Disappointed Beneficiaries

Everyone has the right to execute a Will, or a Trust, to say who inherits their assets when they die.  Nor is there any requirement to leave any assets to family members.  What then is the remedy when someone does not receive what they had expected due to the possible wrongdoing of a third party? […]

posted on: May 11, 2015

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Rights Retained by a Conserved Person

A “Conservatorship of the Person” is to protect someone who cannot properly provide for his or her own personal needs for physical health, medical care, food, clothing, or shelter. The court appointed Conservator – often a family member or the local public guardian — is granted powers over the care, custody and control of the […]

posted on: April 27, 2015

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When the Probate Laws of Multiple Jurisdictions Apply.

Complications arise when administering the estate of a deceased California resident who was once a citizen of a foreign nation or the estate of a deceased non-resident of California who owns real property in California.  Let U.S. discuss. Consider a deceased California resident whose last will was validly executed outside California, be it in another […]

posted on: April 13, 2015

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Death with Dignity.

Many will recall the 29 year old Brittany Maynard who suffered from terminal brain cancer.  Brittany moved from California to Oregon where she chose to end her own life rather than continue in excruciating pain.  The “End of Life Option Act”, presently before the California Senate would allow for terminally ill resident of California to […]

posted on: March 26, 2015

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What Not to Leave Behind When You Die

The following are real life examples that illustrate problems which could have been avoided if the decedent had planned ahead while alive. Consider the father who died with no Will or Trust leaving behind a predatory girlfriend and a disabled son (heir).  Notwithstanding numerous requests from his family while he was alive, a divorced father […]

posted on: March 16, 2015

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Marriage and Elder Abuse

In my prior article, “The Confidential Marriage”, I discussed how confidential marriage licenses can be abused by predators to prey upon an elderly person without the elder’s family knowing what has occurred until it is too late.  What can be done to prevent such abuse of marriages?  Let’s discuss. Unfortunately there are no criminal sanctions […]

posted on: March 2, 2015

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Probate Homestead & Family Allowance.

When a provider dies his or her surviving spouse (or registered domestic partner) and/or minor children can soon find themselves without the necessary resources to maintain themselves in their accustomed manner of living.   Under California law these persons have entitlements regarding a place to live, the use of certain personal property, and a family allowance.  […]

posted on: February 19, 2015

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The pitfalls of do it yourself estate planning.

          Some people choose to prepare their own estate planning documents using “do it yourself” estate planning programs in order to avoid attorney fees.  Having administered some wills and trusts that were so drafted by now deceased laypersons I can provide some observations regarding possible pitfalls.            Having a trust that is […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Preserving the Family Legacy

          Some people wish to pass down more than just their material wealth to their surviving descendants.  They also wish to transfer their important values, life experiences and family traditions.  All of which can help to shape the character and lifestyles of their descendants.  Let us consider how such goals can be […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Confidential Marriage

          The elderly and sick people who live alone and are isolated are unfortunate targets for predators who befriend them, become caregivers, and insinuate themselves into the elderly person’s estate.  Accordingly, California law presumes that certain gifts by elderly persons — 65 and over — to their unrelated caregivers, are the result […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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