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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New Power of Appointment Legislation

          On July 22, 2016, Governor Brown signed the AB 2846 legislation (authored by Assemblyman Maienschein) that amends California’s Probate Code concerning Powers of Appointment.  AB 2846 affects how a Power of Appointment is created and is later exercised in California.            Powers of Appointment are sophisticated estate planning tools often used in trusts and […]

posted on: July 25, 2016

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Major Reform to CA Medi-Cal Estate Recovery

On June 27, 2016 Governor Brown signed the SB 833 legislation sponsored by State Senator Hernandez. SB 833 will greatly reduce the future scope of California’s Medi-Cal Estate Recovery against the estate of deceased Medi-Cal beneficiaries.  For Medi-Cal recipients who die on or after January 1, 2017, claims by California Medi-Cal Estate Recovery will be […]

posted on: July 1, 2016

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Enforceable Marital Agreements

In California, Marital Agreements allow couples an important opportunity to dictate their property rights and legal obligations to each other once married in ways that differ from what is otherwise provided under California’s Community Property Law and Family Law.  They should be reviewed if the couple moves to another state.  Marital Agreements can either be […]

posted on: June 20, 2016

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A Trust and a Standalone Will

          Generally speaking most people are best served by having a will, regardless of whether or not they also have a living trust.  It is the will, not the trust, which speaks to assets held in a decedent’s name, excluding any so-called non probate assets such as those held in joint tenancy (where there is […]

posted on: June 20, 2016

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Federal Preemption of Community Property Rights

California’s Community Property laws apply to how assets are divided at divorce and how assets are transferrable at death. Federal law, however, preempts (supercedes) California’s Community Property laws with respect both to so-called “ERISA (“Employee Retirement Income Support Act”) Qualified Plans” and to all “Federal Retirement” benefits, including Social Security.  Let us discuss. As the […]

posted on: May 23, 2016

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