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Reviewing Your Estate Plan

The percentage of people that actually have a completed estate plan is pretty low.  I don’t know the exact number but it’s well under 50% and could easily be under 20%.  Of those 20-50% of the people who were organized enough to get your estate plan done in the first place should you review it […]

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Getting counsel

I primarily represent the fiduciary in my trust and probate cases. That is I represent the trustee, executor, administrator or personal representative. That is, the person who has been in-trusted to gather assets, determine liabilities, deal with taxes and eventually distribute the assets. However, there are some cases when I represent a beneficiary. In most […]

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California Pet Trusts

In the probate world we like to say if there’s a question the answer is in the California Probate Code. However, this wouldn’t apply to people leaving money to their pets, right!?  That only happens in the movies, right!?  Well, guess what… California Probate Code section 15212 covers PET TRUSTS. Come on, we are California, […]

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Probate/Trust Mediation

Your attorney has recommend you go to mediation to settle the dispute with your brother related to your mom or dad’s death.  Or maybe the probate Judge has ordered you to go to mediation before they will hear your case any more in Court.  Will mediation help you settle your dispute?  In this attorney’s opinion […]

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The Importance of Specialty

If you drive a Lexus do you take it to the Ford dealer to get serviced?  Likewise, if you drive a Buick do you take it to Honda dealership for service? My guess is you don’t. My guess is you want someone who specializes in your type of car to fix your car.  What about […]

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A little mis-direction

I have written before about asset protection. It’s the hot item right now as people are getting sued, finding out they co-signed something they should not have, and finding out that personal guarantees mean you can actually be personally LIABLE!  Today I am going to write about a simple thing you can do with your current […]

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The Best Time to do estate planning

I generally say “let me know about two weeks before you need it” when people tell me they are thinking about getting their will or trust done.  Yes, I smile and sometimes wink after saying that. The fact is we don’t know when our two week timer has started… and when it’s going to BUZZ!  […]

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Estate Planning for Pets

I recently met with “Mabel,” an 85 year old client with a dog named “Buddy” who she loves very much. When Mabel dies who will take care of Buddy?  She believes her neighbor will take Buddy but will he?  Can Mabel do something to provide more security for Buddy?  Herein lies a problem when the […]

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Real Estate Sales After Death

At least once a week I get a call from a perspective client that goes something like this: ME: “Good morning this is John Palley….” CLIENT: “I need your help fast… we are trying to sell mom’s house… it might be in foreclosure… and the mortgage company won’t talk to me since we haven’t started […]

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Qualified Personal Residence Trust

Estate planning attorneys love acronyms: Q-TIP, Q-DOT and Q-PRT are three relatively well known types of trusts.  Others include ILIT, CRT, GRAT, GRIT and A/B.  Though all of these initials are good estate planning tools to consider the QPRT, or QUALIFIED PERSONAL RESIDENCE TRUST is a vastly underutilized tool in this author’s opinion. A QPRT […]

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