Reviewing and Modifying Your Estate Plan

Why should you review your estate plan documents? In the event of your incapacitation or death, having an outdated estate plan may have unintended consequences. For example, Your new assets, not transferred to your trust, being subject to probate; If you are predeceased by your nominated executors, trustees, or beneficiaries, you may be represented by individuals that do not have your best interests in mind, or that you no longer have a close relationship with; Your assets being directed to people or causes that you no longer support; Conflict within your family and friends; Outdated estate law tying the hands of your surviving spouse; When should you review your estate planning documents with your attorney? Birth/adoption of a child or grandchild; Death of a family member, executor, trustee, or personal representative of your estate of any kind; Marriage, affecting you or a beneficiary of your estate; Divorce, affecting you or …

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The Two Different Documents to Govern Incapacity

One of the important things a comprehensive estate plan does is to plan for incapacity. Incapacity is when a person is medically determined to be unable to make decisions for themselves. An estate plan handles this by having you designate a person or persons who will handle your affairs for you in such a scenario. Clients frequently assume that this is done through one document. It is not. California law requires that this designation is done through two documents. The first is called a Durable Power of Attorney. This document enables you to name a person who will handle your legal and financial matters if your physician determines that you do “not have sufficient understanding or ability to make or communicate decisions.” The second document that comes into play during incapacity is called an Advance Health Care Directive. This document designates the person who will make health care decisions for …

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Cryptocurrency as an Asset of Your Trust

When Bitcoin was first created in 2009, to most people, the idea of open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency probably sounded like something from a futuristic action movie. Today, there are not just are many different types of cryptocurrencies but multiple ways to hold crypto as an asset and it is increasingly common to have crypto as a part of one’s investment portfolio. In terms of estate planning, it is easiest if you hold cryptocurrency in a coin-based account. Many people have Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin in the form of a CryptoKey. This makes it harder because the asset doesn’t ‘live’ anywhere in the same way assets in a coin based account or in a more traditional financial portfolio do. The benefit of a coin-based account is that it enables you to name a pay on death beneficiary, much like banks and other financial institutions. To make sure our clients’ assets are protected, …

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The Responsibilities of a Trustee

We work with clients to craft an estate plan so that upon their death their wishes will be carried out and their loved ones provided for. The central document in most estate plans is the trust. Most trusts we create are revocable, meaning that our clients—referred to as the trustor in the estate plan—can change, update, or nullify the trust throughout their lives.  But a will and a trust alone are just pieces of paper. It takes the actions of people to put them into effect. A revocable trust becomes an irrevocable trust upon the death of the trustor. In the trust, the trustor names a successor trustee. Administering a trust can be challenging, and there are laws governing what a trustee can and cannot do. One of the main focuses of my practice is trust administration, which involves guiding trustees through the process and advising them of their legal …

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Supporting Equity in Legal Access

A foundational part of the mission I had in mind when I started Britton Law Group was making legal services more accessible. Justice itself is dependent upon everyone having equal access to our legal system. We do this by offering exceptional, top-tier Estate Planning, Trust Administration, and Probate Services at accessible rates. An essential function of our estate planning practice is making sure that upon death, our client’s assets are protected in a trust to avoid the lengthy and costly process of going through probate court. Often, those who can least afford to have a loved one’s estate end up in probate court that find themselves there due to their loved one being unable to afford an estate planning attorney. As a lawyer and a member of the California Bar, I feel responsible for the equal implementation of the law, and I am constantly thinking of ways to ameliorate this …

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Planning for the Pet You Love

I love my dogs. They’re not just pets, they’re an integral part of our family. I know my clients feel the same way too. Many clients, especially older ones, come to me concerned about what will happen to the animals they love after they pass. Many states, including California allow for the creation of a pet trust. A previous post of mine from June 2019 and piece by the ASPCA offer some helpful information: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-planning/pet-trust-primer If you have any specific questions about your pet and your estate plan, please contact our office and set up an appointment. Happy Planning! B.B. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Brittany Britton is licensed to practice …

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Opening Up Together

For nearly a year and a half now, the way our business functioned on a day-to-day basis was dictated by the measures necessary to keep everyone pandemic safe. As more Californians become vaccinated, and as our state begins to fully open up, I have found it such a relief and joy to have our entire team back working together in our offices. It has also been such a great reminder of the great local businesses in our area. Among my absolute favorites is Lou, The French on the Block, a delightful patisserie café on Riverside Drive and Pass Avenue in Burbank. Chef Laurent and his wife Karima serve up exceptional coffee drinks and traditional French pastries. Any day that starts with something from Lou’s always seems to turn out splendid. I recommend Lou’s to clients and friends alike. www.louthefrenchontheblock.com

Business Update

On June 1st, we will be raising the price of an individual will package and couple will package to $1500 and $2000, respectively. Our trust package will now be $2500 for an individual and $3000 for a couple.

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