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Same-Sex Couples Should Seek Legal Counsel in Wake of DOMA Ruling

The Supreme Court just ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional. That means that the federal government will acknowledge same sex marriages in the same manner in which the states do.  In other words, because California is a state that now does acknowledge marriage between same sex partners, the federal government will acknowledge those marriages. This acknowledgement will […]

91 Year Old Evicted By Own Daughter?

I recently saw this news story on the Internet.  While all the readers may think this could not possibly happen to them, it can and does happen to elderly people every day.  If you give someone a power of attorney, you must know and understand that you are giving someone the power to take everything you own […]

Happy Birthday to the 27th Amendment!

Almost certainly only lawyers know what this amendment is about  — ok, well maybe only law students!  The 27th Amendment ensures that members of Congress can’t vote for their own pay raises and that any change in compensation they vote for does not take place until after the next election. Interestingly, the 27th Amendment, which […]

Court Opinion Likely to Increase Trust & Estate Litigation

The California Court of Appeals has recognized a new tort cause of action in a decision that is likely to increase the amount of litigation related to trusts and estates.  Heirs can now sue beneficiaries for “Intentional Interference with Expected Inheritance” in California.  This is different from a Will Contest where an heir is contesting […]

Should You Expect Compensation as a Trustee?

Trustees are generally entitled to be compensated for the work they do in administering a Trust. Compensation is either the amount set forth in the Trust agreement, or it provides the Trustee with “reasonable compensation” if the Trust is silent on the issue.  A new case decided by the Court of Appeals in 2012 establishes that […]

NPR Discusses Baby Boomers & Estate Planning Issues

The generation that came of age in the 1960s is beginning to retire. Born after World War II, they grew up in an era of rising living standards, but the Great Recession destroyed any sense of financial security. Now they face challenges, including putting their kids through college and caring for their parents. Is this […]

Estate Planning & Your Child

Everyone considers their children to be their top priority. People make tremendous sacrifices in their everyday lives just for the benefit of their children. Unfortunately, parents often don’t think about what will happen to their children if they are gone. The reality of life is that parents do not always live to see their child […]

What Happens to Your Minor Child if You Die without a Will?

If you don’t have a will, the court will chose someone to care for your child. The person chosen by the court could be someone you would never consider to be the best person to raise your child – your mother-in-law or your estranged sibling. A will is the only way to choose who will […]

Who Controls My Child’s Inheritance if I Die without a Plan?

If you don’t express your wishes in a will or trust, the court decides who controls your child’s inheritance. Generally, the court chooses a professional and takes his or her fees from the estate. Guardians need attorneys to help them comply with the numerous court-ordered requirements, and those fees come out of the estate as […]

What Can I Do To Protect My Child?

Get a complete estate plan with a will and a trust. A trust allows you to control the time and manner of distribution of funds to your children. It also allows you to provide for many of the contingencies that may arise as your child grows up. Your child may have special health or educational […]