Trustees Who “Borrow” Trust Funds.

          Money can be a compelling temptation.  Some trustees give in to their temptation and misappropriate trust funds for their own personal use.  After the fact, when they are caught, such trustees may try to re-characterize their misappropriation as so-called “borrowing”.           Such misappropriation, of course, is not “borrowing” and repayment does not make it […]

posted on: February 11, 2017

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Life Estate for Surviving Spouse

A 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 […]

posted on: February 10, 2017

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First Party Special Needs Trusts

         First Party Special Needs Trusts- Special Needs Trusts (“SNT’s”) preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility to receive needs based government benefits. Such as SSI and Medi-Cal.  These benefits are jeopardized when an individual receives a gift or inheritance. The individual then exceeds his or her maximum allowed resources (countable assets).            First Party SNT’s (unlike Third Party SNT’s) […]

posted on: January 26, 2017

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Estate Planning For Grandchildren.

       Estate Planning For Grandchildren-   After a decedent’s own children, grandchildren are next in line to receive inheritances from a decedent’s estate.  Grandchildren usually figure as alternative beneficiaries who inherit only if their parent predeceases their grandparent.  Grandchildren, however, can sometimes be primary beneficiaries, such as when the grandparent raised the grandchild or wants to provide […]

posted on: January 3, 2017

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Bones of Contention

         Bones of Contention- Settling a decedent’s estate can test the personal strengths and weaknesses of the surviving family members’ abilities to get along with each other.  Any preexisting distrust, jealousy, and animosity harbored by any of the surviving family members towards one another can erupt into hostility, especially when money is involved.  Let us consider some […]

posted on: December 19, 2016

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The Incapacity Trigger

       The Incapacity Trigger-   Estate planning is not just about who inherits when you die, it is also about who manages your assets, finances and health care decisions when you become incapacitated.  Incapacity planning raises the issue of whether to confer legal authority while one still has capacity or to wait until one has lost capacity […]

posted on: December 5, 2016

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More About Medical Estate Recovery Reform.

       More About Medical Estate Recovery Reform –   In my prior article in July 2016, regarding the passage of Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Reform, I said that estate recovery will apply much less often with respect to Medi-Cal beneficiaries who die after January 1, 2017. As we approach the effective date more information regarding its implementation is […]

posted on: November 21, 2016

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Important But Unaddressed Estate Planning Issues.

       Important But Sometimes Unaddressed Estate Planning Issues –   Certain estate planning subject matters seem not to get the attention they deserve and often go unaddressed.  Let us discuss some overlooked areas that should be considered when drafting trusts, wills and powers of attorney.           “Digital Assets” is an all-encompassing term that includes on-line financial accounts, […]

posted on: October 31, 2016

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Unpleasant Surprises and the Neglected.

          Unpleasant Surprises and the Neglected – Unpleasant surprises can be in store for the adult children and grandchildren of elderly and dependent persons who are neglected personally or whose affairs are not in order.  Let’s discuss.           Consider an elderly grandparent who lives alone and whose adult children live too far away or are too […]

posted on: October 10, 2016

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