Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Estate Planning Archives

How to avoid the probate process

No one, in the history of mankind, has ever used the words "fun" to describe the probate process. In fact, it can be so drawn out, complicated and expensive that most people look for a way around it at all costs. Luckily, there are ways to get around it.

Estate planning tips for an effective estate plan

An effective estate plan is important for everyone yet is something not everybody takes the time to consider and develop. Effective estate planning is important because it can provide peace of mind for both the estate planner and the estate planner's family and loved ones, as well as setting out an effective transfer of assets and address other considerations as well. A few estate planning tips can be helpful for establishing a through and effective estate plan.

Estate plans and family owned businesses

Most people in San Diego who own and operate a family business are too busy running the company to give much thought to what will happen to the business after they die. An owner's preoccupation with the present is understandable, but continued inattention to preserving the business after the founder dies or retires is an invitation for disaster. A forward-looking estate plan can ensure that the business will pass to the founder's children, or other heirs, with a minimum of conflict and a significant savings in federal and state taxes.

Is establishing a trust better than going through probate?

If you are thinking about matters like wills and trusts and the distribution of assets after you die, perhaps it is time to ask the advice of an attorney experienced with estate matters. Probate is usually a straightforward process in which a judge reviews the validity of your will and your wishes as to the distribution of property and assets, but it does have some drawbacks. If you are leaning toward setting up a trust, your main reason may be to avoid probate altogether, but trusts have other advantages.

Probate: What it is and how to avoid it

Talking about making final preparations with your loved ones can be a difficult conversation on both ends. Your family may be apprehensive about the realization of your mortality and you may even have a hard time with the idea. If 2016 is any indication, death comes to us all-eventually-and it is non-discriminate. Sometimes we lose loved ones for unknown reasons, in a tragic accident or far too early. That's why it's important to be prepared.


Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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El Cajon, CA 92020

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