Pre-Death Gifting- A Dangerous Probate Avoidance Method

Posted Posted in Beneficiaries, Estate Planning, Probate

Most people have heard of the nightmare that is California’s probate court, and in an attempt to make sure that their estate does not have to pass through the probate process decide instead to gift their assets to their children prior to death, either outright or in joint tenancy.  No estate, no probate- simple as that.  People will add their children onto the title of their real property, or even deed the entire interest.  They […]

Small Estate Redefined-Probate Required for Estates Greater Than $150,000 in California

Posted Posted in Estate Planning, Probate, Small Estate

A fairly noteworthy change was brought to the estate planning landscape this year- the “small estate,” which since January 1, 1997, has been defined as an estate of $100,000 or less, has been redefined as an estate of $150,000 or less.  Effective on January 1, 2012, Bill AB 1305, introduced by Assemblywoman Huber, amended certain provisions of the California Probate Code to allow a simplified administration of all estates with real and personal property having a […]

Who Still Needs an A/B Trust Anyway?

Posted Posted in A/B Trust, Estate Planning

Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples. While the portability provisions of the new tax law allow a surviving spouse to use a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption amount, the same federal rules do not apply to unmarried and same-sex couples, regardless of that couples status under state laws granting spousal rights in the event of common law marriage, same-sex marriage or domestic partnership. If you fall into one of these categories and leaving everything to your […]