Did you plan your vacation better than your estate?

If you are getting ready to go on vacation but feel uncomfortable because you have planned your vacation better than you have planned your legal affairs then you are not alone.  It’s only natural to have some concern in case something unexpected might happen while away.  Underlying this nagging concern are two levels of reality.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Incapacity Planning For Young Adults.

Incapacity planning is not only for middle-aged and senior citizens.  It is also relevant to young adults.  Once a child turns age eighteen (18) he or she becomes an adult under California law. Important legal consequences follow which are often overlooked at the time.  Only later on, should the person suffer an incapacity, are the […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Estate Planning that Takes Care of What is Important.

            Estate planning is not just about avoiding probate, although that is often important.  It is about protecting you, your family’s future and your legacy.  What would happen to you and your family if you were incapacitated?  How will your family prosper without you?  How will your family remember you?  With […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Good Recordkeeping Practices for Trustees

Good Recordkeeping Practices for Trustees             A trustee is required to keep complete and adequate records for both tax and non tax reasons under California and federal laws. First, a trustee has a duty to account to beneficiaries, and to report information about trust assets, liabilities and finances when requested by a beneficiary with a […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Drafting Flexibility into the Living Trust.

          Life is not static and neither should be anyone’s living trust. Adjustments have to be made when compelling circumstances arise which necessitate alternative approaches.  For that reason a well drafted living trust should provide contingency planning alternatives.  Unforeseen circumstances could relate to the settlors themselves, to the trust assets, or to […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Flexibility with Limitations: An Approach to control over community property.

          Married persons, and registered domestic partners, need to consider how much control they want to allow one another – acting alone – over their community property assets.  This is important when creating their powers of attorney, wills and joint trust.  The analysis involves three time periods: First, while both are alive […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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The Omitted Spouse.

          California law protects a surviving spouse when the deceased spouse’s last will or trust, executed prior to marriage, fails to provide for the surviving spouse.  California’s policy is to protect a surviving spouse against accidental disinheritance under a testamentary instrument executed prior to marriage.  Generally speaking a surviving spouse who is […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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To Probate or Not to Probate, that is the Question.

California law grants a surviving spouse special rights and obligations concerning the probate estate and personal debts of a deceased spouse.  These are governed by community property laws.  The same rules apply to California registered domestic partners.  Community and Quasi Community property is divided equally at death, and separate property belongs to the owning spouse.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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How a Settlor’s Capacity Affects the Rights of Beneficiaries.

           An elderly person’s mental capacity to make decisions affecting the management, investment and disposition at death of his trust estate is often disputed in lawsuits over alleged wrongs done to the elderly person and/or his family.  Such lawsuits can involve the elderly person’s trustee, surviving spouse, surviving children and romantic relations, […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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When intended beneficiaries die too soon.

           Assumptions people make about who will receive an inheritance share from their estate can sometimes fall far off the mark. Peculiar results may occur when an intended beneficiary survives just long enough to inherit but not so long as to enjoy their inheritance.  This situation arises when a beneficiary dies during, or soon after, […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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