Testamentary Capacity to Execute a Will

          In California, “an individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will”.  California law presumes that a person has testamentary capacity to execute a will.  However, a person does not have a sound mind – and so cannot execute a will — if he or she fails […]

posted on: March 31, 2021

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Estate planning | The importance of an attorney

When making an estate plan, it is important to ensure that everything is done in accordance with the law. An effective estate plan will help ensure that your assets are managed efficiently and according to your wishes. Skilled Lakeport CA estate planning lawyers can help you develop an estate plan that is specific to your […]

posted on: March 26, 2021

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Revocation of Wills

          Over time, people may change their testamentary intentions and revoke prior wills and execute new wills.  Such revocations may be either partially or wholly effective in invalidating a prior will.  Let us discuss revocation of wills and how even a revoked will may sometimes be revived. In California, a will can be revoked by […]

posted on: March 17, 2021

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Understanding Death Beneficary Accounts, Wills & Trusts

          Estate planning often involves various asset types, such as, real property, tangible personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance.  How each asset type is managed during incapacity and transferred at death to beneficiaries also varies.             Real property, tangible personal property, and bank accounts can be transferred to a trust for lifetime […]

posted on: March 3, 2021

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Estate Planning For Second Marriages

          Married clients in second marriages with prior children often have to balance the future wellbeing of their spouse with that of their own children.  In California, a community property state, a resident can bequeath (leave) one-hundred percent of their separate property assets and one-half of their community property assets.   A resident may only bequeath […]

posted on: February 18, 2021

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Conditional Inheritances

          A decedent’s will or a trust may require that the beneficiary satisfy certain conditions in order to inherit.  California, like other states, enforces many conditions imposed on inheritances but not those that either violate the law or public policy.   Section 708 of California Civil Code provides that, “[c]onditions are precedent or subsequent. The former […]

posted on: February 18, 2021

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Corrected: Escheat of Unclaimed Property

Anyone settling a decedent’s estate should investigate the possibility that property belonging to the decedent’s estate, or an inheritance to which the decedent has a claim, escheated to the state.  Escheat is the legal process by which a person or institution with custody of a property belonging to another deposits the property with the state.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2021

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Representative Payee

A representative payee is a person or an organization appointed by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to receive and manage Social Security income or Supplemental Security Income  (“SSI”) payments on behalf of a beneficiary whom the SSA has determined cannot manage their own income or who is susceptible to undue influence.  Representative payees are appointed […]

posted on: December 16, 2020

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Spousal Liability for Debts and Planning Opportunities.

          California is a community property state. Ownership interests of married persons are categorized as either the couple’s joint community property or as either spouse’s own separate property.  Assets acquired while married and living together in California are presumed to be community property assets and assets acquired prior to marriage and as gifts during marriage […]

posted on: December 3, 2020

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Proposition 19 Property Tax Reassessment

California’s Proposition 19 (passed in 2020) amends existing local property tax reassessment rules (i.e., California’s Proposition 13 and 58) in its Constitution.   Proposition 19 affects two categories of residents.  First, seniors, severely disabled and victims of wildfire or natural disaster who relocate within California; Second, families who transfer real properties between generations. Effective April 1, […]

posted on: November 19, 2020

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