Another year is in the books, and on the web for us thanks to our blog.  We wrote quite a few articles again this year, but there are a few stand-outs among them. The following list represents our twelve most popular articles (and our personal favorites too):

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1. Form Interrogatory 15.1: Show Me your Facts.  Decsribed as a “procedural 2 x 4″, form interrogatory 15.1 gets broken down into an understandable form by partner Stewart R. Albertson.  A very popular video on an underappreciated interrogatory.

2.  The Best (Private) Trustee in the World!  We spend a good deal of time discussing what Trustees do wrong in administering a Trust estate.  But it’s nice to stop and pay tribute to those Trustees who do right.  I have the pleasure of represnting one very good private Trustee–in fact he’s the best private Trustee in the world–I guarantee it!

3. The Empty Will: Why a California Will or Trust May Not Control Your Assets After Death.   Not much passes under a California Will these days, yet we spend so much time talking about Wills.  This article helps decipher what passes under a California Will and what does not.

4. 5 Tips for Aspiring and Accomplished Lawyers.  This is one of my personal favorites, a guest post from our friend and colleague, Mike Hackard, with Hackard Law in Sacramento, CA.  Mike is an experienced attorney with over 35 years of experience and he shared some great tips with us for aspiring and accomplished lawyers.  Thank you Mike!

5. Video Series.  We did more videos this year, and we have more in the works for 2013.  All of our videos seem to be very popular.  Stewart and I assume it’s becuase of our good looks, but our staff seems to think it’s the good information we provide in the videos.  Well whatever the reason, our videos made the top 12 list for 2012.

6. AeroFlow Windscreen for my BMW R1200GS.  What do BMW motocycles and the law have in common?  Nothing at all.  But Stewart’s post on his BMW motorcycle was interesting and a popular source of conversation. 

7. When to Fight for your Right to Privacy: A Three Part Series.  It should be no secret that you have a right to privacy–even in our digital world.  California’s Constitutional Right to Privacy gets some discussion in our three-part series on the subject.  You have to know your rights, know when to fight for them, and know when not to fight for them.

8. When a Beneficiary “Can’t Get No Satisfaction”: How to Remove a California Trustee in 3 “Easy” Steps…  “Easy” is a relative term, of course.  But it never hurts to think positively and discuss how to go about removing a Trustee, if that needs to occur, as if it were easy.  

9. 5 Essential Elements for a Slam Dunk Case.  A personal favorite of mine, the notion of a “slam dunk” case.  Everyone has a slam dunk case, or so they think.  But until the stars align, and you have the 5 essential elements on your side, your case may not be such a sure thing after all.

10. What You Need to Know When an Estate Plan Goes Awry.  Attorneys never make mistakes, right?  Wrong.  Sometimes even attorneys can make mistakes, and when those mistakes damage an otherwise well intentioned estate plan there may be some legal recourse to pursue.  This post discusses some of the strategies to successfully navigate an attorney malpactice case.

11. When is a Trust like a Will?  Appellate Court Confuses Capacity Rules for California Trust Amendments.  The California Courts of Appeal don’t often make new law in the area of Trusts and Wills.  But when they do, we often wished they hadn’t.  Case in point, Anderson vs. Hunt where the Appeallate Court took an already confusing area of the law and made it more confusinger (yes “confusinger” a new term coined for the first time right here).  

12. Trustee: Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.  Another appellate court case, Thorne vs. Reed, where a Trustee is told his pay is zero–one of few areas where you can have legal servitude.  If a Trust says Trustee compensation is zero, then that’s what it is.  Seems fair enough, unless you’re the Trustee!   

There you have it, the top 12 post for 2012.  We hope you enjoy these posts along with all our other articles.  We look forward to bringing you more useful and interesting Trust and Estate information for 2013.

Happy New Year!