New Law Resolves Jurisdiction Issues for Conservators

elderly_92034396We live in a mobile society, and conservatees are no exception. For example, an elder may have multiple residences, living in an out-of-state vacation home part of the year or moving among family members in various states. Or the child of a conserved parent may move to a new state, taking the parent along. And when there’s conflict, a parent may be taken from California to another state to be conserved beyond the reach of other relatives. In these situations, jurisdictional problems can leave families and attorneys uncertain of where and how to proceed. Luckily, a new law aims to resolve these issues. Continue reading

New Way to Avoid Probate on Real Property

ThinkstockPhotos-477832872Probate avoidance is a primary consideration for estate planners and their clients. A revocable trust is usually the vehicle of choice for making nonprobate transfers, but alternatives have always existed for personal property such as cash in the bank, retirement plan benefits, and brokerage accounts. For real property, no such vehicle existed. Until January 1, 2016, that is. Continue reading

Protecting Digital Assets: 6 Steps to Take on Death or Incapacity

ThinkstockPhotos-174474186It used to be enough for a fiduciary and her attorney to simply search through a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s papers in his or her workplace and at home, watch the mailbox for a 90 day cycle, and review tax returns and account statements. Things are more complicated now and a fiduciary must take several more immediate steps with regard to digital assets. Continue reading

Using Fiduciary Accountings as a Client Management Tool

178406759When representing a fiduciary such as a conservator or personal representative, you’re often dealing with a lay person who may be feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar responsibilities. One way to bring the situation under control is to use the fiduciary accounting as a client management tool. Here’s how. Continue reading

Trust Property for Cats Sold to Pay for Settlor’s Care

178110810What if the dead hand is still living? A recent trust case prompts the macabre metaphor. Continue reading

Nine Fiduciary Accounting No Nos

GettyImages_178895760When you’re a fiduciary under California’s Probate Code, such as a guardian or conservator, you’ll be required to prepare some type of fiduciary accounting for the court. You’ll probably hire an accountant to crunch the numbers, but ultimately you’re the one responsible for its contents, and you should know the common mistakes and problems that arise in fiduciary accountings. Continue reading

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

Video_135848805When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a competent person discussing the disposition of his or her estate to knock the wind out of claims of incapacity. Continue reading

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