Life Estates and Rights of Occupancy

The life estate and the right of occupancy are two specific estate planning tools that can be used to provide for family members (or friends) who depend on another person’s estate planning to give them a place to live. They may be created during life or at death by means of a will or trust. […]

posted on: June 19, 2024

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General, Specific and Residuary Testamentary Gifts.

Gifts in a decedent’s will or trust fall into any of three categories: General, specific and residuary. A will or trust may involve some or all of these categories. Let us discuss each category. A general gift is a gift of a sum of money to an individual or a charity. For example, “I leave […]

posted on: June 6, 2024

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Revocable Trusts and No Asset Medi-Cal

The revocable living trust has become increasingly important for California residents who receive Medi-Cal benefits. Medi-Cal has a variety of different programs, including the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (“MAGI”) Medi-Cal for persons between 18 and 65 years old, various different Community Based Medi-Cal programs (for the aged, blind, disabled, medically needy, and working disabled), and […]

posted on: June 1, 2024

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The Handwritten Will

California law allows handwritten wills to be valid as, “holographic wills” if they meet the requirements of section 6111 of the Probate Code. That a person can informally write a handwritten will means that anyone who is unable, for any reason, to see an attorney in a timely manner can nonetheless legally express their testamentary […]

posted on: April 29, 2024

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Lack of Information Frustrates Estate Administration.

In addition to signing all necessary estate planning documents to put one’s affairs in order, it is necessary to consider what additional information will be needed by the persons carrying out the estate plan when the time comes. First, it is necessary for the individual named to carry out the estate plan to know that […]

posted on: April 11, 2024

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Dependent Adult Children and Estate Planning

Some adult children live with their parents. Perhaps they returned home after a divorce, the loss of a job, due to a disability, and perhaps they never left. Often the parents providing free rent and utilities and even food and money to cover transportation and insurance. The children may take care of household chores. What […]

posted on: March 22, 2024

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Ensuring Your Legacy: How Often Should I Update My Estate Planning?

Having your estate planning – that is, your living trust, your will, and your designation of death beneficiary forms – up to date is crucial to securing the wellbeing of you and your family in the event of your incapacity (illness) and when you die, either one of which may come unexpectedly. Life is dynamic: […]

posted on: February 19, 2024

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Amending A California Trust

In California, people who own real property generally establish a revocable living trust, as settlors, and transfer title to their assets to themselves as trustees to avoid probate when they die. While alive, a settlor retains the separate powers to revoke and amend their living trust, so long as they have the mental capacity to […]

posted on: February 15, 2024

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Creditor Claims Against A Decedent’s Trust Estate.

The recent appellate court decision by the First Appellate Department of the California Court of Appeals in Spears v. Spears, 97 Cal. App. 5th 1294, 2023 Cal. App., is an important change to how creditors of a decedent’s estate could satisfy their creditor’s claim against the decedent’s trust estate, under certain conditions, in the California […]

posted on: February 1, 2024

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The Importance of Regularly Updating Your Estate Planning

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of securing your legacy and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. A fundamental part of this process is creating a trust and a will, but equally important is regularly updating them to reflect the changes in your life. Let’s explore the question: How often should […]

posted on: January 23, 2024

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