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 for the grandchild […]

posted on: January 3, 2017

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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 specific […]

posted on: December 19, 2016

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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 to manage […]

posted on: December 5, 2016

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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 becoming available.            Under the new […]

posted on: November 21, 2016

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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, emails, blogs, and other stored electronic data […]

posted on: October 31, 2016

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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 busy to be involved.  Unscrupulous […]

posted on: October 10, 2016

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Incapacity Planning

            Estate planning is about more than just who gets what, when and how after you die.  It is also about who manages your health care, financial, property and legal affairs when you become physically or mentally incapacitated.    Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advance Health Care Directives collectively speak to managing these issues.             If […]

posted on: September 26, 2016

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Common Estate Planning Misconceptions.

          Many people have some firmly held — but incorrect — beliefs regarding estate planning concepts.  These misconceptions can negatively affect how people choose to proceed.  Let’s debunk some common misconceptions.           If I have a will does that mean my estate avoids probate? No.  Having a will is often a ticket to a probate.  […]

posted on: September 9, 2016

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Protecting College Savings from Creditors.

          Unlike Federal Bankruptcy Law, California’s Enforcement of Judgment Law does not protect the various types of Qualified Higher Education Savings Accounts, including so-called “529 College Savings Plans”.  Thus, for example, if a California resident owns a 529 College Savings Plan and owes money to a judgment creditor then the judgment creditor can proceed against the […]

posted on: August 22, 2016

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Transferring Title Without A Deed.

Executing and recording a deed is the standard way to transfer title to real property.  Doing so puts the world on notice as to the change in ownership.  Nonetheless, in the absence of a deed, courts may still, under the right circumstances, grant petitions to confirm title to real property as a trust asset based […]

posted on: August 8, 2016

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