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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How to Put your Business in the Right Hands

People work long and hard to get their businesses up and running. Especially, small or family owned businesses with limited resources. There are endless challenges that businesses face during every stage of their development. Fortunately, most successful business owners have figured out how to keep their companies competitive in an ever-changing economic environment. However, many […]

posted on: March 1, 2018

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The Difference Between a Living Trust and a Will.

What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust (“Trust”)? This is a basic question people want answered. Let us examine the primary differences between Wills and Trusts. These differences relate to the following issues: (1) whether a Probate is involved; (2) what assets and legal affairs are implicated; and (3) when does […]

posted on: February 22, 2018

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Transfers of Community Property

California law protects a spouse’s undivided one-half interest in Community Property assets from wrongful actions taken by their other spouse. The same rules apply to Registered Domestic Partners. What is Community Property? Property acquired while married and living together – excluding gifts and inheritances — is presumed to be Community Property and not either spouse’s […]

posted on: February 8, 2018

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