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.

Looking for the Best Mother's Day Gift Ever? Try the Kids Protection Plan

Although we initially planned to run part two of last week’s post on Aretha Franklin’s failed estate plan, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’re running this special feature instead. We’ll return with the second half of the late singer’s planning mistakes next week.

In case you missed all of the commercials for floral arrangements that have been airing recently, here’s one final reminder: Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 9th.

 

But before you spend your money on something that will wilt and die within a week or two, consider getting Mom a truly priceless gift—a plan for her kids (or grandkids) that provides her with peace of mind that, when something should happen to her and dad, her children will always be in the care of the people she knows, loves, and trusts.

 

It Can Happen to You

No one likes to think that something unexpected might happen to them, even though we know it happens to others just like us. Think about it, there’s an accident, the kids are at home with the babysitter, and mom and dad don’t make it home from their night out.

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Almost Three Years After Her Death, Aretha Franklin's Poor Estate Planning Continues To Haunt Her Family - Part 1

Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. At the time, her total fortune was estimated to be worth up to $80 million.

Yet, due to poor estate planning, the late singer’s children have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately do receive will be significantly depleted by back taxes. Moreover, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha ever had a valid will.

 

When she passed away in August 2018, her family thought that Aretha died without any estate plan at all. But since then, four different wills attributed to the late singer have been discovered. And ever since those documents came to light, her four adult sons—Clarence, Edward, Ted White Jr., and Kecalf—have been in court fighting one another over her assets, as well as who among them should be designated as the estate's representative.

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Legal Gangsters: Netflix's "I Care a Lot" Uncovers the Dark Side of Legal Guardianship - Part 2

The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. While the film’s twisting plot may seem far fetched, it sheds light on a tragic phenomenon—the abuse of seniors at the hands of crooked “professional” guardians.

Last week in part one of this series, we offered a brief synopsis of the movie, which revolves around Marla Grayson, a crooked professional guardian who makes her living by preying on vulnerable seniors, and we then outlined the true events that inspired the fictional account. The film’s writer and director, J. Blakeson, came up with the idea after reading news stories of a similar scam involving a corrupt professional guardianship agency in Las Vegas.

 

In that case, a real-life Marla Grayson named April Parks, who owned a company called A Private Professional Guardian, was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison in 2018 after being indicted on more than 200 felonies for using her guardianship status to swindle more than 150 seniors out of their life savings. While I Care a Lot is fictional, the Parks case also inspired the 2018 documentary, The Guardians, directed by award-winning filmmaker Billie Mintz, and his film details the terrifying true events that ravaged the Nevada guardianship industry.

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Legal Gangsters: Netflix's "I Care a Lot" Uncovers the Dark Side of Legal Guardianship - Part 1

The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. While the film’s twisting plot may seem far fetched, it sheds light on a tragic phenomenon—the abuse of seniors at the hands of crooked “professional” guardians.

In this two-part series, we’ll discuss how the movie depicts such abuse, how this can occur in real life, and what you can do to prevent something similar from happening to you or your loved ones using proactive estate planning and our Family Wealth Planning process. For support in putting airtight, protective planning vehicles in place, meet with us as your Personal Family Lawyer®.

 

Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie I Care a Lot.

 

At the beginning of the movie, we meet Marla Grayson, a crooked professional guardian who makes her living by preying on vulnerable seniors. A professional guardian is a person appointed by the court to make legal and financial decisions for senior “wards” of the court, who are deemed unable to make such decisions for themselves.

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6 Ways The American Rescue Plan Can Boost Your Family's Finances - Part 2

Signed into law on March 11th, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) is the largest direct-to-taxpayer stimulus legislation ever passed, and it came just in time to save millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits were about to expire.

In addition to extending unemployment relief, the ARP provides individual taxpayers and small business owners with a number of other vital financial benefits aimed at helping the country rebound from last year’s economic downturn.

 

Of these benefits, you’ve likely already seen one of the ARP’s leading elements—the $1,400 direct stimulus payments, which went to taxpayers, children, and non-child dependents with incomes of less than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. But beyond the stimulus, the ARP comes with numerous other provisions that can seriously boost your family’s finances for 2021.

 

To highlight the ways the ARP can impact your family’s bank account, last week in part one of this series, we outlined three of the legislation’s most important elements. Here in part two, we’ll break down three additional parts of the law that stand to boost your family’s finances. To learn about all the full array of benefits provided by the ARP, meet with us as your Personal Family Lawyer®

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6 Ways The American Rescue Plan Can Boost Your Family's Finances - Part 1

Signed into law on March 11th, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) is the largest direct-to-taxpayer stimulus legislation ever passed, and it came just in time to save millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits were about to expire.

In addition to extending unemployment relief, the ARP provides individual taxpayers and small business owners with a number of other vital financial benefits aimed at helping the country rebound from last year’s economic downturn.

 

Of these benefits, you’ve likely already seen one of the ARP’s leading elements—the $1,400 direct stimulus payments, which went to taxpayers, children, and non-child dependents with incomes of less than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. But beyond the stimulus, the ARP comes with numerous other provisions that can seriously boost your family’s finances for 2021.

 

To highlight the ways the ARP can impact your family’s wallet, here we’ll break down six of the legislation’s key elements. To learn about all the full array of benefits provided by the ARP, meet with us, as your Personal Family Lawyer®

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Managing Your Digital Afterlife: A Guide To Facebook's Legacy Contact

If you use Facebook to share, track, and report on important life events, it can provide an  intimate snapshot of your life, and it can also serve as a key part of your legacy—and one you’ll likely want to protect following your death.

With this in mind, as with any other digital asset you own, you should include your Facebook profile as part of your estate plan.

 

While you’ll want to include your Facebook profile in your plan’s inventory of digital assets, Facebook also offers a special function, known as a “legacy contact,” for managing your profile after death. Using a legacy contact, you can choose someone to look after your account and control the activities of your account once you’ve passed away. 

 

If you are interested in preserving your digital legacy using Facebook’s legacy contact, here we’ll break down the basics of how this function works. To learn more about protecting and passing on the rest of your digital assets, meet with us, as your Personal Family Lawyer®, to discuss the different options available.

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Larry King's Death Highlights the Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan for Divorce and Death - Part 2

Legendary TV and radio host, Larry King, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on January 23rd, 2021 at age 87. Larry was hospitalized in December due to COVID-19, but he’d recently been moved from the ICU to a regular hospital room after recovering from the virus.

However, the famed broadcaster suffered from a number of other health conditions over the years, including multiple heart attacks, kidney failure, and diabetes, and he passed away from sepsis that was the result of an unrelated infection. 

 

Last week, in part one of this series, we discussed how Larry’s decision to create a handwritten will, rather than take the time to consult with legal counsel to properly update his plan for his impending divorce, is likely to result in a lengthy court battle between Larry’s seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, and his surviving children. Moreover, we also noted that Larry would have been far better off using a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust, instead of a will, to distribute his assets to his children upon his death. 

 

Here, in the second part of this series, we’ll first look at the different ways a Lifetime Asset Protection Trust would have benefited Larry’s children. From there, we’ll discuss the complications that are likely to arise given that two of Larry’s children died before he had the chance to update his plan—and the planning lessons we can take away from this mistake.

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Larry King's Death Highlights the Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan for Divorce and Death - Part 1

Legendary TV and radio host, Larry King, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on January 23rd, 2021 at age 87. Larry was hospitalized in December due to COVID-19, but he’d recently been moved from the ICU to a regular hospital room after recovering from the virus.

However, the famed broadcaster suffered from a number of other health conditions over the years, including multiple heart attacks, kidney failure, and diabetes, and he passed away from sepsis that was the result of an unrelated infection. 

 

With a career spanning more than half a century, Larry became the most famous interviewer of his generation as the host of CNN’s Larry King Live, a follow-up to his nationwide call-in radio show, The Larry King Show, which started in 1978. Larry retired from CNN in 2010, but up until the very end, he still hosted the streaming video cast “Larry King Now” on Hulu and RT America.

 

With his success in the media and the fact he continued working long after most people would have retired, Larry amassed a fortune estimated to be worth some $50 million. In addition to Larry’s fame as a broadcaster, he also became equally well known for his numerous marriages. Starting at age 19, the media mogul got married a total of eight times to seven different women (one of them, he married twice).

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Is It Time to Go Solo(preneur)?

There’s nothing like a major change in the economic climate to make you rethink your day job. “Business as usual” currently means a large element of uncertainty about what the future holds for your working life.

Whether you've lost your job, had your hours cut, or have seen these things happen to people you know, your feeling of security has likely taken a hit. And, maybe that can be a good thing, something that calls you to start taking action. 

 

In my previous article, I talked about how now is the perfect time for you to look at  all the resources available to you, and to consider what you can do to serve the world with under-utilized gifts, skills, and talents. By doing this, you have the potential to take full control over your income, and your family’s long-term security.

 

You also may have noticed a growing trend that existed even before the coronavirus pandemic hit—more and more people are opting out of the traditional 9 to 5 and becoming “solopreneurs,” either by becoming a freelancer or starting a business. 

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