Estate Planning

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You Made a Will and Left Your Attorney a Huge Inheritance

You did the right thing for your family. You sat down and drew up a will. Maybe you saw the WillMaker program on sale at Costco, or maybe you said, “I drew up my will 30 years ago and like it the way it is, and I don’t need to pay no stinkin’ lawyer to […]

By |June 11th, 2017|Estate Planning, Probate|0 Comments

Don’t Give the IRS Money Just to Avoid Paying an Attorney to Draft an Estate Plan

A lot of people come into my office and ask me if they should transfer their real estate into their kid’s name while they are still living. Here is the typical reason they give for wanting to do that: If my child goes on the title to the property, (1) I save money by not […]

By |June 4th, 2017|Estate Planning, Landlords, Real Estate|0 Comments

Does Putting My Property in a Living Trust Cause a Reassessment of My Property Taxes?

When we are preparing estate plans and creating a living trust for real estate, I often get this question about the tax implications for a trust. The main question is whether the transfer of real estate into a living trust will trigger a reassessment from the county tax assessor’s office. The key reason people worry […]

By |March 13th, 2017|Estate Planning, Real Estate|0 Comments

Why Do Wills Need to Have Two Witnesses?

I am often asked by probate clients and estate planning clients why two individuals have to watch the signing of a will. I have had clients ask me if a notary acknowledgement alone is sufficient. The answer is that wills executed in California must follow strict guidelines. A notarization alone will not make a will […]

By |February 27th, 2017|Estate Planning, Probate|0 Comments

Allowing Family and Loved Ones to Live in Property Named in a Trust

More and more trust documents are being created due to an aging population. I’m seeing increasing problems administering trusts with provisions that allow family and loved ones to reside in a property included in the trust.

Problems that commonly occur are payment of home expenses, exclusive possession of the premises, and downright disagreements among the beneficiaries […]

By |February 13th, 2017|Estate Planning, Landlords, Life Stuff, Real Estate|0 Comments

Having the Tough Conversations with Loved Ones about Long-Term Planning

There is generally only one conversation that children never want to have with their parents, and that is long-term planning. You may see the signs already—an aging parent is having a hard time handling the basics of independent living such as getting dressed or keeping food in the house. Or it might be that dad […]

By |January 23rd, 2017|Estate Planning, Life Stuff|0 Comments

Skipping the Drama of Purchasing Property with a Significant Other to Whom You Are Not Married

I see this a lot lately. With the high values of real estate, more unmarried couples are purchasing property together. There are countless reasons why couples purchase real estate together. It’s a great investment both for income and appreciation, and it offers an affordable place to live so money is not just being thrown away. […]

By |August 3rd, 2016|Estate Planning, Life Stuff, Real Estate|0 Comments

Fact or Myth: If I Can’t Sign My Name, I Cannot Create an Estate Plan

I think some people believe that if someone can’t sign their name or read due to a physical disability, they can’t create an estate plan. That is simply not the case. The law allows a person to execute documents by making a mark. The legal capacity to sign with a mark instead of a signature […]

By |August 1st, 2016|Estate Planning, Probate|0 Comments

Can a Funeral Home Hold a Loved One’s Remains Hostage For Unpaid Mortuary Bill?

I never would have thought I would be talking about this problem, but I have come across it recently. Some mortuaries and funeral homes are holding a loved one’s remains—not for safekeeping because no one claimed the remains, but because the family isn’t able to pay the balance due on the mortuary bill. For many […]

By |June 20th, 2016|Estate Planning, Life Stuff, Probate|0 Comments

One Thing You Can Do So Your Children Never Speak to One Another, Ever Again

I was reading yet another sad story about a family that set up a sloppy estate plan. The plan involved a mother and four children. The mother had a bank account with roughly $400,000 in it, and she was going to split the cash into four equal shares. However, for lack of better judgment, the […]

By |May 16th, 2016|Estate Planning, Life Stuff, Probate|0 Comments