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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Trustee’s Investment Duties

In California, a trustee has a fiduciary (legal) duty to invest and manage trust assets impartially for the benefit of all the beneficiaries. The trustee must make all assets economically productive, unless the trust provides otherwise. The trust instrument may provide specific rules regarding the trustee’s asset management and investment duties, authorities and powers. Otherwise, […]

posted on: January 25, 2018

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Expanded Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions

The federal Revenue Reconciliation Act of 2017 (“2017 Tax Act”) increases the lifetime federal unified Estate and Gift Tax exemption and the Gift Tax annual exclusion amounts applicable during the eight year period covering January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2025. The federal Estate Tax exemption has effectively been doubled to more than eleven million […]

posted on: January 11, 2018

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Inherited IRA Trusts

Naming individual beneficiaries as primary and alternative death beneficiaries to a retirement account — e.g., an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) or 401(k) retirement — is usually sufficient estate planning for these assets. That is not, however, the only available estate planning approach. Nor is it always the best approach. Let us discuss. The advantages to […]

posted on: January 10, 2018

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No Trustee Liability for Beneficiary’s Lost Opportunity.

Is a trustee liable to a beneficiary for a lost opportunity when the trustee does not distribute money to the beneficiary that the beneficiary could have invested? That essentially was the primary legal issue confronting the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District in Williamson v. Brooks (7 Cal. App. 5th 1294). In Williamson a […]

posted on: December 14, 2017

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Home and Community Based Services (Medi-Cal Waiver Programs)

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) – also known as Medi-Cal Waiver programs — provide services and supports to allow Medi-Cal beneficiaries who would otherwise require nursing home care to stay at home. A person must, therefore, first qualify for community based Medi-Cal before Medi-Cal will pay for HCBS programs. Community Based Medi-Cal is a […]

posted on: November 29, 2017

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Stepping in to Assist Elderly Parents

As elderly parents find it increasingly burdensome to manage their assets and finances independently they often turn to a trusted child to assume some or all management responsibilities for their assets and finances. Let us discuss. An important threshold issue is whether the parent will keep either some or total control of his or her […]

posted on: November 15, 2017

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Estate Planning Blunders

People expect scary stories at Halloween. Below are some stories involving estate planning blunders that might give you a shiver. Let us see what lessons can be drawn before it’s too late. What happens when a person’s out dated estate planning documents are preserved but the current estate planning documents are missing? Consider a decedent […]

posted on: November 1, 2017

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