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Providing for a Pet After Its Owner Dies: Pet Trusts

Pets play an important part in the lives of many people, and pet owners often want to arrange for the financial support and care of their animals after the owner dies. To make this happen, the best option is usually to include specific provisions in a trust. Continue reading

Can You Control What Happens to Your Remains After You Die?

California has a statutory scheme for the right to control disposition of the remains of a deceased person (Health and Safety Code §§7100–7117), but if you or your client wants to have this control, you need to put it in writing. Continue reading

Settlors and Shareholders: Who Has Standing to Sue for Elder Abuse?

The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) (Welf & I C §§15600–15675) provides enhanced remedies for “financial abuse” that results in a loss of property of someone over age 65. This can get complicated because the property interests of elders may not be held in their own name; they often are held in a variety of ownership vehicles for estate planning or business reasons. This raises the question, may the elder sue under EADACPA for injury to those property interests? The answer is, it depends. Continue reading

Revocation-on-Divorce Statute May Have Retroactive Reach

When the marriage is over, former spouses usually want their property to go somewhere else when they die. At least the revocation-on-divorce statute assumes this is so and renders transfers made to the other spouse null and void. The statute became effective in 2001, but it now looks like it may affect transfers made before then. Continue reading

Using Life Estates to Protect Property and Avoid Reassessment

Proposition 13 has allowed many homeowners and other property owners to perpetuate low historical assessments for years or generations using the interspousal exclusion and parent-child (or grandparent-grandchild) exclusion from a change in ownership at death. Rev & T C §§63, 63.1. These property tax opportunities are an important part of California estate planning, and life estates play an important role in making it work. Continue reading

How to Make Name and Gender Marker Changes

thinkstockphotos-494028256It’s often a problem for transgender people that their government documents (e.g., driver’s license, Social Security record, passport) don’t match their name and gender. Having updated documents is important for employment, government benefits, and even safety. An incorrect document can “out” a transgender person at a dangerous moment. Here’s what you need to know about making name and gender marker changes. Continue reading

Getting a Gun Violence Restraining Order

According to an alarming 2014 FBI study, nearly 68% of homicides involved the use of ThinkstockPhotos-506101244firearms, with over a quarter of victims killed by a family member. From these numbers alone, it’s clear to see the urgency of a client’s situation if he or she says a family member may resort to violence. One way to protect your client is to seek a gun violence restraining order.

Continue reading

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