Today’s question and answer came from AVVO.Com.  The person, a single parent of one child, had set up her daughter as the Pay-On-Death beneficiary of her bank accounts.  Now she wanted to figure out a way of transferring her homes to the daughter without making a trust.  My advice to her follows. Q: if a… Read More


This guide provides a list of the typical documents that make up a California estate plan. Costs for this plan vary from attorney to attorney, as well as on the complexity and size of the estate. 1. Revocable Living Trust A living trust, also known as a Revocable Living Trust or a Family Trust, is… Read More


When should I review or update my Trust? You should review your estate planning documents periodically. If it is not up to date when you die, your estate may not be distributed as you wish. Your Trust can be changed through an Amendment, a legal document that must be drafted and executed with the same procedure… Read More


Your Will controls the distribution of your real and personal property on your death. This includes your home, land, mineral rights, and any other form of real property, as well as your cash equivalent assets: stocks, bonds, CDs, and mutual funds not held in a retirement account. But the easist way to determine what property… Read More


Not while it’s fully revocable, you don’t. While your living revocable trust remains fully revocable, everything in the trust is yours – real property in the name of a trustee, trust bank accounts, shares of stock held by a trustee, etc. Because you retain full control of the assets, the income from trust property is… Read More


What are the fees to Probate an estate? In California, both the personal representative (an executor or administrator) and the personal representative’s attorney are entitled to compensation.  If the Will specifies the compensation, then that’s all they can receive (P.C. 10812).  If the Will doesn’t specify, then the personal representative and the attorney are each… Read More


Today, I saw a posting about doing one’s will and trust online: “What about going to www.SuzeOrman.com and clicking “will and trust kit” on the left side of the screen. She said on a recent show to use the password “peoplefirst” to get the documents for free.  I bought this package at a KPBS fundraiser a… Read More


Congratulations on your new family! You are in the midst of an exciting adventure, but it’s an adventure with real-life concerns. Among them – how best to protect your children should something happen to you? In my practice, I try to patiently walk  clients through the maze of choices they need to make as responsible… Read More


A common question from older clients, concerned that their pets might outlive them: How do I make sure my pets are protected? I have three suggestions for such clients.  The simplest is for the testator to verbally request that a person take care of the animal if something should happen to them.  Another option is… Read More