Rights of Surviving Putative Spouses.

             California’s “Putative Spouse Doctrine” treats a so-called “putative spouse” like a surviving spouse with legal standing to sue for wrongful death of a deceased spouse and to claim a surviving spouse’s inheritance rights.              A putative spouse is someone who is found by a court to have genuinely believed that […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

Read More

Homeownership Traps in Legacy Planning

            Financing the purchase of one’s home and refinancing one’s mortgage can each create estate planning traps for the unwary.   The traps created may be due to the name on the title or the manner in which title is held.   Let us consider two scenarios involving title that can create major problems once someone dies […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

Read More

Why Multiple Trusts in One Document

          A living trust is meant to provide a comprehensive solution to the needs of the settlor(s) and subsequent beneficiaries. During the settlor(s)’ lifetime(s), assets are held in the “Settlors Trust” for the benefit of the settlor(s) and their dependents. When the settlor(s) die, different beneficiaries, purposes and priorities come into play. Not surprisingly, additional […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

Read More

Rights of Trust Contingent Remainder Beneficiaries

          A trust beneficiary with a future right to part or all of the remaining balance of a trust estate provided they survive the current beneficiary is called a contingent remainder beneficiary.  Before the remainder beneficiary’s future rights in the trust can vest, however, he or she must first survive the current […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More