Reformation of Wills.

Things don’t always go the way we expect them to, either in life or in death.  It is, therefore, important that a person’s trust or will have good contingency planning provisions in place to address future changes in circumstances which might possibly occur.  If not, under new case law one can expect litigation by competing […]

posted on: December 15, 2015

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Understanding Joint Tenancy

Understanding Joint Tenancy – Joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and more recently community property with right of survivorship, is often used by people who are not fully aware of the ramifications involved.  Let’s discuss. Generally speaking, title to important assets — including one’s residence — is not taken in joint tenancy with anyone other […]

posted on: November 16, 2015

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Tax Free Savings for the College and Disability Needs of the Blind and Disabled.

On January 1, 2016, many blind and disabled residents of California will become eligible to establish tax free accounts under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“ABLE Accounts”) to save for future educational and disability related expenses.  ABLE accounts extend the benefits of 529 college savings plans to disabled persons to include […]

posted on: October 26, 2015

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New Transfer on Death Deed California Law

On January 1, 2016, a recently signed California law will allow revocable Transfer on Death Deeds (“TOD deeds”) to be recorded in California. Let us examine the TOD deed and where it is most likely to be appropriate. The TOD deed is a revocable beneficiary deed, involving the gift of a residence, which is signed, […]

posted on: October 12, 2015

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FEMA Assistance and the Valley Fire.

FEMA Assistance and the Valley Fire – Many who lost homes in the Valley Fire need assistance to replace lost income, to make repairs, and to cover other expenses incurred due to the fire. On September 23, 2015, the President declared Lake County to be a federal disaster area. Now Valley Fire victims can apply […]

posted on: September 28, 2015

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The Safe Deposit Box

The Safe Deposit Box – Safe deposit boxes protect important documents (including one’s trust, will, and power of attorney) and small valuables against loss due to theft or destruction. But will these important documents and valuables be accessible to the right person when the time arises? Let’s discuss this and other questions that concern safe […]

posted on: September 8, 2015

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Life Estate for Surviving Spouse

Life Estate for Surviving Spouse – A person may decide to give their surviving spouse the right to live in the residence for life (i.e., “a life estate”) and leave their children full ownership of the residence once the surviving spouse no longer lives there. Let us consider the issues raised by such a scenario. […]

posted on: August 25, 2015

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When a Minor receives Assets

When a Minor receives Assets –  Minors, i.e., persons under 18 years old, cannot own money or other assets in their own name. What happens when a minor receives a judgement, settlement or an inheritance that would otherwise be payable outright in the minor’s name but for the minority? There are a variety of approaches […]

posted on: August 10, 2015

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Death & Taxes

Death & Taxes – The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Let us discuss the various taxes to be considered when a decedent dies. The Federal Estate (Death) Tax applies very rarely. That is, when a decedent leaves an estate with a net value of over $5,400,000 to persons other than a surviving […]

posted on: July 27, 2015

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When to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth.

When to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth – Usually inheriting assets from a decedent’s trust or estate is a good thing that increases a recipient’s net worth.  Sometimes, however, inheriting assets comes at too great a cost.  Let’s consider some examples. Inheriting real property can come with hidden problems.  If it is contaminated […]

posted on: July 13, 2015

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