Does a Class Gift to Children Include Adult Adoptees?

The Probate Code says no, in most cases, but a recent court decision said yes. Here’s what happened in Sanders v Yanez (July 30, 2015, H041578) 2015 Cal App Lexis 662.

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Home Sweet Homestead

Suppose a debtor denies owning a home and then gives a false address so creditors don’t find out about the home. Can the debtor still claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy? 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

Profile in Practice: Agnieszka Adams

AgnieszkaAdamsAs part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, here’s a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys, Agnieszka Adams:

CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?

Agnieszka: I practice exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. My practice includes estate planning, probate, and trust administration. Our firm doesn’t, however, represent clients in trust and estate litigation matters. My interest in this field started in law school. I chose a tax concentration while at UC Hastings (I knew I wasn’t going to be a litigator). When I began practice, I was fortunate to work at a full service law firm where I was given the opportunity to explore various practice groups. I quickly realized that trusts and estates was the area in which I wanted to specialize.

CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law? 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

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