Category: Property

New Beneficiary Deed for California Property

As of January 1, 2016, owners of California real estate can create a revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed to give their house away at their death without probate. This deed must be recorded in the county where the real property is located within a certain period of time or else it is not effective [..]

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Changes in Tax Law May Require Changes to Your Trust

As you may know, Congress recently made certain changes in the tax code. The $5 million exemption from estate tax (which was available for persons dying in 2011 and 2012) was made permanent, indexed for inflation. That means that individuals now can shelter $5,250,000 (2013) from any estate tax liability. Also, Surviving Spouses have the [..]

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Marital Property on Death of Spouse

Property for married couples in California may be characterized in three different ways: separate property (belonging to only one spouse solely), community property (belonging to both spouses in equal and undivided portions),or quasi-community property (property located outside of California that would be considered community property if it were held in California). In this newsletter, reference [..]

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Retirement Distributions to Living Trust

The rules for retirement plan distributions are highly complex. They vary widely depending on the specific circumstances and kind of retirement plan held by the participant and therefore cannot be fully addressed here. My purpose in writing is to draw your attention to some of the issues of concern in this area so that you [..]

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Title to Property A Primer

How you hold title to real property affects your estate plan. In some cases, an improperly held asset may actually have the opposite result from what you intend. This issue focuses on some of the issues that arise from different forms of legal title to property. It is not intended to provide specific legal counsel [..]

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Community Property with a Twist

If you own your property as joint tenants with right of survivorship California law presumes you mean exactly that; even if the joint tenants are husband and wife. This means that married couples do not automatically receive the benefits of community property ownership upon the death of the first spouse, even for property that would [..]

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Trouble with Second Marriages

Many of my clients are couples in their second marriage. Sometimes they have children from a prior marriage. Sometimes, they have separate property as well as property they own with their spouses. I set forth in this newsletter general information that affects the estate plan for people in second marriages. In most cases, you should [..]

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