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Both a Borrower and a Lender Be: Using Graegin Loans to Pay Estate Tax

In the too-good-to-be-true department of estate planning, it is sometimes possible to take a loan from a family trust or other entity controlled by the decedent and family members to pay estate tax and deduct the interest on the estate tax return. Such loans are very useful when the estate or trust needs liquid assets and money is available from other sources to pay estate taxes. Continue reading

DUI Basics Every Attorney Should Know

DUI cases are complex and can deter even the most senior practitioner. But it’s not uncommon for attorneys to be contacted on DUI cases by clients, and even friends and family — particularly during the holiday party season. For this reason, it’s important for every California attorney to know at least the basics of California DUI law. Continue reading

Employee Versus Independent Contractor: Get It Right, or Pay the Consequences

Part of the fallout of the economic downturn is the emergence of the “freelance economy.” This is largely fueled by the financial advantages of hiring independent contractors instead of employees. But employers beware: Getting your classifications wrong can be costly. Continue reading

Protection Against Discrimination Based on Genetic Information Is Coming Soon

The new year will bring another category of prohibited discrimination in California  — discrimination based on genetic information will no longer be legal. Continue reading

Smile, You’re on Your Employer’s Video Camera!

The following is a guest blog post by Cynthia E. Fruchtman, a lawyer who represents employers and employees in all aspects of the employment relationship and represents businesses in commercial and employment-related litigation.

It is becoming increasingly common for employers to monitor employee workplace activities electronically. For employers, investigation methods such as video camera surveillance, computer monitoring, and drug testing may be seen as an aid to efficient operations. But employer’s beware: These tools can create several potential areas of liability. Continue reading

Keeping to the Style in Which They Have Become Accustomed

After a divorce, both parties want to continue to live in the style to which they have become accustomed. And California law supports this desire by requiring courts to base spousal support awards on the standard of living established during the marriage. Fam C §4330(a). Ah, but the rub can be in determining what exactly was the marital standard of living. Continue reading

On a Beach in Bali: For Revocable Trusts With Living Settlors, is it Safe for Trustees To Go Back in the Water?

If the trustee of a revocable trust lets the trust’s settlor make an extravagant purchase or risky investment can he or she get into trouble with the trust beneficiaries later? This issue was explored in a recent California case and the court’s answer would allow trustees to approve the settlor’s luxury beach getaway with impunity. Continue reading

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