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Estate Planning
In March I wrote a post about the estate litigation involving Robin Williams’ children with his 3rd wife, Susan Schneider Williams. The lawsuit was initially filed by Susan just a few months after Williams committed suicide in August of 2014 in his Tiburon, CA home. According to the NY Times, Susan claimed she was not...
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If you haven’t been following social media, parental discretion advised: Basketball star Lamar Odom remains in a coma at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada after being found unconscious at the Love Ranch “Cathouse”, a brothel about 70 miles outside Las Vegas. Lamar had reportedly been using cocaine and an herbal substance similar to viagra...
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On October 5th, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-128, the bill that legalized assisted suicide in California. Called The “End of Life Option Act,” Brown stated that he signed the bill because if he found himself dying “in prolonged and excruciating pain” he would find comfort in having the option to end his life. He was...
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When is it necessary to update your Estate Plan? So you’ve already done the responsible thing and put together your estate plan. But several years have passed and life circumstances may have changed. So when is it necessary to go back to your attorney to update your will, trust, power of attorney, and healthcare directive?...
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Celebrity author Tom Clancy was widely known for his bestselling novels, which include popular titles such as “Patriot Games,” “The Hunt for Red October,”  and “Clear and Present Danger.” Unfortunately, his skills in crafting and meticulously planning espionage tales did not transfer over when it came to planning his Estate. When Clancy passed away in 2013, his...
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Guide to Estate Planning in the SF East Bay: Trusts In the second part of my Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions, we’ll review some estate plan basics as well as go over what you’ll need to get started. So, first things first, if you have a will in Contra Costa or Alameda County, do you need...
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This week we’re looking at beneficiary designations – and what it’s critical to keep in mind when it comes to these guys. So, let’s define it first.  Assets that are registered as “transfer on death” or “payable on death” will transfer to a specified beneficiary upon your death. these types of assets were designed to...
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Do you need a Lawyer to do your Estate Plan? The simple answer is yes, the more accurate answer is maybe. Many of the documents contained in a classic estate plan can be filled out using online programs for a relatively low cost. If you have a simple situation – for instance, 1 house, 1 child, 1-2...
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An Estate Plan may have been on your “to do” list for some time. You are not alone. Most of the couples I talk to in the San Francisco East Bay area have not yet done their estate plan. It’s one of those things that just keeps getting pushed off to a time when you...
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“Ending Life,” a piece by 60 minutes that aired on July 19th, highlights the importance of having an advance health care directive and power of attorney. The piece detailed the criminal case of Barbara Mancini, who was arrested for allegedly aiding her father’s suicide. Her actions were simple: she handed her dying father a bottle...
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How to Pay the Debts of an Estate  If a loved one dies, and you are a beneficiary of their estate, you’re really lucky if they leave you lots of property and funds, and no debt. However, this is not often the case. Even with a well managed trust or estate, the person who passes...
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This story is an example of what can happen in a worst case scenario probate. Probate is a court process by which an estate (funds and real property) is distributed when a person dies. Probate only occurs if an estate plan has not been set up. Under California law, this means a person’s assets exceed...
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In this post series, we’ll take a look at Estate & Trust Litigation Battles and Elder Law issues occurring around the world. We’ll explore how the laws regarding Estate, Trust, and Elder Law differ between countries.  Our first case takes place in Australia. This is a case that has it all – murder, betrayal, a...
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As the era of “Mad Men” came to a close on May 17th, errors abounded. The obvious misrepresentation came at the end when we were led to believe that Don Draper came up with the revolutionary Coca-Cola ad. I regret to inform many of you, that in fact, he did not. However, this was not the...
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 Elder Law Part 1: Estate Planning  While the mansion in the photo is indeed elderly (circa 1700), and many would no doubt call it an “estate,” Elder Law as it relates to estate planning isn’t always about large homes, or even elder persons. The term “Elder Law Attorney” actually refers to a fairly new field of...
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