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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.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics Profiles

Profile in Practice: Agnieszka Adams

AgnieszkaAdamsAs part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, here’s a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys, Agnieszka Adams:

CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?

Agnieszka: I practice exclusively in the area of trusts and estates. My practice includes estate planning, probate, and trust administration. Our firm doesn’t, however, represent clients in trust and estate litigation matters. My interest in this field started in law school. I chose a tax concentration while at UC Hastings (I knew I wasn’t going to be a litigator). When I began practice, I was fortunate to work at a full service law firm where I was given the opportunity to explore various practice groups. I quickly realized that trusts and estates was the area in which I wanted to specialize.

CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law?

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

Video_135848805When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a competent person discussing the disposition of his or her estate to knock the wind out of claims of incapacity.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

Tales of Hoffman: Postmortem Planning for Actor’s Estate

2013-07-catastrophe-122552905The tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has given us an opportunity to consider his estate planning, with lessons and strategies for the rest of us.

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Bankruptcy Law Business Law Elder Law Estate Planning

Are Inherited IRAs Exempt Property in California Bankruptcy?

493855361Updated: The bankruptcy court in In re Sherr (Bankr ND Cal, Sept. 27, 2016, No. 16-10283) 2016 Bankr Lexis 3521 has held that the exemption for “retirement funds” applies to inherited IRAs under California law.

The law says that retirement funds are exempt property in bankruptcy, but the Supreme Court has held that this exemption doesn’t apply to inherited IRAs. End of story? Not quite.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

The Net, Net Gift That Keeps on Giving (But It’s Risky)

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Good news, bad news. The Tax Court has approved a gift tax avoidance scheme, but there’s a catch.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

Portability—Game Changer for Estate Planning or More of the Same?

148037463Estate planners are taking a second look at portability—the use of a deceased spouse’s lifetime exclusion by the surviving spouse—now that the law on this subject has been made permanent.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics

Should You Go with a Living Trust?

trust_135789295Is a revocable trust—sometimes called “a living trust”—right for you or your client?

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Estate Planning Family Law Legal Topics

If We Die, Where Will the Kids Go?

kid_137155350For every parent, the most important function of his or her will is the nomination of a guardian for minor children.