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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Hold Over Tenants

When a person dies other persons may be living in the decedent’s residence and/or other real properties owned by the decedent. This may include the decedent’s spouse, child, significant other, care giver, rent paying tenant or simply a friend. What happens when such persons assert that they are entitled to live at the decedent’s residence […]

posted on: June 8, 2018

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Claims Involving a Decedent’s Estate.

How are debts and other claims against a decedent’s estate handled in California? Often a properly completed creditor’s claim form needs to be timely filed in a Probate Court proceeding (Note: An equivalent court proceeding is sometimes opened by the trustee of the decedent’s trust estate provided no probate exists, but this is uncommon.) Other […]

posted on: May 24, 2018

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Tying Up Loose Ends in Estate Planning

Once the estate planning signing ceremony is done — and the Revocable Living Trust and supporting documents are signed — other tasks still remain. Assets intended for the Living Trust – typically listed on an attached schedule – need to be formally retitled and insurance policies updated. Let us discuss. Let’s start with the real […]

posted on: May 8, 2018

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Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts

Achieving Better Life Experience Accounts (“ABLE accounts”) are tax advantaged savings accounts relevant to certain persons who receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and who became blind or disabled before their 26th birthday. Section SI 01130.740 to the SSI’s Program Operations Manual System (“POMS”) provides useful guidance on ABLE accounts. ABLE account allow beneficiaries (i.e., the […]

posted on: April 25, 2018

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Notifying, Reporting and Accounting to Beneficiaries.

Unlike some other states, particularly Delaware, California does not allow so-called “Silent Trusts” — Trusts that limit the disclosure to trust beneficiaries of the existence, terms, assets, liabilities, and administration of an existing trust. Nevertheless, some trustees subject to California law still fail to notify death beneficiaries and heirs on the death of a settlor, […]

posted on: April 9, 2018

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Vested Right Versus Mere Expectancy

What is vesting and why is vesting important? Vesting occurs when an interest becomes an enforceable legal right. Until vesting occurs, an interest is a mere expectancy. Let us examine vesting in the context of estate planning. First, let us consider vesting in the context of a will. Anyone named as a beneficiary in another’s […]

posted on: March 21, 2018

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Harmonizing the entire Estate Plan

Having one’s affairs in order is like having good health. All related parts have to work together as a whole. That is, each separate estate planning instrument – be it the Living Trust, the Power of Attorney, or the designation of death beneficiary form – needs to function, where relevant, harmoniously with one another. Let […]

posted on: March 8, 2018

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