Category Archives: Current Topics

Life Without a Cellphone

I haven’t achieved living life without electronics – although I sometimes leave it at home on purpose (and in the provess, irritating some family members).  But this video is worth some thought and a few minutes of time:

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Who Owns What? Titling Your Assets

Asset titling is a misunderstood but important part of estate planning. It is easy to believe that the so-called experts like banks, investment companies and escrow companies automatically place property into the “proper” name, but that is not always the … Continue reading

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Financial and Estate Planning for Possible Dementia

I remember the doctor’s appointment I made for my mother when I first began questioning whether she had dementia. I sat and listened to his questions testing her cognitive loss.  The questions, which I later discovered were fairly standard, were … Continue reading

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Oh, Thank You Mr. Bobrow: IRA Rollover Rules Have Changed

In 2008, Mr. and Mrs. Bobrow made a series of single-day transfers from several Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRA”) to others. Unfortunately for all of us, one of the transfers occurred more than 60 days after the corresponding withdrawal, which the … Continue reading

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Protecting Your Estate from “Social Engineering” Fraud

One aspect of estate planning is keeping your assets, and not having them stolen.  This came to my attention this weekend, when I received an automated “social engineering” call on my cellphone, something like: “This is ATT.  It has come … Continue reading

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Lessons from “Little Sweetie’s” Estate

Most of us live pretty mundane lives.  But not Hong Kong billionaire Nina Wang, who died in 2007 at age 69.  Wang, nicknamed “little sweetie” because she liked dressing in traditional Chinese clothing and wore pigtails, was the heiress to … Continue reading

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The Lesson of Ghandi’s Missing Will

The failure to properly maintain estate planning records is a universal problem.  For instance, as described in this article, Mahatma Ghandi’s 1921 will was recently auctioned off in England for £22,000. However, Ghandi was known to have written four wills … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Giving to Charities

I have had a number of clients who have no children or natural heirs, and have struggled with what to do with their estates after death.  Others want to “mix it up,” giving some to their heirs, but not everything.  … Continue reading

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Problems with a Joint Tenancy

While the method is often used, holding property in joint tenancy is not always the best estate planning tool.  It  often has unexpected results. What is joint tenancy?  Under California law, a joint tenancy is property held in undivided equal … Continue reading

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The Importance of Selecting the Proper Trustee and Agent

I often tell clients that one of the most important aspects of an estate plan is their selection of a trustee, agent, or other fiduciary.  The best plan in the world can fall apart with a poor selection of fiduciary.  … Continue reading

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