Special Administration in Probates

            One of the major drawbacks of administering a decedent’s estate through probate is the delay in appointing a personal representative to administer the estate, i.e., the time that passes in between the decedent’s death and the appointment of a personal representative to administer the estate.   Even without opposition to the […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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It Doesn’t Have to End This Way.

            Have you ever put yourself in a very difficult situation, one that was entirely avoidable, and then regretted it?  Those who neglect getting their affairs in order place both themselves and their loved ones in unnecessary jeopardy.   They risk putting themselves and their family either through the stress and uncertainty […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Homestead Exemption and Declared Homestead

               California, unlike Texas and Florida, is not generous when it comes to debtor protections.  But the “homestead exemption” and the “homestead declaration” are two important protections every homeowner should know about.   These exemptions protect a portion of a homeowner’s equity against unsecured creditors who obtain judgment liens against […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Certificate of Independent Review alone is not enough.

The law is deeply conflicted when it comes to whether to respect gifts made by vulnerable “dependent adults”.   These are adults who are either unable to take care of himself or are susceptible to undue influence (especially anyone over age 65 years old).    On the one hand, the law presumes that gifts by dependant […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Funeral, Burial & Memorial Arrangements

Funeral, Burial & Memorial Arrangements             An important estate planning consideration that sometimes gets overlooked is the funeral, burial and memorial arrangements.  What do you want?  Who do you want to be in charge?  How will the expenses be paid?  Do you wish to have your burial site cared and maintained on a regular basis? […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Liability for unpaid agents acting under a Power of Attorney

In 2011, uncompensated agents who act under a power of attorney as another’s agent for financial and property affairs may now be held more easily accountable for a loss to the principal’s property.  Previously, uncompensated agents were not liable unless the loss resulted from the attorney-in-fact’s bad faith, intentional wrongdoing, or gross negligence.  That immunity […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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A General Assignment of Assets to one’s Living Trust can help avoid a Probate.

                Re-titling assets, like stock and bonds, from one’s name into one’s living trust is necessary to avoiding an unnecessary probate of such assets if held outside of the trust.  Sometimes people fail to transfer some or all of their intended trust assets into their trust.  A general assignment […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Tying Up Loose Ends

Getting one’s affairs in order is not complete until all loose ends are tied-up.   Loose ends can otherwise unravel some part of one’s estate plan.  Let’s take a look at some common problem areas. Examine who are the legally designated primary and alternative beneficiaries to your retirement accounts.  Retirement plans are a sizable element of […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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When a beneficiary dies before receiving the full inheritance

The longer the administration of a deceased person’s estate takes the greater the chance that a surviving beneficiary might die before receiving his or her full inheritance.  In that case, what happens to the deceased beneficiary’s undistributed inheritance?  The answer depends on a variety of factors.  Let’s consider, for example, a hypothetical trust established by […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Trustee Duty to Inform Beneficiaries Cannot Be Waived

Many trusts documents waive the trustee’s duty to account and to report to the beneficiaries.  This is allowed by law subject, however, to a court nonetheless requiring such an accounting when necessary to protect the beneficiaries.  The duty to provide accountings is often waived by the trust’s creator because the creator wants to reduce trust […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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