Escheat of Unclaimed Property.

Anyone settling a decedent’s estate should investigate the possibility that property belonging to the decedent’s estate, or an inheritance to which the decedent has a claim, escheated to the state.  Escheat is the legal process by which a person or institution with custody of property belonging to another deposits the property with the state.  Escheat […]

posted on: January 20, 2021

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Representative Payee

A representative payee is a person or an organization appointed by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to receive and manage Social Security income or Supplemental Security Income  (“SSI”) payments on behalf of a beneficiary whom the SSA has determined cannot manage their own income or who is susceptible to undue influence.  Representative payees are appointed […]

posted on: December 16, 2020

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Spousal Liability for Debts and Planning Opportunities.

          California is a community property state. Ownership interests of married persons are categorized as either the couple’s joint community property or as either spouse’s own separate property.  Assets acquired while married and living together in California are presumed to be community property assets and assets acquired prior to marriage and as gifts during marriage […]

posted on: December 3, 2020

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Proposition 19 Property Tax Reassessment

California’s Proposition 19 (passed in 2020) amends existing local property tax reassessment rules (i.e., California’s Proposition 13 and 58) in its Constitution.   Proposition 19 affects two categories of residents.  First, seniors, severely disabled and victims of wildfire or natural disaster who relocate within California; Second, families who transfer real properties between generations. Effective April 1, […]

posted on: November 19, 2020

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Interference with Inheritance Expectancy

What is the legal remedy when one person tortiously (wrongfully) interferes with another person’s estate planning so that an intended beneficiary receives either no or a lesser inheritance?  Since 2012 California has recognized the tort [i.e., a civil wrongdoing] of “Intentional Interference with Expected Inheritance” (Beckwith v. Dahl (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039, 1050-1056.).  This tort […]

posted on: October 8, 2020

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The Certification of Trust and the Certified Abstract of Trust

People want their confidential information inside of their living trust to remain confidential.  However, after a Trust is executed the settlor(s) often find it necessary to disclose certain limited information in order accomplish the following: retitle assets into the trust; borrow money against trust assets; and insure the trust as owner of real property.   Fortunately, […]

posted on: September 23, 2020

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No Contest Clauses

The law presumes that everyone wants that their estate planning documents to be respected.  A “no-contest clause” (also appropriately called an “interrorem” clause) when properly used is intended to discourage unhappy beneficiaries from contesting the terms of a will, a trust or other protected instrument (e.g., a designated death beneficiary form).  A beneficiary who violates […]

posted on: September 12, 2020

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Disinherited and Omitted Children

          Expressly disinheriting, or simply omitting, a child as a beneficiary in one’s will or trust can occur for a wide variety of reasons; such as, a quarrel, an estrangement, not wanting to give more to a child who has plenty, or not wanting to give to a child who will abuse or squander their […]

posted on: August 20, 2020

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Small Estate Affidavit Procedure

          In California, if a decedent dies with a “small estate”, the “Affidavit Procedure” may be used by the decedent’s successor in interest, “… to collect money, receive tangible personal property, to obtain evidence of a debt, obligation, interest, right, security or chose in action ”.  Let us discuss.           Presently, a small estate in […]

posted on: August 7, 2020

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Mineral Rights, Royalties & Estates

          Mineral rights are the ownership rights to underground resources, such as oil or natural gas.  Mineral rights can be severed (separated) from the ownership of the surface land and so be owned by a different person.  Such rights can be acquired by purchase, lease, gift or inheritance, either outright or in trust.            Depending […]

posted on: July 22, 2020

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