assets in your estate plan. Here we’ll discuss the most common types of digital assets, along with the current laws governing them, and then we’ll offer some practical tips to ensure your digital property is properly accounted for, managed, and passed on in the event of your incapacity or death.

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Britney Spears’ Nightmare Conservatorship Underscores The Vital Importance Of Incapacity Planning—Part 2

Since the age of 16, when she burst onto the charts with her debut single, “...Hit Me Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most famous and beloved pop stars. Yet despite her massive fame and fortune, Britney, who is now 39, has never truly had full control over her own life.

As most familiar with pop culture know by now, Britney has been living under a conservatorship for the past 13 years, known as “adult guardianship.” A conservatorship is a legal structure in which the court granted Britney’s father, Jaime Spears, and other individuals nearly complete control over her legal, financial, and personal decisions. The conservatorship was initially established in February 2008 after Britney suffered a mental breakdown, which resulted in her being briefly hospitalized.

 

A Total Loss of Control

Back in 2008, the court appointed Britney’s father and attorney, Andrew Wallet, as her co-conservators, as Britney was deemed mentally unfit to care for herself. The arrangement was only meant to be temporary, but in October of that year, the conservatorship was made long-term, and her father has remained in nearly complete control of Britney’s life ever since. 

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Britney Spears’ Nightmare Conservatorship Underscores The Vital Importance Of Incapacity Planning—Part 1

Since the age of 16, when she burst onto the charts with her debut single, “...Hit Me Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears has been one of the world’s most famous and beloved pop stars. Yet despite her massive fame and fortune, Britney, who is now 39, has never truly had full control over her own life.

As most familiar with pop culture know by now, Britney has been living under a conservatorship for the past 13 years, known as “adult guardianship.” A conservatorship is a legal structure in which the court granted Britney’s father, Jaime Spears, and other individuals nearly complete control over her legal, financial, and personal decisions. The conservatorship was initially established in February 2008 after Britney suffered a mental breakdown, which resulted in her being briefly hospitalized.

 

A Total Loss of Control

Back in 2008, the court appointed Britney’s father and attorney, Andrew Wallet, as her co-conservators, as Britney was deemed mentally unfit to care for herself. The arrangement was only meant to be temporary, but in October of that year, the conservatorship was made long-term, and her father has remained in nearly complete control of Britney’s life ever since. 

Read More

Estate Planning For A Child With Special Needs: What Parents Need To Know

Estate planning is an obvious concern for all parents, but if you have a child with special needs, it’s crucial that you are aware of the unique considerations that go into planning for a child who may be dependent on you at some level for their lifetime.

If your child has special needs, you must understand exactly what’s necessary to provide for the emotional, physical, and financial needs of your child, in the event of your own eventual death or potential incapacity.

 

When creating your estate plan, there are two major considerations for you to focus on: 1) Who would care for your child if and when you cannot (also known as guardianship), and 2) How will your child’s financial needs be met when you are not there to meet them.  

 

Naming Legal Guardians for a Lifetime Care

The first and most critical step in ensuring the future well-being of your child with special needs is to name both short and long-term legal guardians to take custody of and care for your child in the event of your death or incapacity. And as you well know, if your child will never become fully capable of independently caring for him or herself, your parenting responsibilities will continue long after your child reaches adulthood.

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3 Estate Planning Issues For LGBTQ+ Couples - Part 2

Whether you are married or not, if you are involved in a committed partnership with another individual, estate planning is about so much more than planning for death—it’s about planning for life and ensuring your beloved will be protected and provided for no matter what happens to you. And if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical, especially if you have complex family relationships.

Although same-gender marriage is legally recognized in all 50 states, long-held prejudice at both the political and family level continues to create complications for both married and unmarried same-gender couples. Indeed, while the federal government recognizes same-gender marriage, there are plenty of cities, businesses, and people who still refuse to recognize these unions. Moreover, a recent survey found that roughly four of every 10 LGBTQ adults said that they have been rejected by a family member because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

 

As we discussed last week in part one, such discrimination can create unique estate planning challenges, and regardless of your marriage status, if you are an LGTBQ adult in a committed partnership, you should be aware of several issues that can affect your planning strategies. Specifically, we discussed how relying on a will alone may not provide sufficient protection for your partner/spouse, and we explained why incapacity planning is particularly crucial if you want your partner/spouse to have a say in your medical treatment and the ability to access and manage your assets in the event you are hit with a debilitating illness or injury. 

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3 Estate Planning Issues For LGBTQ+ Couples - Part 1

Whether you are married or in a committed partnership, estate planning is about much more than planning for death—it's about planning for life. It's the way to ensure your beloved will be protected and provided for in the event of your death or incapacity. Especially if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, estate planning is even more critical.

Although same-gender marriage is legally recognized in all 50 states, long-held prejudice at both the political and family levels continues to create complications for both married and unmarried same-gender couples. For example, suppose you have family members who are opposed to your marriage. In that case, your estate plan may be more likely to be disputed or even sabotaged by unsupportive relatives. This could mean that family members are more likely to contest your wishes, or it might result in custody battles over non-biological children in the event of the biological parent's death.

 

Unsupportive family members may even try to block the ability of your partner to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated by accident or illness. Even worse, your family members could try to kick your partner out of a shared home if you are in an accident or fall ill, or they may even block your partner from seeing you if you require hospitalization.

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3 Vital Estate Planning Documents For High School Graduates

With the arrival of summer, young people across the country are about to reach a key milestone: high school graduation. If you have a child claiming their diploma, now is the time to prepare them for life after leaving the nest.

Graduating high school is a significant accomplishment. However, it comes with serious responsibilities that your child probably isn't thinking much about right now. Once your child turns 18, they become a legal adult, and specific areas of their lives that were once under your control will be solely their responsibility. 

 

While your child will now be a legal adult, you still have essential parental duties. Yet, if you don't support your child to step into adulthood with legal documents to help both of you, it can be challenging and costly for you to help them in the event of an emergency. 

 

For instance, should your child get into a severe car accident and require hospitalization, you would no longer have the automatic authority to make decisions about his or her medical treatment or handle their financial matters.  In fact, without legal documentation, you wouldn't even be able to access his or her medical records or bank accounts without a court order.

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The Perfect Father's Day Gift For Every Father

When you are a kid, finding a suitable gift for Father’s Day can be a struggle. You want to get Dad something he’ll enjoy, but few young people can afford a new set of golf clubs or a shiny new grill, so you end up settling once again for the standard necktie and socks.

And even after you become an adult, that struggle for the perfect Father’s Day gift often continues, albeit in a slightly different way. When it comes to expressing your love and appreciation for everything Dad has done, more “stuff” doesn’t cut it.  

 

If your father is like most, he’d tell you that the greatest gift you could give him would be for you to abide by the values and principles he taught you and share them with your children. 

 

We may go to great lengths to protect and pass on our family’s financial wealth. Still, very few of us take the time to even document, much less preserve, our family’s legacy. The stories, values, insights, and life lessons of our parents, grandparents, and those who came before them— are typically lost forever when a beloved father figure passes away.

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Just Married? 6 Estate Planning Essentials For Newlyweds - Part 2

As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add “estate planning” to your do list.

And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind right now, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse.

 

First, be aware of the impact of doing nothing. If you were to become hospitalized for any reason prior to your marriage day, the person you love most in the world would not have the legal authority to make your medical decisions and may not even have the authority to see you in the hospital. Your beloved would have no access to your bank accounts and could even be put into a position of having to move out of your shared home abruptly in the event of your death.

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