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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Medi Cal Recovery And Special Needs Trusts

A Special Needs Trusts [“SNT”] allows the trust’s Special Needs Beneficiary to remain eligible for needs based Medi-Cal benefits while receiving supplemental distributions from the SNT; these cover goods and services not paid for by Medi-Cal benefits.  Medi-Cal estate recovery for reimbursement for what Medi-Cal paid while the beneficiary was alive may or may not […]

posted on: June 29, 2015

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It is better to rely on one’s Trust when possible.

In the event of one’s incapacity or death, assets held in a Living Trust can be controlled much more reliably than assets outside of a Trust.  Let us examine why it is better to rely primarily on one’s Trust rather than to rely on on one’s Power of Attorney and Will as the primary tools […]

posted on: June 1, 2015

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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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