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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…

Undue Influence now has a definition

Undue influence is a common issue though the law around Estate Litigation (including Probate and Trust Litigation) is often changing. Sometimes the most important things are not just the laws themselves, but the meaning of words that are in the law. Definitions mean a whole lot.

In general, people have testamentary freedom. They can leave a will or a living trust and give to whomever they…

What is your Estate Planning Intent

In Estate Litigation cases, the issues often come down to what the intent of the decedent was. The problem is often that this “intent” is unclear and then left to family members who may have selective or self-serving recollections of what the actual intent was.

Keep in mind though, even if the intent was crystal clear, certain actions can result in undermining that intent and the actua…

What about surrogacy and Estate Planning?

How does surrogacy fit into Estate planning?

The New York Times has an interesting article about how the United States has become a marketplace for foreigners who are looking for women willing to be pregnant for 9 months with a child that will not be their own. Interestingly enough, this is illegal almost everywhere but the fact that it is legal in the United States makes it legal (sort of)…

Can a bad Trustee go to jail?

In an estate dispute, if a trustee does what he or she is not supposed to do, and the trustee go to jail? In a recent reply to this question on another website, the answer is “it depends.” However, a more direct answer in my view would be yes, absolutely. Given the right circumstances (which would apply no matter who is being thrown in jail).

Sometimes, people do not listen to judges or follow…

IRAs: No exemption for you!

Your nest egg is not for your children, unless you plan that way

A significant development from the United States Supreme Court on individual retirement accounts (IRAs)- not exactly the same IRA you are working hard to save your nest egg in, but rather that same account when it transfers over to children and other heirs.

Essentially, while those assets may be exempt from bankruptcy for the original account owner, they are not exempt for heirs.

We need to…

A law practice cannot hire a non-lawyer CEO, but a ninja is ok

There is some interesting ethics related news today. In Texas, and this is sure to be true in other states as well, law firms cannot hire business executives and give them titles like “Chief Executive Officer,” “chief technology officer” or I suppose she much of anything. Traditionally, “office manager” is about the highest-rank a nonlawyer can obtain a law office. I suppose the word “chief”…

Estate Planning for the immortal

Estate planning attorney B West Hunsaker asks in a recent blog post about what estate planning would look like if we don’t die. So far, the state of scientific and theological knowledge on the subject is clear. We are going to be leaving this world.

That does not stop many people from believing that they will not leave this world. Every single human being is a vessel that carries with it data.

So you married a gold digger: An Estate Planning puzzle

Gold Digger Estate Planning Guide

One of the major drivers behind trust and estate litigation is estate planning when there is a second or third marriage and there are existing children. It does not matter if the children are younger or fully grown. It is normal for family members to assume some sort of a financial motive for the marriage. This could occur for both men and women who are looking to get married. The key driver…

Survey: Leaving Inheritance to kids not a priority for many

For many children with parents who have some property, this may be depressing news. According to a recent study, nearly half of all high net worth baby boomers do not feel leaving inheritance for their children is in their top three priorities.

It may well be, however, that among high net worth families, relationships with children are either poor, or, the children who have grown up ar…

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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