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A beloved but forgotten asset – airline miles

You may want to tell me I am wrong but did you know airline (and hotel) miles are only worth about a penny each?  Yes, really.  Well, think about it. Let’s say it takes 35,000 miles for the average domestic round trip on some airline, right?  What does the average ticket cost?  $350?  So, about a […]

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That dirty word… PROBATE!

The word probate conjures up awful images.  Attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, magazines, newspapers, and everybody talks about how awful probate is.  It makes you think of an old Judge, “taxes,” and you have been told it takes YEARS to finish.  None of that is reality.  Probate is not great but… I am here to say […]

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Trust Titling

Titling, titling, titling…. As with real estate it’s location, location, location with trusts, it’s titling, titling and TITLING!  What do I mean?  Well, there are several issues that can arise with trust titling errors which can cause big headaches for you and/or your loved ones. The most common is a slightly different trust name.  So, […]

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Timeshares and Trusts

I was walking down the streets of Waikiki last week and it got me thinking about timeshares.  You really can’t help it when in a place where I worry that everything is a come-on for a timeshare tour.  We actually were staying over on the west side of Oahu at the Marriott Ko Olina timeshare.  What […]

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New Estate Tax Laws

I almost posted this post with no words in it. Frankly, nobody on earth knows what the tax laws are going to be once the governemnt sorts it out.  However, let’s talk about some possibilities. What is the state of the law as of TODAY?  Luckily today is a holiday (Martin Luther King Day) so […]

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MCLE

Every California lawyer knows what these letters stand for… Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.  Some attorneys dread it.  Yes, sitting in some hotel ballroom listening to non-professional speakers drone on and on can be tiring. As the years have gone on I have learned to really appreciate MCLE. I remember sitting in a session, as a new […]

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Legal Zoom – Good and Bad

I was listening to the Dan Patrick show this morning on Fox Sports Radio. He went to a commercial break where he read the commercial. It was for Legal Zoom.  For those of you who don’t know, Legalzoom.com is a website that will draft simple legal documents for you for fees that are typically much […]

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New Year’s Resolution – GET TRUST DONE

Ok, maybe it’s not exactly a “resolution” but I think it’s akin to it.  Many people go into the new year with a list of self improvement goals, including the thought to get their estate plan done.  The list might be something like this: – Go the gym at least 5 days a week; – […]

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Software v. Attorney

How many people would be so excited if you foundsome brand new lawyer willing to prepare their trust for $500?  What a deal, right?  An experienced attorney like myself might charge $2,000, or more, for a living trust package for a husband and wife.  Some charge $5,000 and up… but of course they have fancy offices and […]

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Gifting – a great Tax Saving Idea

Are you one of the people (or child of a person) who has “too much” money?  Some of my clients go as far as to call it “the problem” of having too much money.  Yes, it’s true many people just have too much money and Uncle Sam is waiting for you to die!  As I […]

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