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Can the dead control the living?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Can the dead control the living?

Control. We have less of it than we think, and yet, we are creatures who want control. We want to control our own lives. Some of us want to control other people’s lives! Much about human relationships is a jockeying for who has control, how much, and over what. Parents often come in to do estate planning because they want to control when their children will inherit their wealth and who will take care of their children if they die before kids are grown up. Lots of parents are concerned about young adults inheriting a house and money before they’re equipped to handle it. They put property in...

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Getting ready for New Year’s resolutions.

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Getting ready for New Year’s resolutions.

This time of year, the New Year’s resolutions begin. For some people that means 2014 will be the year that they finally embark on making an estate plan.  For those of you who already have your plan in place, you might suggest to your friends and relatives that they, too, get their affairs in order. I like to tell potential new clients about some things they should bring with them to an initial consultation. It helps clients to start to think about key issues and it’s helpful to me if people come prepared for a meeting. For starters, I ask people to bring a list of their assets so we can...

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Why wait until the holidays to plan your estate?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The holidays are coming and that tends to mean it’s “estate planning season.” Nothing official, just a trend I’ve noticed. I usually get more calls this time of year, and I have a few hypotheses about why. Here they are, not in any particular order. 1. Many people start the year with an intention and a resolution to take care of their financial affairs, including estate planning. A lot of these folks call around January 2nd to get started. Others put estate planning on their to-do lists and months and months go by. By November, it’s apparent that the to-do has not yet happened. And so, there...

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Who is the client?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Who is the client?

The phone rings and I pick it up. “Hello, my name is John Simmons. You’ve worked with my mother Betty Simmons?” “Yes, that’s right,” I say. “Well, we need to change her Will. Now.” “Who’s ‘we’?” I ask. “We is me and my sister April. We need to change Mom’s Will. Now. “ “John, I’ve worked with your mother, and if she would like to change her trust, which we did a number of years ago, I’ll need to have her call me. She can come in and we can discuss the changes she’d like to make, and I’d be happy to work with her on that.” “Oh, well, she can’t really do that.” “Why not?” “Well, she can’t...

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Whom to choose?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Whom to choose?

One of the biggest stumbling blocks clients find in estate planning is the question of whom they will choose as trustees of their trusts, executors of their wills and agents for their powers of attorney.

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Keeping your assets in your trust.

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Keeping your assets in your trust.

I started a theme last month, which has to do with making sure your assets are in your trust. This goes for real property as well as other forms of property. Last month I wrote about making sure that real property you own in states other than California is re-titled in your names as trustees of your trust. Let’s step back a minute and review what the legal term “property” refers to. Often people say they have no “property” because they don’t own real estate, or because they have not yet paid off their mortgage. Legally, there are several types of property and everyone has something. Real...

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