No Notice of Decedent’s Estate Administration

How can my dad have died and his estate been transferred to another relative without my being told anything?  That was the question, in a nutshell, that a client asked because she was not getting any answers from the relative in question. My initial suspicion was that something was wrong.  Notice to a decedent’s heirs […]

posted on: December 12, 2018

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Conditional Gifts & Testamentary Intent

Bequests (gifts) in a Will or a Trust can require a beneficiary to meet a “condition precedent” in order to receive the bequest. Only if the condition is met does the beneficiary’s interest vest. Must a condition precedent always be satisfied? If a requirement becomes impossible to fulfill, a beneficiary may sometimes still inherit if […]

posted on: November 27, 2018

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Signing for and Representing Another

There are many and varied situations when a person needs someone else to sign for, and/or to represent, their interests. These situations can arise because the person is a minor (under age 18), is physically or mentally incapacitated, is unavailable (e.g., incarcerated), or is subject to a Conservatorship. Persons under age 18 are unable to […]

posted on: November 1, 2018

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Adoption and Inheritance Rights

In California, an adopted child obtains all the same rights of inheritance as a biological child born to the adoptive parent. He or she can inherit either from or through a deceased adoptive parent. Generally speaking an adopted child at the same time loses such inheritance rights from or through his or her biological parents. […]

posted on: October 17, 2018

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Veteran Affairs (VA) Needs Based Benefit Regulations

Effective October 18, 2018, the Veteran Affairs (“VA”) Department implements its new regulations concerning Net Worth, Asset Transfers and Income Exclusions for Needs Based VA Benefits. The rules determine the eligibility of veterans, their surviving spouses, and their dependent children to receive pensions and other needs based VA Benefits. Let us discuss some highlights. The […]

posted on: September 27, 2018

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Dissolution of Marriage and Disability Insurance.

When a marriage ends in dissolution, assets are divided by court order between the spouses. In California, which is a Community Property State, the character of each asset determines the division — separate property (goes to one spouse), community property (is divided 50:50 between spouses), and mixed property (where an asset has both separate and […]

posted on: September 5, 2018

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Cemetery Plots, Estate Planning & Administration

When visiting a cemetery, besides hopefully seeing beautifully manicured lawns, you often see family members who are buried alongside one another. These are family plots with multiple internment spaces. How are family cemetery plots owned and transferred, and who can be interred in an available space? Title to a cemetery plot is either in the […]

posted on: August 15, 2018

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The Right Will

Some people think that what they need is a “Simple Will”. Actually what they need is the “Right Will”. What is the “Right Will” depends on a variety of factors including the size of the estate, the simplicity or the complexity of the gifting scheme, contingency planning if beneficiaries die, whether a Probate will be […]

posted on: July 26, 2018

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Your Attorney Needs to Know.

Estate planning attorneys often ask their clients for their reasons behind why they want to distribute their estate in the way the way they describe. That is especially true when the distribution differs from how the California Probate Code otherwise distributes the estate in the absence of a will or trust. Why does the attorney […]

posted on: July 2, 2018

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Long Term Care Medi-Cal and Retirement Accounts

Long Term Care Medi-Cal (“LTC Medi-Cal”) helps pay for residential skilled nursing care for eligible persons. Persons who are age 65 or older, disabled (under the Social Security disability rules) or who receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) are all categorically linked to LTC Medi-Cal. LTC Medi-Cal also requires that the applicant and applicant’s spouse, if […]

posted on: June 21, 2018

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