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Archives for 2012

Taxes and Bankruptcy & How They Mix

It’s not completely true that the only things you have to do in life is die and pay taxes. Well, I guess the dying part is sort of inevitable. My bankruptcy clients ask if they can get rid of taxes as part of their bankruptcy filing. Income Taxes and Bankruptcy. Are they Dischargeable? You may be […]

Special Needs Trusts to Help Disabled

Special Needs Trusts are a specific type of trust, designed to protect the disabled and their public benefits. Estate planning clients who care for loved ones with special needs or disabilities have unique legal challenges, especially if they have real property that they want to pass on as part of their legacy. Special Needs Trust Preserve […]

Consumer Guide to Credit Reports – Part 6

Now that you’re becoming an expert at reviewing your credit report, here is some key information about public records section and the difference between hard and soft inquiries. Public Records The public records section chronicles major financial events such as judgments, foreclosures, lawsuits, wage garnishments, state and federal tax liens, past-due child support, and bankruptcy. Anything […]

Real Property Law Changes & Mortgage Interest Deduction Eligibility

In real property law we’ve found that one of the “Sacred Cows” of home ownership is the deduction allowed for the yearly interest paid to your bank on a home loan. The current understanding is that you must be on title to the home, on the loan, and pay the monthly payments in order to […]

Consumer Guide to Credit Report – Part 5

Bet you didn’t know there was so much to talk about when it comes to credit reports! This time we’ll explain debt-to-credit ratios and what it says about your financial situation. A debt-to-credit ratio is the numerical calculation of what you owe compared to available credit.  As a rule of thumb, credit bureaus like Equifax give […]

Pet Trust: No Longer a Dog Eat Dog World…

Pet Trust Ensures Continued Care “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole” sums up the way millions of Americans feel about their dogs (or cat, fish, snake, bird, or other beloved non-human companions). Pet ownership figures in America are staggering – at least two thirds of American households own a […]

How To Order Free Credit Report

Americans can request as many as three free credit reports per year from each of the major agencies (also known as bureaus): Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. They are not automatically delivered to you.  Rather, you’ll need to request your reports in one of the following three ways: Visit which is the only authorized source for consumers to access […]

Consumer Guide to Credit Reports Part 4

We’re continuing the conversation about how review your credit report, specifically Account Status and Unknown or Fraudulent Accounts. Account Status: Active vs. Closed It is not uncommon for consumers to mistakenly believe that they have closed an account. In actuality, it remains open and continues to accrue fees, interest, penalties, charges, etc. Accounts that are […]

Living Trust in California: Common Mistake like Adding Children to Title

As a long-time estate planning attorney, I counsel many couples in creating an estate plan or living trust in California. Most parents want to protect their children, as well as create a legacy that can be carried on for generations to come. However, the documentation required in an estate plan can vary depending upon a […]

Administration Tips from A Trust & Estate Attorney

Once an estate plan has been finalized by a qualified trust and estate attorney, it needs to remain current to reflect an individual’s or family’s situation. Upon death, the trust then begins the trust administration phase. It’s a complex job of the trustee — the person in charge of carrying out the terms of the […]