Frequently Asked Questions
California does not actually have an estate (inheritance) tax that affects people with total assets under $12,900,000 per individual. However, when you die without a trust (whether you have a will or not), your estate will be subject to the probate process, involvement of the court for nearly a year, delaying the distribution of assets, and costing upwards of $25,000 in legal fees.
Generally, trust amendments can be done for $250-$400. A trust should be reviewed every ten years because life changes, people move, children are born, and we acquire new homes. That’s when its time to update successor Trustees, add property to a Trust declaration and to update the county record. We assist with all of this.
Many people worry about whether their assets will be taxed by the state or worse yet, all of their property will escheat to the state. Well, I have good news and bad news. In general there is no “death tax”, but California does have an inheritance tax for certain higher valued estates.
One of the best reasons to place your assets into a Trust is to avoid taxes and the costly, time-consuming process of Probate.
Great question. As we age, we feel it would be safe (upon our incapacity) to have someone who could transact for us financially. Some think,… I will just add my grown son or daughter to my bank accounts. Well, understand that there is a role as a ‘signer’ who can transact and an ‘holder/owner’. If you make them an owner, when you pass the balance in the accounts becomes theirs. What if you intended them to share those assets with others. This is why your wishes should be expressed in a Trust and designating the Trust as the beneficiary of the account.
The checkbox or fill in the blank forms at various healthcare providers tips the decision making in their favor. Instead, our Advance Healthcare Directives allow your trusted family to make decisions. We forecast how much ‘end-of-life’ care you desire, keep you living in your house receiving care, decide about organ donation, cremation vs. burial preferences and several other personal decisions.
No. Your Trust is the controlling document, but we execute with our Estate Plans, a Pour-Over Will for each person because in a Will you can nominate Guardians for children under the age of 18. The California Pour-Over Will identifies the Trust as the controlling document and prevents even a flaw in the Trust from invalidating your wishes.
No. We include the special language for Special Needs that instructs the Trustee that their benefit is protected and their inheritance cannot be used by the government to reduce their benefit. This is a big advantage with our Trusts over the more inexpensive ones created online.
Yes. You can instruct the Successor Trustee to distribute to beneficiaries based on their age… eg. “Give my son 25% at age 25 and the remainder at age 30.” You can also place real property into the Trust to remain for family use (like a cabin in the mountains) and designate a manager to use Trust funds for upkeep. A Trust instrument is very flexible and can accomplish very customized wishes!
The California courts do not “force” you to get divorced if you change your mind; however, the one caveat or exception to that is if your spouse has decided they want to continue with the divorce process. The Court will most likely grant your spouse the divorce as requested.
California Family Code has a required six month waiting period for dissolutions. That is not to say that your divorce will be complete in six months, that is just the minimum amount of time the court requires before they will process the judgment documents. The amount of time will depend on several factors including: the court’s availability; cooperation among the parties; how much in assets between the parties; if children are involved; and other factors.
All counties charge a filing fee of approximately $450, per party, with a few exceptions.
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“All counties charge a filing fee of approximately $450, per party, with a few exceptions.
Our Retainer Fee will vary depending on your matter. Some cases are at the end when they come to us. We have matters that simply want us to draft their Settlement Agreement. That would be a very different Retainer Fee than a party who is coming to us with two children seeking to file a Petition for a divorce.
At this time, we do not charge a Consultation Fee for a brief 20-30 minute meeting with a potential client to review or discuss their matter.
We have the ability to meet over Webex, so it is not necessary to come to our office in Corona, unless you prefer a face-to-face meeting.
We take occasional weekend appointments for those clients who work late, live in Orange County or San Bernardino County.
If you decide our firm is a good fit for you, we work well with Docusign for e-signatures, so all documents come to your computer or phone for convenience. You will have minimal office visits, unless you prefer face-to-face visits.
This is a question for the court to determine. You may be entitled to spousal support if you are a dependent spouse. There are various factors that are taken into account for this question. They include: (1) The standard of living in the marriage; (2) the length of the marriage; (3) the age of both parties; (4) the health of both parties; (5) ability to obtain employment of both parties; and (6) potential of both parties earning capacity.
This is a question for the court to determine. There are various factors and calculations that are taken into account for this question, as well. They include: (1) both you and your spouse’s income; (2) health care costs; (3) mandatory dues or retirement contributions; (4) the number of children you and your spouse have; (5) the amount of time the children spend with each parent; (6) tax filing status of both parents; and (7) the number of other children you and your ex-spouse support.
Yes. Despite losing your job, you are required to continue paying your support orders. You may be able to request a modification of your current order due to your hardship, as this would be considered a change in circumstance. However, this must be done through the court, and must be done as soon as possible. You should never stop paying support without the court’s approval and order.
The amount of support a parent receives or pays is ultimately a question for the court to determine. However, child support is not based upon the new spouse’s income.
The Law Office Of Coy & Husen specializes in the following practice areas
Family law is a complex and sensitive area of law that deals with issues such as divorce, child custody, and support. We offer assistance to those in need of guidance and support.
Probate can be avoided or minimized by planning ahead and using tools such as wills, trusts, joint tenancy, beneficiary designations, and transfer-on-death deeds.
Estate administration encompasses a range of legal and financial tasks, from locating and valuing assets to paying debts, distributing inheritances, and settling any disputes that may arise.
Contracts are agreements between two or more parties that create legal obligations and rights. Contracts can be written, oral, or implied by conduct.
Wills & Trusts
Trusts are also a popular estate planning tool that allows individuals to manage their assets while alive and ensure a seamless property transition after their death. Contact Coy & Husen to get started.
Contact Coy & Husen today for a free consultation and get a professional legal assessment of your situation. We will give you an honest legal opinion and guide you in the right direction.
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