Estate Planning

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Don’t Forget to Include Your Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Some of the most important documents to execute during your lifetime are those that help create an all-inclusive estate plan. Having a comprehensive estate plan helps to ensure that your wishes are carried out when you are incapacitated or deceased.

While estate plans include a large number of physical assets, it should include more than just that.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What to Know if a Person's Estate Goes to Probate

Losing a loved one can prove devastating. When you are dealing with such strong emotions and putting one foot in front of the other, you probably don’t want to have to deal with figuring out their estate – let alone if it goes to probate. 

Probate is a legal process in which a court-appointed executor helps to settle an individual’s estate and ensure its validity. Unfortunately, though, probate can be quite expensive and lengthy – it can even last for years. 

Is There a Way to Avoid Probate?

You may possibly be able to avoid the probate process if the executor of the estate can prove that all of the person’s debts have been paid by their estate and no significant debts remain.
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Monday, October 7, 2019

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

Estate plans help us to take care of others and ourselves when we are not in a place to be able to do so ourselves. Whether due to incapacitation or death, we always want to be sure that our loved ones and ourselves will best be protected. This holds an even more important meaning for families who have a child or loved one with a disability. 

Once they reach the age of 18, the government treats all individuals with disabilities as adults. However, anyone who becomes disabled prior to the age of 22 may receive Social Security Income (SSI) benefits as long as the sum of their cash assets remains under $2,000 and their income stays lower than the amount of money they would receive in SSI benefits.
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Supporting Your Companion Animals After You’re Gone

Studies have shown that companion animals help us to reduce stress and blood pressure, and allow us to live longer. They are the ones waiting by the door every time you return, only to greet you with unconditional affection. That is why although they are our companion animals, many of us consider them to be a member of the family. 

Unfortunately, the law does not yet share this sentiment. Under the law, companion animals are still considered to be a type of tangible personal property – no different than our car or our couch.
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Monday, September 9, 2019

Gifting Your New Spouse With An Estate Plan

From bank accounts to taxes, to purchasing a home, as couples embark on the journey of marriage, there are many aspects of each individual’s life that become joined. However, one aspect that most newlyweds don’t think about is the creation of an estate plan.

Regardless of each individual’s age, sex, sexual orientation, gender-identity or socioeconomic status, it is never too early to establish an estate plan.
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Monday, August 19, 2019

What to Know About Estate Planning for High-Risk Professionals

Lawsuits are a real part of all businesses. No matter which industry you’re in, you may always be exposed. But although everyone runs the risk of facing a lawsuit, there are certain professionals who are at a much higher risk. These individuals include physicians, business owners, financial advisors, and lawyers. The nature of their work is inherently more open to liability.
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Monday, August 12, 2019

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

You can create an estate plan for you and your significant other – regardless of whether or not you are legally married. This applies not only to heterosexual couples but for gay couples as well.  The good news is that estate planning for same-sex couples doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult to understand. Since the law continues to evolve, it is important to consult with a

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Beware of Invalid Wills

Today, many individuals seeking estate planning services look to the internet, where they often find form documents such as wills readily available. Nonetheless, using a blanket form and not seeking legal advice can be a costly mistake: a will that is poorly conceived or that does not adhere to California law may be invalidated by the probate court. The best way to properly prepare a will, protect your assets, and provide for your loved ones is to consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
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Friday, April 12, 2019

What's in a Name?

I’m occasionally asked to file a petition for legal name change for a client, and I’m always interested in why people want to take on a new moniker. Both famous people and ordinary folks change their names, and they usually have some very good reasons to do it. Let’s take a look at some of them.
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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holiday Gifts That Keep Giving

We wrap holiday gifts in gleaming foil – contributions to our loved ones to celebrate the season. What did you choose for your partner or spouse? That slick little metal sculpture you found at the street fair? A gorgeous pinkie ring you discovered together in that West Hollywood back-alley jeweler’s? A cruise to the Bahamas to get out of Palm Springs’ or LA’s cruel winters? 

Let me suggest some more permanent and life changing gifts. These may not be as pretty as flashy, gift-wrapped boxes with fancy bows on top, but they will be with you and your loved ones in a much more dramatic way. You can share a gift with someone and both of you will be thrilled. 

Do you have a committed partner? Consider the gift of marriage! Huh, you say? What? Get out of here!  But think about it.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Election Analysis for LGBT Issues

Many of my LGBT clients have reached out to me in a panic wondering how the election of Donald Trump will impact their families, benefits, marriages, and other legal issues.  My advice….breathe, try to relax and let’s take a look at what the election MAY mean in the future.

In my opinion, the biggest issue is the future of the Supreme Court.    There is one vacancy that will now be filled by President-elect Trump.
Read more . . .

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