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Estate Planning
What happens when one beneficiary wants to buyout another beneficiary’s interest in an inherited property? You might think this is a simple and straightforward process – one beneficiary compensates the other(s) for their share of the property and voila – takes the property. But here’s where you have to watch out. If everything isn’t done...
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Prop 19 passed on November 3, 2020 and goes into effect in February of 2021. Prop 19 has a number of important consequences for inherited properties in California. Families now have a short period of time to take advantage of the current law and its rules regarding the “Parent Child Exclusion” for gifts of real...
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If you own a property, you’re likely very familiar with the concept (and payment) of property taxes. Property taxes are due annually when you own a piece of real property (land/building) and are generally based on the assessed value of your property at the time you bought it, plus adjustments for inflation.   Typically the...
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How Talbot Law Group is seeing clients, getting documents signed and notarized, all while keeping safe social distancing.   In these unusual times of social distancing and concerns about safety we at Talbot Law Firm are committed to helping our clients move forward with their estate plans.   With law offices and the California court...
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-by Kurt Rifbjerg, Esq. The global onset of COVID-19 may impact a person’s ability to execute a formal, comprehensive estate plan.    While our firm remains open and willing to help clients create and revise their estate plans as a legal necessity during these troubling times, we recognize that not everyone may be able to...
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Understanding what exactly a Simple Revocable Trust is, and how it works, is confusing enough for most people. But the A/B Trust can really throw one for a loop. So what exactly is an A/B Trust and how do you navigate its complexities? The A/B Trust for Tax Purposes In prior decades, the federal estate...
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Recently, sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead, allegedly by suicide.  A number of people have raised questions what this means for his estate and the victims.  At this time, there are more questions than answers.  This is due to the extreme complexity of Epstein’s estate.  It would be spread out over at least three...
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The New York Times recently took the opportunity to highlight this question in an article based on the hotly litigated estate of French celebrity Johnny Hallyday. The Hallyday family is currently fighting over whether or not his estate should pass according to French probate law or California probate law. California allows freedom to distribute assets...
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Couples with young children typically set up revocable trusts with their children’s well being as the top priority. Most trusts plan for the potential scenario where both parents are gone, but at least one child or grandchild remains. A well crafted trust will also specify who a couple’s assets will go to if no children...
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Unlike famous singers Aretha Franklin and Prince, who died without a will or trust, rapper Mac Miller planned ahead for his demise. And he did this at the tender age of 21 – perhaps foreseeing his death at just 26 years of age on September 7th of this year. Consequently, his fortune will likely be...
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A favorite gimmick of estate planning articles today are based on numbers – “8 things to protect your assets,” “10 Steps to write your will“, “6 Reasons to update your Trust,” etc. My favorite read is “17 Reasons to Update your Will” – thank you San Francisco Symphony!  If this wasn’t the exact area of...
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An officer or employee of a financial institution who suspects financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult is a mandated reporter under the law. A mandated reporter is a person, who as a result of his or her profession, in this case banking, is more likely to be aware of elder abuse or neglect....
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David Cassidy, known as Keith Partridge in the popular show The Partridge Family and a teen heartthrob in the 1970s, died of organ failure in Fort Lauderdale on November 21, 2017 at the age of 67. He had been hospitalized with liver and kidney failure the week prior to his death and passed away surrounded...
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The New Tax Law makes Revisiting old Estate Plans Critical while creating an opportunity for first time estate planners
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The New York Times just published a question and answer in its “Social Q’s” section regarding the legal validity of an unsigned Will. Another recent article referenced a Will written in a draft text message. Naturally the text also remained unsigned. The text message was approved as a valid will by an Australian court. In...
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Famed Playboy (Owner) and Celebrity Hugh Hefner passed away on September 27th at the age of 91.  With an estimated net worth of $50 million at the time of his death, a young wife, multiple ex-wives and ex-girlfriends, and four children to boot, who will end up with Hugh Hefner’s fortune? His last will and testament,...
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Does the word “estate” in estate planning make you turn a deaf ear to the whole concept of financial planning?  Maybe you feel like “estate” planning doesn’t apply to you because your home doesn’t look like an estate, and your bank account is rather ordinary.  But if you look at it that way, you may...
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When a person dies who does not have a will the probate court must manage his or her estate. Without making a will the person is said to have died “intestate”.  Simply put, the court, according to the laws of each particular state, decides who shall receive outright your personal belongings and money. But there...
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For most families, setting up a trust to hold one’s property or bank accounts is a prudent step. But when your assets are in the hundreds of millions, setting up a trust (or trusts) is seldom simply an item on your to-do list – it’s a must.  As many of you already know, Fox News...
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Most of us will never need to know the ins and outs of the Criminal Court System, the Civil Court system, and maybe not even the family law system. But almost all of us will encounter Probate Law. Why? Because at some point, someone in your family or close circle of friends will die –...
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The simple answer: After you die. From a financial perspective, it is generally advantageous to gift property upon your death. However, when making a decision about how best to leave real property to your children there are several important factors to consider.  If you plan to keep living in the property, first and foremost is...
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A good friend recently brought to my attention the story of the “Tractor Will.” In 1948, a man in Saskatchewan carved out his will in the fender of a tractor using a pocket knife. According to witnesses, Cecil George Harris was trapped underneath his tractor for over 10 hours during a winter storm. His short...
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While we always consider what will happen to our children when we are no longer there to care for them, our pets are potentially left just as vulnerable when we die.  Currently, under California law your dog or cat is viewed no differently than your car or your sofa.  Pets have no rights and no...
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Once you’ve executed a Power of Attorney, can you change it? The answer is YES. If you change your mind about the person you chose to make decisions for you under a durable power of attorney, you can change it. In order to make changes to your Power of Attorney, however, you must have Legal...
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What function can life insurance serve as part of your estate plan?   Prior to the big changes in estate tax laws, life insurance was commonly put into place to pay estate taxes. No longer necessary, as estates can exempt $5.45 million for each individual from what used to be called the “death tax”, life...
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1. If you already have an Estate Plan, Get a New One In most cases, getting a divorce will essentially invalidate your Trust or Will if you have one. However, it should be noted that your former Will or Trust will only be invalid once the divorce is finalized. Simply filing for divorce changes nothing...
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Image by Peacock TV Jay Pritchett’s family on ABC’s popular sitcom “Modern Family” is a reflection of many families in the U.S. today. Jay (Ed O’Neill) and Gloria (Sophia Vergara) are parents of a blended family – in other words, they are in a second (or third) marriage and have children from multiple marriages. How...
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WHITNEY HOUSTON, FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER, HEATH LEDGER Earlier this year I wrote about the Celebrity Estate Planning Tragedies of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Howard Hughes, James Brown, and James Gandolfini. Recent events and a few discoveries on my part have compelled me to add to that list of Celebrity Estate Planning Tragedies – and...
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Executing a trust provides you with an orderly disposition of your estate and avoids probate. However, simply setting up a trust will not avoid probate until the trust obtains legal title to your property.  This is called “funding” the trust. Once you have executed your trust, it is critical to ensure that all appropriate assets are...
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