Sacramento Court: You Cannot Amend a Trust with a Post-It Note

Many people decide to make or amend their estate plan after learning they have a terminal illness. Unfortunately, some are unable to complete the process before it is too late.In a recent decision, Pena v. Dey, the California Third District Court of Appeal confronted this situation. A Sacramento man, James Robert Anderson, attempted to amend […]

Appeals Court Returns Santa Monica Building to Rent Control

Rent control remains a hotly contested issue throughout California. The California legislature is currently considering a new statewide rent control policy. Meanwhile, individual cities and counties continue to struggle with their own rent control inventories. On July 30, a California appeals court sided with Santa Monica in its long-running effort to bring a single building […]

California Senate Considers Reviving Estate Tax

In 2001, the California legislature decided to phase out the state’s estate tax over a four-year period. This means that for California residents who died on or after January 1, 2005, there is no state estate tax. But the California Senate is now reconsidering this position in light of recent changes to the federal estate […]

Court Upholds Traditional Japanese Adoption Laws in Estates of Sisters

Northern California is home to thousands of Japanese-Americans, many of whom retain strong familial ties to Japan. This can pose some unique challenges when it comes to family law. As Japanese legal and cultural traditions often diverge significantly from American and western practices. Indeed, a recent decision by a California appeals court highlights the potential […]

Considerations for Owners of Tiny Homes

Real estate is extremely expensive in the Bay Area. In fact, according to Business Insider, San Francisco was the most expensive city to rent a one-bedroom apartment–a problem that tiny home proponents believe they have a solution for. Unfortunately, while simple living, and less expensive living, with a tiny home may sound appealing, the zoning […]

Three Ways Executors Get in Hot Water

An executor of a will has a great responsibility, and unfortunately they are often woefully unprepared for the job. Executors are typically a family member or friend of the testator. The person who made the will. And usually have very little legal knowledge or background in the probate process. Which is how a will is […]

Qualified Domestic Trusts

The benefits of a living trust are vast.  Include avoiding the costly and time-consuming process of probate, as well as avoidance of certain taxes. The estate tax is currently set at approximately $5.5 million. Anything less is not subject to taxation. Meaning that most people who pass on their assets to their loved ones will […]

What is a self-proved will?

What is a self-proved will? Many wills are “self-proving,” which is simply a term that is used to describe a will that is witnessed by two or more individuals who certify that the will was actually signed by the decedent or testator. This is often accomplished by a self-proving affidavit that is attached to the […]