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5 Questions to ask YOUR parents about THEIR estate plan

I was a guest lecturer last night at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. The class was on value investing. Lonnie Rush and Jacob Taylor are the teachers of the class. They asked me to talk to these 60 bright young minds about estate planning. Showing how smart they are one student asked me a question I hadn’t been asked before. I was talking about the importance of integrating your parent’s estate plan into your own.  That is, whatever your parents have in their estate planning documents really becomes the child’s estate plan. If done right it can create hu
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Restate that trust rather than amend the trust

I often see estate plans where clients have done 3 or 4 amendments. That is, amendment to trust # 1 from 2002, amendment #2 from 2005, etc….  Now at first blush I could say they  didn’t have a good estate planning attorney, at the outset, who created flexibility into their trust. That is possible. However, beyond that they often create great confusion and definitely a very difficult time for the attorney who has to analyze the amendments in the future.  A restatement of trust simplifies all that. A restatement of trust replaces all previous trust documents. Rather than have an original trust and a few separate trust amendment documents you would have ONE restatement. This is much simpler to interpret.  Also, the name of the trust does NOT change. That is, the original trust name a
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Protecting Your Virtual Estate

I just read this interesting article on smartmoney.com about protecting your VIRTUAL assets after death. It really is something to think about. I see the practical side all the time when clients break into mom and dad’s accounts after death using passwords. They really shouldn’t do that of course! However, it goes well beyond that when you think about all that is tied to your virtual life.
Let’s think about just some stuff that is tied to your virtual world that has actual value:
- Banks
- Stock accounts
- Domain names you own Read More

What’s the best way to pay for legal services?

I am an attorney and I get paid for my work. Yes, I admit it.  You are a client and you know that you will have to pay to hire a lawyer. We both know that. However, what you might not know is that there are options for payment. Yes there are some cases where my firm requires me to get a retainer up front before work is done. This is not the majority of cases though. In most cases there are options that are more flexible and that do not require you coming out of pocket with cash. PAYMENT IN FULL PROBATE:  In full California probate cases typically we get paid at the end of the case after the Judge orders it so.  In some cases we get a retainer up front to cover out of pockets expenses, like the Court filing fee, but in some cases we can even front those. Thus, in most full probate case
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