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Adult Protective Services is Here to Help

Posted by Shawna Murray | Aug 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Adult Protective Services is a great community service for elders. It is a county department dedicated to the safety and well-being of our elders. Financial elder abuse, in particular, is rampant in California. In this blog post, I share some information about Adult Protective Services so that we can educate ourselves and our elders and hopefully decrease the number of victims.

Step-mom Gets Life Insurance Proceeds Meant for Sons

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jul 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

When was the last time you checked on the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policy? I have just read about a recent case in California where a father failed to change his life insurance beneficiary designations after his divorce. Now, after winning a court battle, his ex-wife will get the life insurance proceeds that he wanted sons to have.

How to Pick Your Trustee, Executor and Agent

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jul 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

In estate planning, the trustee, executor, and agent with power of attorney are all fiduciaries. Any of these jobs can be said to be very important and require the chose person to be trustworthy above all else. This article will explain what a fiduciary is and describe the responsibilities of each of these designations.

5 Reasons Why You Need a QTIP Trust

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jun 04, 2018 | 0 Comments

The QTIP Trust was formerly a very useful tax planning tool. Now that estate taxes are not an issue for the vast majority of Americans, you should understand the other benefits of a QTIP Trust because they can provide significant protection for your heirs.

6 Mistakes to Avoid if You Own Rental Property

Posted by Shawna Murray | May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Real estate investment can provide you with an additional source of income, but you must not be a passive landlord. You will find that there are many traps for landlords and this article discusses a number of those traps. This list was inspired by real-life events (well, at least real to the people involved).

Why Having a "Will-Only" Estate Plan Is a Costly Mistake

Posted by Shawna Murray | May 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Find out why only having a Will is going to cost your heirs and beneficiaries a sizeable chunk of their inheritance. Learn how attorney fees and executor commissions are calculated and what some of the other costs of probate are. Discover that a revocable living trust can save your heirs and beneficiaries money and allow them to get more of their inheritance faster.

3 Terrible Ideas for Leaving an Inheritance

Posted by Shawna Murray | Apr 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here are just three terrible "shortcuts" to leaving your adult children an inheritance. Picking one of these “simple fixes” instead of developing an estate plan can cause bickering at best or at worst, or cause your children to start an all-out war against each other.

Property Taxes & Reassessment in California  

Posted by Shawna Murray | Feb 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Since it has been 40 years since Prop. 13 was passed, many Californian homeowners are not familiar with it. This blog entry will provide you with some background on Prop. 13 plus explain some ways you can avoid having the value of your home reassessed (and prevent the likely increase in property taxes) when you have a change of ownership on your home.

Who is going to take care of my kids?

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jan 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

In California, there are two types of guardians – a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate. Guardians of the person are appointed to take care of a child whose parents can no longer do so. A guardian of the person (or as I like to refer to t...

A Will Does Not Avoid Probate

Posted by Shawna Murray | Nov 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

A Will alone does not avoid probate because the probate court is required to oversee the transfer of property if you do not have a properly funded Trust. Some of the pitfalls of probate are discussed, including the possibility of multiple probates, and the actual cost of probate is detailed in this blog post.

Just Married? Then You Are Ready for Estate Planning.

Posted by Shawna Murray | Oct 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

As newlyweds, I bet you have spent a lot of time planning a life together and consolidating homes, so this is an ideal time to plan for your future life together as a couple. Leaving things to chance eliminates so many options when it comes to estate planning and can result in unintended consequences if you or your spouse should die without a valid Will or Trust.

Child Going Away To College?

Posted by Shawna Murray | Sep 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

If your child is college bound, you have probably made several to-do lists to help prepare for the move but have you considered any estate planning? Your son or daughter is an adult now and there are 5 estate planning documents that experts recommend they have prepared.

7 Common Problems that Can Arise with Joint Ownership of Property

Posted by Shawna Murray | Aug 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

People often set up bank accounts or real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. he appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate. Joint property is also perceived to be easy to setup, but joint ownership can also cause unintended consequences and complications.

13 Things That You Need to Consider When Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jul 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

Since I have become mother, I could not imagine anyone else raising my sons. No one can do that better than me. However, it is very important to take a moment and decide who could be a capable of raising your children if you and their other parent where unable. Without estate planning, the person you believe would be the best candidate may never get appointed as your children's guardian. This list can help you decide who would be the best choice for your children.

The 4 Documents You Must Have to Prevent a Court Appointed Conservatorship

Posted by Shawna Murray | Jul 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Incapacity can be a temporary or permanent disability where you are incapable of making informed decisions about your finances and well-being. Having a comprehensive incapacity plan in place can prevent a court-appointed conservatorship. There are four documents that are crucial to have in place so that your loved ones can avoid court, be prepared, and can most effectively help you during your incapacity.

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I am devoted to making estate planning as accessible, efficient and personalized as possible. This way individuals and families are motivated to express their estate planning goals and loved ones do not have to deal with the disastrous fallout from a lack of planning.

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Shawna Murray is licensed to practice law within the State of California. The information on this website is attorney advertising and has been created for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice nor does it predict the outcome of your case. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after we sign a written client services agreement.

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