Essentials to consider when creating an estate plan

Estate & Tax Attorney Stefanie Lipson shares advice for parents on the most important things to consider when creating an estate plan
Essentials To Consider When Creating An Estate Plan
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Essentials to consider when creating an estate plan

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If you die without having an estate plan properly in place, whether it’s in form of a will or in form of a living trust, then your assets are going to be distributed on your death according to the laws of what’s called intestate succession. That varies from state to state, but in general, a portion of your assets would pass to a surviving spouse, if you have a spouse who’s living, and a portion of your assets would pass to your children. Now in today’s modern world where most family’s are not nuclear families that can be very significant if you have children of multiple marriages. But the amount that passes between the surviving spouse and between your children, it depends on the type of property that it is. For example, in a community property state, certain of the assets would pass to the surviving spouse a larger portion than would pass to children, whereas if it’s separate property, it would be divided in a different ratio. All of this can be avoided by properly having an estate plan, whether it’s again a will or a trust in place that specifies exactly what you want to go to your surviving spouse – it could be all, it could be only a portion – and exactly what you want to go to your children.

Estate & Tax Attorney Stefanie Lipson shares advice for parents on the most important things to consider when creating an estate plan

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Stefanie Lipson

Estate & Tax Attorney

Stefanie J. Lipson is an attorney in the Family Wealth Planning Group of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, & Machtinger, LLP.  Stefanie’s practice focuses on comprehensive estate planning for high net worth individuals, family business succession planning, probate and trust administration and the law of tax exempt organizations.  Stefanie counsels her clients with a holistic approach to wealth transfer solutions, structuring plans to meet a family’s individual needs while addressing the complex estate, gift and income tax implications of wealth transfer.  In addition, consistent with Stefanie’s belief that the most effective estate planning begins early, Stefanie has developed an estate planning program designed specifically to meet the planning needs of young families as they encounter common life events. 

Stefanie’s unique approach and application of Trust and Estate law has been well acknowledged by the legal community.  She served as a panelist at the 2010 Southern California Tax and Estate Planning Forum in a discussion involving multijurisdictional issues in estate planning and has authored publications for The Los Angeles Daily Journal and The Recorder.  Stefanie has been listed in Southern California Rising Stars each year since 2009.

Stefanie received her Bachelor of Arts in 2003 from University of California Los Angeles, graduating magna cum laude with the distinction of departmental honors and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  Stefanie received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law Center in 2006.  Following her graduation from USC, Stefanie clerked for the Honorable Fred Keiser, Jr. in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Law Division.  During her time with the court, Stefanie also served as a court appointed mediator for small claims civil matters. 

In furtherance of her estate planning work, Stefanie is currently pursuing a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) from New York University School of Law.  Stefanie’s studies at NYU focus on estate, gift and income tax matters relating to wealth succession planning and family business ownership.

Stefanie lives in Los Angeles, with her husband Marc and their new son Noah, whom she regards as her greatest achievement.

Guardianship, Wills and Trusts
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