Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Reasons and Legal Mechanisms to Avoid Probate

How can I avoid probate in California?

Avoiding probate in CaliforniRead more . . .

Monday, September 17, 2018

What is the Slayer Statute in California?

California estate planning lawyers are often asked by clients whether they should tell their adult children or other loved ones what they will inherit under their will. In the vast majority of cases, that disclosure will evoke feelings of gratitude on behalf of the intended beneficiaries.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

California Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

Q: Why do same-sex couples need estate planning?

After decades of fighting the good fight, the LGBT community scored a major victory when it won the constitutional right to marriage equality in the 2015 United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges.

The landmark decision conferred valuable federal privileges and rights upon same-sex married couples, similar to those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.  But just as it is inadvisable for heterosexual couples to die without wills...

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Modifying a California Estate Plan

Q: Can I change my estate plan?

Getting started with estate planning in California is simple. The hardest part is usually overcoming the natural inclination many people have to postpone facing their own mortality or potential disability.
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Friday, June 15, 2018

Review Your Estate Plan Today

Why is it important to review your estate plan periodically?

You’ve taken the critically important step of making an estate plan. Now what? While it may be tempting to shove your will in a desk drawer and forget about it, estate planning lawyers recommend that you routinely review your estate plan to ensure that it is up-to-date with your current lifestyle and conforms to any newly passed laws.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Incorporating Planned Giving into Your Estate Plan

Q: Do I need to be rich to leave money to a favorite cause or charity?

One of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that you don’t need a will unless you have a lot of money. Another misconception is that you can’t donate money to a favorite charity or cause unless you’re worth a fortune.

First off, no one knows how long life is going to be or what challenges or blessings are in store. So, it pays for all adults to have..

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In Focus: Trust Disputes

What are the most common types of trust disputes?

Trusts have become one of the most popular estate planning tools, and for good reason. A trust allows the trust creator (the trustor) to entrust assets to a named trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Trusts do not need to go through probate when the trustor dies, thereby preserving the trust assets, keeping the trust private, and saving beneficiaries considerable time. Despite the many benefits of a trust, at times disputes will arise between the beneficiaries and the trustee or the beneficiaries and the trust itself.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

When Granny Goes Missing

Q: How can incapacitated elders be protected?

A skilled California estate planning lawyer has an arsenal of legal mechanisms on hand to customize an estate plan that's personalized to each client’s particular situation.

In addition to documents that transfer your property to others--like a last will and testament or like a trust agreement (which may also help...

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Monday, February 19, 2018

California Estate Planning Options Include Wills and Trusts

Q: Do I need a trust or a will? Or both?

Two of the many benefits of seeking counsel from a skilled California estate planning attorney--instead of attempting a risky do-it-yourself will-- are a law school education and years of experience.

You certainly wouldn't stitch your own wound closed and probably wouldn't offer to be a surgeon's first case.
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Monday, February 12, 2018

Protecting Your Beneficiaries from a Bad Trustee

Your trustee is supposed to be extremely ethical, responsible, and have the best interests of your beneficiaries at heart. They should carry out their duties as you intended and act for the benefit of your trust and those who receive its assets. However, unfortunately, trustees may not always be up to this task. What happens if you pick a bad trustee or someone who cannot carry out his or her duties? Can you set up your trust to address this type of problem? The short answer is “Yes”!

Your Rights to Change a Trustee

If your trustee is in charge of a living trust or irrevocable trust, you may be able to make some changes yourself. Nonetheless, you can only make this type of change if the trust document allows it.
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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

When Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?

If you have recently been named as an executor, you may want to seriously consider hiring a probate lawyer to help you with your daunting task of administering your loved one’s estate. In fact, according to traditional probate advice, hiring an attorney is often one of the first things you should do after you discover you are the executor.
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| Phone: 650.532.3470

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