What is the Difference Between a Trust and a Will?

What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust (“Trust”)? This is a basic question people need answered by a Lake County wills attorney. Let us examine the primary differences between Wills and Trusts. These differences relate to the following issues: (1) whether a Probate is involved; (2) what assets and legal affairs […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Trustee compensation – When and How.

            Not everyone who serves as a Trustee expects or wants to be paid.  But those who do want to get paid need to know up front whether or not they will be compensated for their work.  They should also know how their compensation is determined.             Trusts may provide for no compensation, reasonable compensation, […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Limited Conservatorships and Developmentally Disabled Persons

          Most people are aware of general conservatorships. These take away the conservatee’s (conserved person’s) power to make decisions affecting their assets, finances and/or healthcare and living arrangements. A general conservatorship protects those unable to make such decisions, or to protect someone who is generally unable to resist fraud or undue influence.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Limited Conservatorships and Developmentally Disabled Persons

          Most people are aware of general conservatorships. These take away the conservatee’s (conserved person’s) power to make decisions affecting their assets, finances and/or healthcare and living arrangements. A general conservatorship protects those unable to make such decisions, or to protect someone who is generally unable to resist fraud or undue influence.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Landmark decision makes incapacity trustee accountable to death beneficiaries.

As a rule, a trustee who follows the written instructions of a settlor of a revocable trust is not liable to the future death beneficiaries after the settlor’s death.   Now, California’s Supreme Court has decided that the death beneficiaries may hold the trustee responsible for any breach of trust while the settlor was alive (Estate […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Disentangling Stepparents and Stepchildren

If a blended family is not cohesive to begin with then it is prone to unravel when either stepparent dies.  When it does unravel any festering unhappiness or distrust between the surviving step parent and stepchildren can erupt into hostility.   Hostility turns to quarreling over the deceased person’s assets.  How can good estate planning improve […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Estate Planning Essentials

            Let us review the following estate planning tools:  The Trust, the Will, the Power of Attorney, the Advance Health Care Directive, Joint Tenancy, and Death Beneficiary forms.              1.        The Trust.             The revocable living trust allows individuals and couples to control their trust assets for their benefit and the benefit of their loved […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Protecting Joint Tenants against Abusive Withdrawals.

          On January 1, 2013, important amendments to California’s law governing “Multiple Party Accounts,” including Joint Tenancy Accounts, took effect.  Let us examine how the amendments protect joint tenants from excessive withdrawals by their other joint tenants.             Generally, while all original parties to a multiple account are alive, each party’s ownership is based […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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How the Obamacare Medicare Surtax affects Trusts & Estates.

          On January 1, 2013, the 3.8% Medicare surtax, passed by Congress in 2010 to help pay for Obamacare, takes effect.  The 3.8% surtax is in addition to any income tax owed and applies to both individuals and trusts and estates.   Let us examine how the 3.8% surtax will apply in 2013 to individuals and to […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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May a Trustee follow a Living Settlor’s Bad instructions.

          When an individual or a couple, as settlor(s), establishes a revocable living trust they are usually the initial trustee(s) and beneficiary(ies).  This gives them complete control to do as they please with their trust assets.   Does this freedom change, however, if someone other than the settlor is trustee while the settlor is alive?  Let […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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