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5 Estate Planning Options for Out-of-State Real Property

As any seasoned estate planner knows, it’s crucial to learn of all your client’s assets before developing a comprehensive plan. This is particularly important when it comes to out-of-state real property, which may be subject to that state’s potential inheritance or estate tax if left unaccounted. Add the costs and headaches of an ancillary probate, and your client’s loved ones will be left wishing for a better way. Lucky for you (and them), there is!ThinkstockPhotos-456864991.jpg Continue reading

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

thinkstockphotos-501575596So 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? Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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? Continue reading

$50 Fee for Lodging Wills May Be Double Trouble for Executors

2013-07-catastrophe-122552905Ever since the graduated probate fee was declared unconstitutional in Estate of Claeyssens (2008) 161 CA4th 465, the legislature has been nickel-and-diming estate planners and their clients with filing fees. Now we have to deal with multiple fees for lodging wills, which used to be free. Continue reading

Steve Jobs: Private in Life, Private in Death

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known to be a very private person, and it appears that he has taken steps to preserve his privacy even in death. As do many entertainers and wealthy people, it appears that Jobs took advantage of California revocable trusts to prevent the publicity involved in probate. Continue reading

CEB Question of the Month: Death During Pending Litigation

Question: You file a breach of contract suit and begin negotiating with the defendant. You agree on a settlement, but the defendant dies before actually signing the settlement agreement. The defendant’s beneficiaries won’t be opening a probate, because there is less than $100k in assets. Under California law, what do you do?

And the answer is…

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