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Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments Real Property Law

New Foreclosure Protection for Deceased Borrower’s Successor in Interest

115754429California law gives residential borrowers various rights and remedies when it comes to foreclosure prevention alternatives against a mortgage servicer, mortgagee, trustee or beneficiary under a deed of trust, and authorized agent. But what happens after the borrower’s death?

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Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

IRS Left Holding the Bag After Investors Madoff with Millions

tax_100889473How much is a fictitious brokerage account worth, and what happens when it loses value? The IRS and the Tax Court have struggled with issues arising from the Bernie Madoff scandal. The answer may depend on when (and how) you ask the question.

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Appeals/Post-Trial Matters Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Litigation Strategy New Legal Developments

Dead Man Balking: Writ of Execution Doesn’t Work After Debtor’s Death

thinkstockphotos-501575596Updated 5/22/18: In County Line Holdings, LLC v McClanahan (May 2, 2018, B2778790) 2018 Cal App Lexis 392, the court held that a creditor could enforce a previously recorded judgment lien on a deceased debtor’s property more than 1 year after the debtor’s death.

So you have a money judgment, but the debtor dies before you can collect. Never mind. You still have a judgment lien on the debtor’s estate. Right?

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Estate Planning Legal Topics

No-Contest Clauses May Not Be the Deterrent You Think

ThinkstockPhotos-148073606State law changes enacted in 2010 have restricted the enforceability of no-contest clauses. Under Prob C §§21310–21311, a typical no-contest clause providing that an unsuccessful contestant gets nothing from an estate or trust is enforceable only against a “direct contest” brought without probable cause on specified grounds. And even if it is enforceable, a no-contest clause may not be an effective deterrent if the beneficiary thinks the amount at stake is outweighed by the benefit of a successful contest.

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Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics

Using a Retirement Plan to Start a Business

ThinkstockPhotos-504575346Ever wanted to start a business using a retirement plan? There’s a way to roll over plan benefits into a new business without paying taxes and penalties, but you have to be careful. Two recent cases illustrate how not to do it.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments Tort Law

Bound to Arbitrate Nursing Home Litigation?

Senior woman in a nursing homeWhen is a personal representative bound to arbitrate claims against a nursing home? The answer depends on the nature of the claim, as illustrated in a recent case.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments Tax Law

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.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments

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.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics

Perpetual Motion for the Rule Against Perpetuities

The court giveth, and the court taketh away.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments

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.