Basics Trustees should know about Trust Accountings.

          California statutory law requires a trustee to account annually to current trust beneficiaries, i.e., those who are currently entitled to receive distributions of income and principal during the accounting period.  Any trustee, other than the settlor(s) who established the trust, has a duty to account.  Let us discuss some basic concepts regarding the trustee’s […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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New Law regarding Revocability of Trusts.

          On January 1, 2013, amendments to California’s statutory law regarding revocation of trusts take effect.  The purpose is to allow a surviving spouse to revoke – i.e., takes back – some or all the assets held in a joint trust established while the couple were both alive that remained revocable after […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Spousal & Child Support and Special Needs Trusts.

Spouses and their children who receive SSI and/or MediCal needs based benefits, and are part of a divorce, may encounter complications involving the receipt and/or payment of either spousal or child support and their continued eligibility to receive needs based government benefits.  The receipt or payment of such support payments create special issues where Special […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Unduly Burdening the Surviving Spouse.

          Some married people seem to believe that their estate planning is sufficient if all assets go to the surviving spouse at death and let the surviving spouse take care of subsequent estate planning if they so choose.   People taking this approach often title (own) their real property and bank accounts in […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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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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