CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

CA Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

Category Archives: Planning

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Would you pay money to take on a thankless job? Fighting to be Trustee of a California Trust

Posted in Planning, Trustees & Beneficiaries, Videos
There are times when a Trust settlor names a successor Trustee who is not a beneficiary of the Trust. This is often a great idea because naming a child as Trustee can be disastrous. And naming two or more children as Co-Trustees is a fantastic idea if you want to keep lawyers fully employed (and… Continue Reading

When Planning Fails: Casey Kasem’s Lessons For California Trusts and Wills

Posted in Estate Planning, Litigation, Planning
Casey Kasem’s passing is a sober reminder of how people with estate plans can still be subject to bitter Court disputes in their golden years.  Prior to Mr. Kasem’s death his wife and children (from a prior marriage) were involved in a bitter conservatorship dispute.  Mr. Kasem had apparently prepared a healthcare directive naming his… Continue Reading

In Trusts we Trust: When should you create a Trust in California?

Posted in Estate Planning, Wills
I have heard it a million times before: “I don’t need a Trust because ____________” you fill in the blank: I don’t have enough money, I won’t care when I’m dead, California probate is easy, my wife and I own everything in joint tenancy…there’s many, many excuses and misinformation regarding Trusts in California. In California,… Continue Reading

Estate Taxes: An Uncertain Future

Posted in Estate & Gift Tax
Death may be certain, but estate taxes are not.  At least not at the end of 2012 when the current Estate Tax exclusion of $5.12 million is set to expire and be automatically reset to $1 million.  With proper planning, married couples can combine their exclusions for a total amount in 2012 of $10.24 million.… Continue Reading

Are Professional Advisors Helping You Grow a Successful Business?

Posted in Business Planning
Lawyers are, in part, counselors and advisors.  As with accountants, tax professionals, financial planners, bankers, etc., lawyers should play a role in helping to grow and maintain a successful business by giving practical, helpful advice.  But all too often professional advisors (lawyers being the prime suspects) stand in the way of business success.  This is… Continue Reading

Sofia’s Gift: A lesson in turning a family dispute into a generous gift for others.

Posted in Litigation, Non Profit & Charities
Trust and Will litigation tears families apart.  It may be that family relationships aren’t too good to begin with if litigation arises, but taking matters to Court doesn’t help.  And as lawyers we have little to no ability to repair family relationships. In one case, out of the many hundreds I have handled over my… Continue Reading

Give a Little After You’re Gone: The benefit of charitable giving at death.

Posted in Estate Planning
Most of us are not capable of giving billions to charity, like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates  But charities, to be successful, don’t need billions (they’d love to have billions, I’m sure, but most operate on far less than that). Most people make modest charitable gifts to their favorite charity, university or church during their lifetime. … Continue Reading

The Backdoor Beneficiary: How Your New Spouse is Automatically a Beneficiary of Your Estate in California

Posted in Estate Planning
Love and marriage may go together (like a horse and carriage…), but marriage and estate planning may be another story. If a person creates a Will or a Trust in California and then subsequently marries, that person’s new spouse automatically becomes a beneficiary of the Will and Trust by operation of law.  Many times people… Continue Reading

Know Your Non-Profits: The different types of charities

Posted in Non Profit & Charities
Non-profits, charities, 501(c)(3)’s, foundations, private foundations, family foundations—what do all these terms have in common?  They are typically used to refer to the same thing, an entity that is recognized as not-for-profit under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).  But not all charities are created equal.  There are different types of charities based on the type… Continue Reading

Coping with Incapacity: How Trust Planning Is Life Planning

Posted in Estate Planning, Lack of Capacity, Will Creation
How does your trust help you while you’re alive?  Many people think of trusts as death planning instruments–the type of thing that only operates upon your death. But trusts have a critically important role to play while you are alive in the event you lose capacity.  People are living longer and the likelihood of being… Continue Reading

Would You Pass a Legal Checkup?

Posted in Estate Planning
Here is another business law offering that I published in our local Corona Business Monthly.  We come across many business issues in our Trust and Will litigation practice, so it never hurts to discuss business law concerns. Stress can affect wellness.  And legal problems can bring the kind of stress most people would rather avoid. … Continue Reading