Letters of Special Administration are used to avoid waste or loss in an estate, especially where an executor has failed to get a prompt start on proceedings. Here is a real-life example of a question asked of me. My husband and I need to challenge executorship of my mother-in-law’s estate. Her husband is ill and not able to handle his duties. She passed in April and he still has not started the probate process and we are in danger of losing the home she left to my husband. What can we do? Signed, Carla C. Carla: You can file a… read more →
How do we transfer a manufactured home into trust? If a mobile home is left out of trust, how do I obtain title after my parent’s passing? Can we avoid probate? Many people are confused about manufactured homes, mobile homes, RVs, truck campers, etc. That’s because they aren’t real property and they aren’t simple vehicles. These assets are covered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Here are some recent questions posed to me, and the answers I gave: (1) “We tried to record a Quit Claim for my partner’s parents (to change their property into their trust… read more →
You should have at least a will, advance health care directive, and durable power of attorney. If your estate is over $150,000 you should consider a trust.
Deciding whether to purchase a living trust is difficult. You want to protect your assets for your beneficiaries. In evaluating attorneys or trust companies, try to stick to the facts and be wary of exaggerated claims about their products. You want to be able to trust your lawyer, and know that they aren’t trying to scare or “up-sell” you into a living trust. Claims to look out for include: 1. False Claims About the Probate Process. Some companies use advertising slogans such as “The Choice is Yours: Sacrifice Money to the State or Protect Your Loved Ones.” These companies may exaggerate… read more →
Let me try to summarize very briefly the bottom-line results of the gay-marriage rulings by the U. S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2013. 1. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act): The court said that the federal government has to treat people who were legally married in their state of residence as a married couple, even if they are same sex. So married same-sex couples receive the benefits of marriage on a federal level (joint tax filings, estate tax exemptions, military benefits, etc.). This will benefit same-sex married couples, and couples who receive federal benefits such as military families. 2. Prop… read more →
This morning the U. S. Supreme Court ducked the question of whether same-sex couples have a right to civil marriage under the U. S. Constitution. However, it did so in a way that will uphold a decision by a California District Court that the ban on same-sex marriage under Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. So… can gays and lesbians now marry in California? Not yet, but soon. First of all, a lower court is required to wait 25 days before implementing a Supreme Court ruling. That would take us until around July 20th, 2013, before the lower court could dismiss the appeal… read more →
Not to rain on the anybody’s (pride) parade, but the Supreme Court rulings today did little to advance the goals of same-sex couples. Neither ruling addressed the underlying question: Do same-sex couples have a right to civil marriage? The Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA today is a victory for state’s rights, but not a victory for those who espouse the right of same-sex marriage. The ruling on California’s Proposition 8 dodged the question entirely, although it amounted to a technical victory for gay-marriage proponents in California. As Justice Ginsburg hinted a month ago in her comments on Roe v. Wade,… read more →
On June 25, 2013, speaking about Texas’ attempt to dramatically reduce the ability to obtain an abortion in that state, Governor Perry said: “In Texas, we value all life.” Today, Texas is scheduled to execute its 500th inmate, a woman named Kimberly McCarthy. Texas has accounted for about 40% of the U.S. executions since the death penalty was reinstated.
What should I do before I file for divorce? What estate planning changes should I make? Can I revoke our family trust? Do I need permission from my wife to change beneficiaries? Can I make a new will without my husband? These are questions I hear from clients referred to me by family law attorneys. There are things that you can do before you file for divorce, and there are (fewer) things you can do during the divorce. Filing for dissolution in California places on you automatic temporary restraining orders (ATROs). These restrict changes you can make to your… read more →
…a person does have the option to not to buy health insurance. If they do, their taxes will be raised by a penalty in order to help offset the amount we (the other taxpayers) have to chip in to cover uninsured medical costs every year.