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Top Estate Planning Mistakes

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Mark Blake

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of Top Estate Planning Mistakes

Top Estate Planning Mistakes
Mistake #1: No Plan
Mistake #2: No Incapacity Planning
An estate plan is more than an after-death asset distribution, it also protects you while you are alive!
Mistake #4: No Inheritance Protection
inheritance money is valuable
, why not protect it?
Have a plan.
"Blended Family Challenges"-
How can you guarantee your spouse's new spouse won't gain all of your assets?
"Separate Share"
Trusts can protect a child's inheritance until that child is mature.
"No contest"
clauses prevent litigation.
trusts protect assets from your beneficiaries creditors.
More Mistakes
Not having a basic plan for...
Thank you!
-Presented by-
Mark T. Blake
Common mistakes you can avoid to protect yourself, your loved ones,
and your hard-earned assets.


• This presentation does not constitute legal, accounting, or other professional advice. Only through a personal, confidential consultation with qualified legal counsel can anyone properly evaluate their own unique estate planning challenges and determine what, if any, appropriate legal strategies and tactics should be implemented to meet those challenges.
• If you would like a personal, confidential consultation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What is your estate?
Real Estate
Bank Accounts
Tangible Personal Property
Retirement Benefits
Everything You Own!
Why Plan?
After Death:
Control where your assets go.
Reduce attorney fees, costs, taxes.
At Incapacity:
Control your assets.
Control your medical decisions.
Control your legal and financial decisions.
Everybody needs estate planning!
70% of Americans have no plan.
"People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan."
Biggest fatal mistake.
a. Procrastination
Morbidity and Mortality
Personal Responsibility
Attorney Aversion
b. California Has A Plan For You
At Death: Probate, Assets distributed by state law.
At Incapacity: Court controls your assets, court controls you!
: A will does nothing for you while you are alive.
Personal Health Care And Financial Decisions:
Durable Power of Attorney for legal and financial affairs.
Advance Health Care Directives.
Avoid Probate Court
Keep Control!
You make decisions, not a judge!
Avoid probate expenses (conservatorship proceedings)
Keep private matters private.
Mistake #3:
No Back-Up Parents
Children are our most valuable assets
If children are orphaned...
Who will pay for:
Social/Athletic Activities
Religious Instruction
Make legal arrangements by designating back-up parents with instructions on how to rear children until adult-hood
so that a court does not do it for you.
• Mark T. Blake, Esq.
• Del Beccaro, Hornsby & Blake
• 800 South Broadway, Suite 301
• Walnut Creek, CA 94596
• (925) 933-9047
• Mark@MarkTBlake.com
• www.MarkTBlake.com
When to plan...
Different Types of Plans
Expresses wishes.
Controls assets titled in your name.
Does nothing if you are still alive.
Living Trusts
Avoids probate.
Maintains privacy.
Quicker distribution.
More control.
Protects assets
Reduces/Eliminates federal estate taxes.
Much more!
Do nothing
Joint Ownership
Give Away Assets
Beneficiary Transfers
Avoid these mistakes before it's too late!
These mistakes should not be taken lightly, because unless you take time to examine them with the assistance of qualified legal counsel, you may underestimate how much damage they may cause to you, your loved ones, or your hard-earned assets.
I should have done my estate planning sooner!
Estate Tax
Life Insurance
Probate Avoidance
Tax-Savvy Lifetime Giving
Effective January 1, 2013, an individual may exempt up to $5 million of their estate value from federal death taxes.
– This is an increase from prior law.
– Supporting surviving family members
– Providing liquidity for death tax obligations
• Myth: Death proceeds are tax-free.
– Fact: Death proceeds are income tax-free only if
paid to the beneficiary in a lump sum.
– Fact: Death proceeds are not estate tax-free if the insured owned the policy within three years of death or retained other incidents of ownership.
• Real estate is subject to Probate in the state where it is located.
• If you own real estate outside of your home state, you could be facing Probate in multiple states.
• This can be avoided through proper legal planning in advance.
• Annual gift exclusion often overlooked
• Allows each taxpayer to transfer up to $14,000
per year (and the future appreciation) to as many individuals as they choose
• No gift tax is owed by either the transferor or the recipient.
Incapacity Planning is protections for when you are alive!

Top Estate Planning Mistakes
Full transcript