Life Estates

Lifetime gifting of property is an approach to estate planning that has its place under the right circumstances.  Lifetime gifting can either be outright or subject to a retained interest by the donor.  An owner of real property, who owns their property free and clear, can deed (gift) their real property to another and still […]

posted on: June 3, 2021

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Retitling Publicly Traded Securities

          Retitling publicly traded securities (registered stocks or bonds) is often a necessary part of estate planning and administration.  When a person establishes a living trust, their securities are often transferred into the name of the trustee.  When a person dies owning securities in their name and a probate is required the securities are transferred […]

posted on: May 19, 2021

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Why You Still Need a Will.

My appreciation of the importance of having a will has been reinforced by recent experiences.  Even if you have a trust you still need a will.  A will speaks at death to who inherits assets, other than non-probate assets including assets held in a trust.  Without a will the laws of intestate succession apply to […]

posted on: May 8, 2021

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Estate Administration and Court Proceedings

          In California, administering a deceased person’s estate often requires a petition to the superior court in the proper county (venue).  Let us discuss how to determine the proper county and who has standing to file a petition.  We consider the petition for probate, the petition for succession to property in a small estate, the […]

posted on: April 26, 2021

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Testamentary Capacity to Execute a Will

          In California, “an individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will”.  California law presumes that a person has testamentary capacity to execute a will.  However, a person does not have a sound mind – and so cannot execute a will — if he or she fails […]

posted on: March 31, 2021

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Estate planning | The importance of an attorney

When making an estate plan, it is important to ensure that everything is done in accordance with the law. An effective estate plan will help ensure that your assets are managed efficiently and according to your wishes. Skilled Lakeport CA estate planning lawyers can help you develop an estate plan that is specific to your […]

posted on: March 26, 2021

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Revocation of Wills

          Over time, people may change their testamentary intentions and revoke prior wills and execute new wills.  Such revocations may be either partially or wholly effective in invalidating a prior will.  Let us discuss revocation of wills and how even a revoked will may sometimes be revived. In California, a will can be revoked by […]

posted on: March 17, 2021

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Understanding Death Beneficary Accounts, Wills & Trusts

          Estate planning often involves various asset types, such as, real property, tangible personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance.  How each asset type is managed during incapacity and transferred at death to beneficiaries also varies.             Real property, tangible personal property, and bank accounts can be transferred to a trust for lifetime […]

posted on: March 3, 2021

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Estate Planning For Second Marriages

          Married clients in second marriages with prior children often have to balance the future wellbeing of their spouse with that of their own children.  In California, a community property state, a resident can bequeath (leave) one-hundred percent of their separate property assets and one-half of their community property assets.   A resident may only bequeath […]

posted on: February 18, 2021

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Conditional Inheritances

          A decedent’s will or a trust may require that the beneficiary satisfy certain conditions in order to inherit.  California, like other states, enforces many conditions imposed on inheritances but not those that either violate the law or public policy.   Section 708 of California Civil Code provides that, “[c]onditions are precedent or subsequent. The former […]

posted on: February 18, 2021

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