It’s fairly common for an estate planner to meet with a client who wishes to cut one or more of his or her intestate heirs out of the estate plan. Like Miss Birdie in “The Rainmaker,” they look at you and say “cut, cut, cut!” But is leaving nothing to an intestate heir or previously included beneficiary really a good idea? Or, should you counsel your clients to give such folks something to think about? Continue reading
Even highly competent attorneys who conscientiously meet their responsibilities may face the threat of malpractice. And this threat is very real for attorneys who prepare revocable trusts. Continue reading
When you have a client who is near death and wants you to prepare his or her will, you’ll have to act quickly. There won’t be time for a complete initial conference, careful tailoring of estate planning documents, and a methodical execution at your office. You’ll have to do only the essentials and in the shortest amount of time. These tips will help if you find yourself in this stressful situation. Continue reading
When disinheriting a spouse or child, the key is to be clear and explicit. Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to follow when your client wishes to disinherit a spouse or child. Continue reading
Short answer, yes. Competent adults have the right to refuse medical treatment. But that doesn’t mean that the state can’t get involved. Continue reading
No one likes to think about it, but sole practitioners should take some time to plan for what will happen in the event of their death or disability. Do you have a plan for who will handle your practice if the need arises? Continue reading
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a much more rampant problem than we’d like to admit. In fact, studies show that approximately 10 percent of Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of elder abuse.
For attorneys with older or at-risk clients, it’s important to keep in mind the different protective orders available and to select the most appropriate order to ensure your client’s ongoing safety and welfare.
The district court decision in Badgley v U.S. (ND Cal, May 17, 2018, No. 17–cv-00877–HSG) 2018 US Dist Lexis 83537 confirms what we have long believed: The value of a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) is included in the grantor’s estate if the grantor dies during the term of the retained annuity interest. Continue reading
The appellate decision in Yeh v Tai (2017) 18 CA5th 953 completely misses the main issue in the case but still makes an important point about breach of fiduciary duty claims against a deceased spouse. Continue reading
An increasingly important issue in estate planning is how to handle a decedent’s digital assets, e.g., email and social media accounts, digital files and photographs stored in the cloud. Here’s what to do.