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.

Start Planning Now to Prepare Your Estate for a Possible Democratic Sweep—Part 2

No matter who you vote for on November 3rd, you may want to start considering the potential legal, financial, and tax impacts a change of leadership might have on your family’s planning.

As you’ll learn here, there are a number of reasons why you may want to start strategizing now if you could be impacted, because if you wait until after the election, it could be too late.

 

While we don’t yet know the outcome of the election, Biden could win and the Democrats could take a majority in both houses of Congress. If that does happen, a Democratic sweep would have far-reaching consequences on a number of policy fronts. But in terms of financial, tax, and estate planning, it’s almost certain that we’ll see radical changes to the tax landscape that could seriously impact your planning priorities. And while it’s unlikely that a tax bill would be enacted right away, there’s always the possibility such legislation could be applied retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021.

 

This two-part series is aimed at outlining the major ways Biden plans to change tax laws, so you can adapt your family’s planning considerations accordingly. Last week in part one, we detailed Biden’s plan to raise roughly $4 trillion in revenue by implementing a variety of measures designed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000.

Read More

How to Ensure Your Pets Are Protected and Well-Cared For in the Event of Your Death or Incapacity

If you have pets, you probably want to make sure they are well-taken care of, if anything happens to you.

Unfortunately, wishing for their good fortune isn't enough. Too many animals are abandoned when their owners die and face rehoming, life in an animal shelter, or worse.

 

To make sure your furry friend is taken care of when you become incapacitated or upon your death, you can leave assets for their care and custody.  The best way to leave your faithful companion assets is to set up a pet trust.

 

With a pet trust, you can create certain rules for how the trust's funds can be used. You can name a trustee - the person who will control and manage the funds - and a caregiver for your pet. By having a trustee manage the funds, you can be ensured the caregiver will only benefit from them if they are used according to the rules of the trust.

Read More

Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Without A Will—Part 2

On October 15th, nearly two months after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, filed documents with the Los Angeles probate court seeking to be named administrator of his estate.

Earlier this year, Boseman and Ledward were married, and the marriage gives Ledward the right to any assets held in Boseman’s name at his death.

 

Boseman died at age 43 on August 28th following a four-year battle with colon cancer, and based on the court documents, it seems the young actor died without a will. While Boseman’s failure to create a will is surprising, he’s far from the first celebrity to do so. In fact, numerous big-name stars—Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Jimi Hedrix—all made the same mistake.

 

What makes Boseman’s story somewhat unique from the others is that it seems likely the young actor put some estate planning tools in place, but it’s possible he didn’t quite finish the job. Based on the number of hit films he starred in and how much he earned for those films, several sources have noted that Boseman’s assets at the time of his death should have been worth far more than the approximately $939,000 listed in probate court documents.

 

So what happened to the rest of Bosman’s wealth? Seeing that his death wasn’t a surprise, some commentators have suggested that the bulk of Boseman’s assets passed through private trusts. But if that’s the case, why didn’t he also have a will, which would almost always be created alongside trusts?

 

Last week in part one, we discussed a few potential explanations for this apparent blind spot in Boseman’s estate plan, and how the young actor might have prevented the situation by creating a pour-over will to be used as a backup to any trusts he had put in place. Here in part two, we’ll focus on another critical component of Boseman’s estate plan—incapacity planning.

Read More

Start Planning Now to Prepare Your Estate for a Possible Democratic Sweep—Part 1

No matter who you voted for on November 3rd, you may want to start considering the potential legal, financial, and tax impacts a change of leadership might have on your family’s planning.

And as you’ll learn here, there are a number of reasons why you should start strategizing now, because if you wait until after the election, it will very likely be too late.

 

Although the election outcome was impossible to predict, some polls show Joe Biden with a healthy lead over Donald Trump and the Democrats could be poised to take a majority in both houses of Congress. Such a Democratic sweep will likely have far-reaching consequences on a number of policy fronts. But in terms of financial, tax, and estate planning, it’s almost certain that we’ll see radical changes to the tax landscape that could seriously impact your planning priorities. And while it’s unlikely that a major tax bill would be enacted right away, there’s always the possibility that when legislation does pass it could be applied retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021.

 

With that in mind, in this two-part series, we’ll outline the major ways Biden plans to change tax laws, so you can adapt your family’s finances and estate planning considerations accordingly.

Read More

Once Your Kids Are 18, Make Sure They Sign These Documents

While estate planning is probably one of the last things your teenage kids are thinking about, given the dire threat coronavirus represents, when they turn 18, it should be their (and your) number-one priority.

Here’s why: At 18, they become legal adults in the eyes of the law, so you no longer have the authority to make decisions regarding their healthcare, nor will you have access to their financial accounts if something happens to them.

 

With you no longer in charge, your young adult would be extremely vulnerable in the event they become incapacitated by COVID-19 or another malady and lose their ability to make decisions about their own medical care. Seeing that putting a plan in place could literally save their lives, if your kids are already 18 or about to hit that milestone, it’s crucial that you discuss and have them sign the following documents.

 

Medical Power of Attorney

Medical power of attorney is an advance directive that allows your child to grant you (or someone else) the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Read More

Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Without A Will—Part 1

On October 15th, nearly two months after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, filed documents with the Los Angeles probate court seeking to be named administrator of his estate.

Earlier this year, Boseman and Ledward were married, and the marriage gives Ledward the right to any assets held in Boseman’s name at his death.

 

Boseman died at age 43 on August 28th following a four-year battle with colon cancer, and based on the court documents, it seems the young actor died without a will. While Boseman’s failure to create a will is surprising, he’s far from the first celebrity to do so. In fact, numerous big-name stars—Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix—all made the same mistake.

 

What makes Boseman’s story somewhat unique from the others is that it seems likely the young actor put some estate planning tools in place, but it’s possible he didn’t quite finish the job. Based on the number of hit films he starred in and how much he earned for those films, several sources have noted that Boseman’s assets at the time of his death should have been worth far more than the approximately $939,000 listed in probate court documents.

Read More

Learning to Flourish, Even in a Financial Crisis

Maybe you, like many of us, have been raised to think that the safest way to live in the working world is to have a good career and a steady paycheck.

This financial crisis is challenging that framework for many people. Even if you had a steady job, and even if you still have one, by now you’ve learned how easy it is for that security to disappear overnight. 

 

A recession can reveal all of our negative thoughts and internal monologues about money. A sad, yet common, attitude is for us to see money as a scarce resource, and income as something that’s outside of our control. Thinking or talking about money can trigger feelings of guilt and shame in many people. 

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is, money is a tool that you can access and multiply, independent of anyone else’s permission. And even if you do have anxieties that keep you from seeing how money can be a positive part of your life, that can change.

 

Other people may react to this period of uncertainty with the same, old-fashioned advice: live within your means and keep 3–6 months’ worth of income in an emergency fund. If you have a secure job that pays you well, and that you enjoy, this is great advice. But, if that’s not what is true for you, you may be looking at this time as a great opportunity to make a shift and create your own financial security. 

Read More

COVID-19 Highlights Critical Need for Advance Healthcare Directives—Part 2

With new cases of COVID-19 currently surging in dozens of states, doctors across the country are joining lawyers in urging Americans to create the proper estate planning documents, so medical providers can better coordinate their treatment and care should they become hospitalized with the virus.

In the first part of this series, we discussed the vital importance of having updated advance directives in place in light of COVID-19. Here, we’ll look at several additional provisions you should consider adding to your directives to address potential contingencies related to the pandemic.

 

The most crucial planning tools for this purpose are medical power of attorney and a living will, advance healthcare directives that work together to help describe your wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care should you become unable to express your own wishes. While all adults over age 18 should put these documents in place as soon as possible, if you are over age 60 or have a chronic underlying health condition, the urgency is paramount.

 

COVID-19 Considerations

What’s more, in light of COVID-19, even if you’ve already created these documents, you should revisit them to ensure they are up-to-date and address specific scenarios related to the coronavirus. In the first part of this series, we discussed some unique circumstances related to COVID-19 and its treatment that you should be aware of when creating or updating your directives.

Here, we offer several more provisions you should consider adding to your directives to ensure the documents address as many potential contingencies as possible during the ongoing pandemic.  

Read More

Estate Planning Tips for Ensuring Your Pets Are Properly Cared For

It’s sad but true that many pets end up in shelters after their owner dies or becomes incapacitated.

In fact, the Humane Society estimates that between 100,00 to 500,000 pets are placed in shelters each year for exactly this reason, and a large number of these animals are ultimately euthanized.

 

Whether we like it or not, the law considers pets to be nothing more than personal property just like cars, furniture, and electronic devices. In light of this cold reality, it’s vital that you provide for your pet’s future care through estate planning, so when you die or if you become incapacitated, your beloved friend won’t wind up in a shelter or worse.

 

The following tips offer helpful advice to ensure your faithful companion receives the best possible care when you’re no longer able to do it yourself.

Read More

How To Get Access to Your COVID Stimulus Money

It’s the beginning of the month, and bills are coming due. If you are stressed out, it’s important that you know where and how to get access to financial relief.

Please consider this not only for yourself, but for your adult children and elderly parents, too, even if you do not need it for yourself.

 

On March 27, President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill into law that will hopefully provide some relief for many, perhaps including you. The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) sends money directly to Americans, expands unemployment coverage, and funds loans and grants for small businesses. So let’s look at how you can access these funds. 

 

Who gets direct stimulus money and how much do they get?

All eligible adults who have a Social Security Number, filed tax returns in 2018 and/or 2019 will automatically get a $1,200 direct stimulus deposit from the government within a particular income bracket. This is true whether you have been laid off, are currently employed, or are currently self-employed or an independent contractor.

Read More

 

Like what you're learning?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get this knowledge directly through your email!

 

You can find all of our estate planning articles by clicking here.

Interest Areas