Meadow Williams and Elder abuse when marrying way younger

This is an interesting story, and if true, the family would seem to have a pretty good case.
 Gerald Kessler  was a wealthy businessman. He founded a successful supplement company. He also married a successful actress more than three decades younger than he was. Her name is Meadow Williams.  
 Except, she was already married and apparently did not get a divorce. At least not really. Also,…


Beneficiary Claim against lawyer for the trustee fails

Trust and probate litigation  has a tendency to “deplete” any estate. The reason for this is pretty obvious. Attorneys fees. This is one of the major reasons why we would prefer to settle cases if at all possible. This is why parties, when they are acting rationally, will calculate how much it would cost to litigate something, and settle with that data in mind.
When it is the trustee that is…


The difference between a last will and testament and a living trust

Most of the time, when people do their estate planning, they do it because they want to make sure that distribution is done in the way that they wanted to be done after the pass away. For these purposes, there is really just one difference between a last will and testament and a revocable living trust: the first one has court supervision (probate) while the second one does not.
When families want…


Litigation of disputes is expensive. Try Mediation

Mediation is more dignified

If you leave your estate to your children and there is a dispute between the beneficiaries and whomever it is that you entrusted with their assets, the assets could easily go to attorneys, sometimes nearly all of it. The same is true and divorces, made worse in large part because the assets are of the living, who usually earned them, as opposed to the deceased.

I do not represent peo…


Is Community Property a Raw Deal for your Estate Planning?

I am going to say two things that are somewhat contradictory. As an Estate Planning Attorney, most of my married clients are completely fine with owning their property as community property and they plan based on their assets being community property. This has to do with culture and custom. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with adults owning their property however they wish. However I…


Why the Bypass Trust is not irrelavant in Estate Planning

Ever since the advent of “portability” in the US Tax code, the notion that a spouse can simply take her husband (or his wife’s estate) and not worry about the estate tax consequences that would have otherwise fixed through a bypass trust has been making the rounds constantly. It is a little irritating in that some people continue to see the purpose of Estate Planning as only Estate Tax…


De-clutter your estate planning

The nature of wealth is that it can be complicated or simple. Wealth that is sitting in a bank account or a brokerage account is different from farmland, which is in turn different from oil and gas leases or business assets.

It is one thing to have estate planning documents done, getting a buy-sell agreement or other kinds of arrangements, and it is another to plan to simplify the assets held…


Registered Domestic Partners and Estate Planning

California has a provision in the Family Code for “Registered Domestic Partners.” While this status is fairly easy to obtain, most couples that live together do not have this.   There is a procedure with the California Secretary of State for becoming a Registered Domestic Partner, so you actually have to register, which would seem obvious.    Another thing about this status is that it is…


The Gift Tax exemption and Estate Planning

Estate planning, particularly as it comes to taxable estates (in the states about the estate tax exemption amount for a given year) involves 2 things, these variables can be immensely complex.  The 1st is utilizing the actions that are available in the past and the 2nd is the time value of money. The concept of the gift tax is important to understand for anybody who is going to do advanced…


Problematic Estate rights of parents who walk away

In past estate cases, the parent of a child who simply abandoned the child at a young age had exactly the same inheritance rights in “intestacy” (this is an estate proceeding where the person who dies did not leave a will) as any other parent.

California has recently added probate code §6452 that changes this. Not all parents are created equal anymore in California. Parents who have their…


Ahmed Shaikh, Attorney at Law, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout Orange County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County in Southern California, including Tustin, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Fullerton, Brea, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Lake Forest, San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano and Buena Park.

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