In order to assist his clients, Baron has prepared trusts and wills for many years. In the last several years, he has begun to extend this service to a wider client base.
Having litigated real estate issues and addressing real estate problems in bankruptcies and transactions, and preparing trusts following catastrophic injury cases, he brings a unique perspective to preparation of a trust.
There are a number of mistakes that people make with respect to their estate plans:
- No estate plan. If you do not have an estate plan, you might place your family in the position of having to seek a conservatorship if you become incapacitated and require them to file a probate after your passing.
- Failure to transfer real estate into the trust. Real property must be transferred by deed; otherwise, the trust will not be able to administer the real estate. Bank accounts and brokerage accounts have to be made a part of the trust as well.
- Failure to properly maintain the community property aspect of their home. In California, property accumulated during the marriage is community property with a few exceptions. That community property characterization must be properly handled in the trust. The error could create adverse tax consequences.
- Updating the estate plan is important. There may be children or grandchildren born since the trust was drafted. There may be changes in tax law. Is there now a beneficiary who needs special provisions to take care of them?
- Failure to name beneficiaries is a common mistake. Without proper designation, your heirs may have to probate your estate. Sometimes with divorces or deaths occurring, insurance policies or retirement accounts have not been updated.
- Failure to include provisions for government benefits. Many trusts do not provide for government benefits. If a need develops, there must be authority for the trustee to work with governmental agencies on your behalf.