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Estate Tax Change Coming?

As most of my readers know the current federal estate tax exemption is $5,000,000.  This means you can pass $5,000,000 at death without incurring any tax.  However, as many know that law is set to sunset December 31, 2012 and revert the estate tax exemption to $1,000,000. On November 17, 2011 Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) […]

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Will AND Trust

Clients always ask which is right for them, a will or a trust.  In California the answer is generally BOTH! The centerpiece of an estate plan is one of three choices: 1) DO NOTHING – Use the state sponsored plan… if you dare!  The state plan generally distributes assets to next of kin and/or your […]

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FAST Probate

Fast… but CAREFUL should be the key to just about all California probates.  Why not?  You just dealt with a death and you want to get on with life, right?  Make sure your attorney is on board with that plan too! As I have told you before probate is a 7 month process, minimum, in […]

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Prop 13 and Property Taxes

Most Californians known about the famous “Prop 13.”  Just google “Prop 13″ without specifying California and it will come up very high in your search I am sure! It’s the 1978 statewide proposition that established California’s modern day property tax system.  It set a ceiling on property tax based on your assessed value in 1975 […]

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Just Moved to California

Should a person review their estate plan when they move to a new state?  YES! Quite often there are no changes to be made but other times there are many changes to make. There are differences between community and separate property, other laws differ from state to state, your new property is probably not titled […]

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The Basic Estate Plan

“No, I don’t need an estate plan, just a simple will….” Oh really!? I hear this a lot.  People think an “estate plan” is only for the rich people or an estate plan is going to cost too much.  Even the most basic documents, like a SIMPLE WILL, is part of an ESTATE PLAN. For […]

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House Refinance and Trust

It seems like it’s almost daily though I am sure it’s not that often that I talk to a client about re-financing their house. No, I am not a mortgage loan broker. Rather I am an estate and trust attorney.  My clients contact me to ask how best to re-finance their home that is in […]

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Probate Bonds

Do you need a probate bond, or “surety bond,” in your probate case? Or would it be ok for you to waive that requirement?  It’s really a loaded question and the purpose of this blog is only to let you know there are options.  So, to waive or not to waive that is the question…. – […]

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Will v. Trust or Trust v. Will – Which is opt for me

Clients ask me daily, “which is right for me… a will or a trust?”  They are really asking which should be the centerpiece of their estate plan.  A basic will is great and establishes important things like a guardianship for minor children and a testamentary trust to protect inheritances from immature youths. On the other […]

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New Year’s Resolutions 2012

Everybody is different but I suspect a lot of people have new year’s resolutions that include things like the following: – Go to the gym 5 times a week; – Eat less junk food; – Wake up early; – Don’t buy a cup of coffee every morning; … and the list goes on and on. […]

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