trusts

  • 12 Things To Keep In A Safe At Home

    Chris Jones

    Many folks erroneously believe that the safest place to store valuable items is in a bank safe deposit box.  This is because they think that banks have the best 24 hour security and alarm systems and are least likely to be subject to destruction by fire or other catastrophes.  But what they fail to take into account is that the contents of a safe deposit box are rarely insured, while items in one’s home are more often covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.

  • Estate Planning 101

    Chris Jones

    The purpose of this article is to explain the goals of estate planning so as to make you an expert on the subject. After reading this article, you will not only understand this for yourself, but also be able to explain it to your friends and family.

  • Estate Planning Is More Critical Than Ever

    Chris Jones

    We have all been twisted up and down by the economy over the last 10 years. In 2008, most people told me that they had experienced a decline of 30 to 50 % of their investments. With news of bank failures, manipulation of the stock market, and the collapse of the mortgage lending industry, it appeared back then that there was no place of refuge. This is thankfully not 2008, but there will always be ups and downs that play with our investments and our minds.

  • Family Limited Partnerships

    Chris Jones

    You have worked long and hard to accumulate your investment properties. Now you are faced with the problem of how best to plan for transfers to family members without having your investments decimated by income and estate taxes. If you make an outright gift, gift taxes are due. Moreover, you no longer control what you have given away. Transfers at death incur estate taxes, and the taxes are usually paid with funds that have themselves been taxed.

    Don’t despair. There is a solution that allows you to both transfer your properties and retain control after the transfer: the family limited partnership.

  • Guardians and Conservators: What’s the Difference?

    Chris Jones

    If one of the primary goals of estate planning is to have your wishes carried out, even when you are incapacitated or deceased, that requires choosing people to act on your or your children’s behalf as you intend. When you can’t speak for yourself, who can you count on to speak for you? You have a choice: you can either leave it to chance, or you can create certainty.

  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts

    Chris Jones

    For most people, estate planning includes transferring assets to their children or grandchildren without paying any taxes.  The problem is that these transfers are typically subject to federal taxes.  The transfers are either treated as gifts for which gift taxes are owed, or sales for which capital gains taxes are owed.  But there is a solution to this dilemma.  Because of discrepancies in the Internal Revenue Code, it is possible to transfer the appreciation of assets to other generations without having to pay either tax.  This technique is through the use of what is known as Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

  • Its A Good Time To Review Your Revocable Living Trust

    Chris Jones

    A couple’s revocable living trust can be freely amended during their joint lifetimes.  Amendments can be used to adapt to changes in law, family circumstances, or the couple’s wishes.  However, once the first spouse passes away, a revocable living trust usually becomes wholly or partly irrevocable and cannot be easily fixed or modified.  Therefore, it must be frequently reviewed and maintained to ensure it achieves its intended purpose.

  • Pet Trusts: Protection For Our Furry Friends

    Chris Jones

    The primary goal of estate planning is to have our wishes carried out, especially when we are not here. Those wishes include care for ourselves if we become disabled, and care for those that matter the most to us, for example, the pet companions that have made such a difference for us. You naturally want to make sure that your dear pet companions are cared for when you are no longer able to be their caregiver. They have served you and added to the quality of your life. How can you guarantee that others will provide for them as you would wish?

  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

    Chris Jones

    We are fortunate to live in an area where strong demands for real estate have pushed the prices to unimagined levels.  For many of us, home ownership has increased our net worth beyond the exemption amount from federal estate taxes.  Since one the goals of estate planning is to minimize the costs associated with transferring assets to your beneficiaries, it pays to make transfers in a way that minimize, if not eliminate, transfer taxes such as gift and estate taxes.  Personal residence trusts are a valuable tool in achieving that goal by leveraging the value of gifts.

  • Shared Ownership of Real Property

    Chris Jones

    Remember way back in 2008? Over 20% of American real estate owners had property that was worth less than the outstanding debt on the property. In the meantime, the lending industry became increasingly stringent, and fewer people qualified for loans, especially in areas like Santa Barbara. For anyone that occupied real estate as a residence, a foreclosure or short sale resulted in the lender sending a 1099 form reporting the amount of the debt that was written off.  That debt forgiveness was included as income, and counted in the income tax calculation.  All in all, that was a tough climate for investors.

  • Six Estate Planning Mistakes Most Commonly Made

    Chris Jones

    If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions to execute plans for how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, unless you take action, those best intentions will not be enough. Here are six of the most common estate planning mistakes people make:

  • The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

    Chris Jones

    A key goal of what we refer to as “estate planning” is to preserve a legacy for your family.  How can you get as much of your estate as possible into the hands of your beneficiaries?  That means minimizing, if not eliminating erosion from taxes and court related fees. While there is uncertainty surrounding the future rates of gift and estate taxes, you may be tempted to put your plans on hold. But strategies exist to pass significant assets to your beneficiaries at little or no tax cost to you.

  • Total Asset Protection

    Chris Jones

    Life is full of risks. We may get sued because of the activities we engage in, what we own or even who we know. Virtually every aspect of life can be the source of creditor’s claims, litigation and judgments. Being alive is risky business! You have worked hard to accumulate your assets, now how can you protect them for yourselves and your heirs? Is it really possible to have total asset protection? This article is intended to describe the tools that can offer near, if not complete, protection from life’s legal risks.

  • Trust Beneficiaries' Bill of Rights

    Chris Jones

    One of the advantages of trusts is privacy. Unlike the probate of a will, there is no legal requirement that the trustee file the trust with the local court. However, privacy is also one of the disadvantages of trusts. Unless the Trustee provides information about the trust and trust assets to the trust beneficiaries, the beneficiaries will have no idea whether or not they have received all that they are entitled to, or whether the trustee has properly done his or her job.

Practice Areas And Regions Served

Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, LLP primarily serves individuals, families and businesses up and down California's Central Coast and North Los Angeles County, including many Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura County communities.

Our experienced legal team includes business lawyers, real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, estate planning lawyers and civil litigation lawyers. Our areas of legal practice expertise include Business Law, Entity Formation, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Wine Law, Vineyard Law, Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

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