Protecting College Savings from Creditors.

          Protecting College Savings from Creditors – Unlike Federal Bankruptcy Law, California’s Enforcement of Judgment Law does not protect the various types of Qualified Higher Education Savings Accounts, including so-called “529 College Savings Plans”.  Thus, for example, if a California resident owns a 529 College Savings Plan and owes money to a judgment creditor then the […]

posted on: August 22, 2016

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Transferring Title Without A Deed.

Transferring Title Without A Deed – Executing and recording a deed is the standard way to transfer title to real property.  Doing so puts the world on notice as to the change in ownership.  Nonetheless, in the absence of a deed, courts may still, under the right circumstances, grant petitions to confirm title to real […]

posted on: August 8, 2016

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New Power of Appointment Legislation

         New Power of Appointment Legislation – On July 22, 2016, Governor Brown signed the AB 2846 legislation (authored by Assemblyman Maienschein) that amends California’s Probate Code concerning Powers of Appointment.  AB 2846 affects how a Power of Appointment is created and is later exercised in California.            Powers of Appointment are sophisticated estate planning tools […]

posted on: July 25, 2016

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Major Reform to CA Medi-Cal Estate Recovery

Major Reform to CA Medi-Cal Estate Recovery – On June 27, 2016 Governor Brown signed the SB 833 legislation sponsored by State Senator Hernandez. SB 833 will greatly reduce the future scope of California’s Medi-Cal Estate Recovery against the estate of deceased Medi-Cal beneficiaries.  For Medi-Cal recipients who die on or after January 1, 2017, […]

posted on: July 1, 2016

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Enforceable Marital Agreements

Enforceable Marital Agreements – In California, Marital Agreements allow couples an important opportunity to dictate their property rights and legal obligations to each other once married in ways that differ from what is otherwise provided under California’s Community Property Law and Family Law.  They should be reviewed if the couple moves to another state.  Marital […]

posted on: June 20, 2016

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A Trust and a Standalone Will

          A Trust and a Standalone Will – Generally speaking most people are best served by having a will, regardless of whether or not they also have a living trust.  It is the will, not the trust, which speaks to assets held in a decedent’s name, excluding any so-called non probate assets such as those […]

posted on: June 20, 2016

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Federal Preemption of Community Property Rights

California’s Community Property laws apply to how assets are divided at divorce and how assets are transferrable at death. Federal law, however, preempts (supercedes) California’s Community Property laws with respect both to so-called “ERISA (“Employee Retirement Income Support Act”) Qualified Plans” and to all “Federal Retirement” benefits, including Social Security.  Let us discuss. As the […]

posted on: May 23, 2016

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Unequal Distributions that are Fair.

Estate planning is not one size fits all. That said, there are estate planning goals which occur frequently in certain family situations.  Let us consider how estates are distributed in these various family situations. Consider a married couple of thirty years with three children together all of whom are doing well. The parents’ assets were […]

posted on: May 9, 2016

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Unforeseen and Unintended Estate Planning Mishaps.

Unforeseen and Unintended Estate Planning Mishaps – Many estate planning scenarios exist where unforeseen, unintended and detrimental outcomes can be the result.   These scenarios can arise out of ignorance or neglect. An often overlooked but important estate planning contingency is naming alternative death beneficiaries to inherit if the primary beneficiary is deceased.  With life insurance, […]

posted on: April 25, 2016

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Estate Planning And Second Marriage

Persons marrying for a second time in California often want to protect themselves, in the event they divorce, and to protect both their surviving children and their new spouse if they become incapacitated and when they die.  Balancing these competing goals requires good planning. Consider a hypothetical illustration:  Jane owns a service business, which she […]

posted on: April 11, 2016

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