Cupid’s Arrow Strikes Lover in the Wallet

ThinkstockPhotos-505650276Revenge is a dish best served cold. In a recent case, a disenchanted suitor not only sued to recover gifts he made to his former lover but also reported those gifts to the IRS as income payments! See Diane Blagaich, TC Memo 2016–2. Continue reading

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

Perpetual Motion for the Rule Against Perpetuities

The court giveth, and the court taketh away. Continue reading

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

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