Understanding Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and more recently community property with right of survivorship, is often used by people who are not fully aware of the ramifications involved.  Let’s discuss. Generally speaking, title to important assets — including one’s residence — is not taken in joint tenancy with anyone other than one’s own spouse […]

posted on: November 16, 2015

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Tax Free Savings for the College and Disability Needs of the Blind and Disabled.

On January 1, 2016, many blind and disabled residents of California will become eligible to establish tax free accounts under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“ABLE Accounts”) to save for future educational and disability related expenses.  ABLE accounts extend the benefits of 529 college savings plans to disabled persons to include […]

posted on: October 26, 2015

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New Transfer on Death Deed California Law

On January 1, 2016, a recently signed California law will allow revocable Transfer on Death Deeds (“TOD deeds”) to be recorded in California. Let us examine the TOD deed and where it is most likely to be appropriate. The TOD deed is a revocable beneficiary deed, involving the gift of a residence, which is signed, […]

posted on: October 12, 2015

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FEMA Assistance and the Valley Fire.

Many who lost homes in the Valley Fire need assistance to replace lost income, to make repairs, and to cover other expenses incurred due to the fire. On September 23, 2015, the President declared Lake County to be a federal disaster area. Now Valley Fire victims can apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management […]

posted on: September 28, 2015

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The Safe Deposit Box

Safe deposit boxes protect important documents (including one’s trust, will, and power of attorney) and small valuables against loss due to theft or destruction. But will these important documents and valuables be accessible to the right person when the time arises? Let’s discuss this and other questions that concern safe deposit boxes. Is it better […]

posted on: September 8, 2015

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Life Estate for Surviving Spouse

A person may decide to give their surviving spouse the right to live in the residence for life (i.e., “a life estate”) and leave their children full ownership of the residence once the surviving spouse no longer lives there. Let us consider the issues raised by such a scenario. Why use a life estate? The […]

posted on: August 25, 2015

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When a Minor receives Assets

Minors, i.e., persons under 18 years old, cannot own money or other assets in their own name. What happens when a minor receives a judgement, settlement or an inheritance that would otherwise be payable outright in the minor’s name but for the minority? There are a variety of approaches as to how these assets can […]

posted on: August 10, 2015

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Death & Taxes

The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Let us discuss the various taxes to be considered when a decedent dies. The Federal Estate (Death) Tax applies very rarely. That is, when a decedent leaves an estate with a net value of over $5,400,000 to persons other than a surviving spouse. A decedent can […]

posted on: July 27, 2015

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When to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth.

Usually inheriting assets from a decedent’s trust or estate is a good thing that increases a recipient’s net worth.  Sometimes, however, inheriting assets comes at too great a cost.  Let’s consider some examples. Inheriting real property can come with hidden problems.  If it is contaminated you are liable, under federal laws, as an owner for […]

posted on: July 13, 2015

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My Child is 18, Now What?

Needless to say many important changes often occur when a child turns 18.   They may leave home, go to school, enlist in the armed forces, or get a job, to name some possibilities.  Once a child turns age 18 all the parental legal controls that previously applied when their child was a minor no longer […]

posted on: June 29, 2015

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