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Estate Planning Process: Beneficiary Designations & Concerns

Who Gets Your “Stuff” After Death If you’re a “it’s better to give than receive” type of person, picking beneficiaries can be one of the most satisfying parts of the estate planning process. There are no restrictions on who can and cannot get your property. There is an exception in California. Married couples must leave […]

Estate Planning Strategies: Providing for Children

Name Personal Guardian for Children There are triggering events that cause people to change their estate planning strategies. While kids are the best thing to happen to many of us, having a baby is a life event that should trigger a person to change their previous estate planning strategies by updating their plan. The real […]

California Estate Planning Checklist: Documents & Case Study

California Estate Planning Checklist – Guide All estate plans are unique. However, the following is a basic California estate planning checklist that you can use to ensure your lifetime financial and healthcare needs are handled in case of incapacity and your wishes are carried out on death (while avoiding probate!). What documents are on the California estate […]

Estate Planning Attorney: Singles Need to Plan Too

Singles Incentives to Plan Advice from this estate planning attorney – single people have an even greater need to create estate planning documents to protect their interests on death or incapacity than married couples. There are legal protections in place for married couples that fail to plan. For instance, if you’re married and die without […]

Estate Planning Tax Law Changes: Changing Traditional Trust

Traditional “AB” Trusts – A thing of the Past… The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) was signed into law on January 2, 2013. The enactment of the ATRA has been one of the most influential  estate planning tax law changes in recent history. The influence of these estate planning tax law changes has allowed couples that simply […]

California Estate Planning Attorney: Guide to Holographic Wills

“Do it Yourself” Documents As a California estate planning attorney, I cringe at the thought of clients creating their own estate planning documents. There’s just too many things that can go wrong when you try to “do it yourself.” Holographic wills are written entirely in the handwriting of the testator (no typewritten or pre-printed portions). […]

Estate Planning Lawyers: Guide to Choosing an Executor

What is an Executor All estate planning lawyers will tell you that being an executor of someone’s will is a time-consuming, thankless and often miserable job. Executors are charged with the task of sorting through the remains of someone’s entire life, while ensuring their final wishes are properly and legally carried out. With all these responsibilities, it’s […]

Estate Planning Update: When is the Right Time?

Life & Law Changes Necessitating Estate Planning Update You just left your attorney’s office with a brand new estate plan. You’re done, right? It’s “up-to-date.” Shiny. Professional looking. Sounds incredibly complex when described. You couldn’t be happier. What’s next? Reviewing whether an estate planning update is needed is something you should do once a year if you […]

Foreclosure Tax Law 2013: Residential California Home Owner Liability

Consumer Protection Laws & Borrower Tax Liabilities In last week’s post – “California Foreclosure Real Estate Law: Is There a Right Time to Walk Away?” – we examined the circumstances in which a defaulting borrower may be sued by a lender for a deficiency judgment in a residential foreclosure. Another pressing financial issue facing borrowers […]

California Foreclosure Real Estate Law: Is There a Right Time To Walk Away?

Time to Walk Away or Stay and Fight the Good Fight You’ve been a proud California home owner for years. But, you recently lost your job and are finding it difficult to keep up with your mortgage payments. Worse yet, your house is “under water.” No, that doesn’t mean it’s located in a flood zone. […]