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Personal Representative Liable for Distributing Estate Assets Before Paying Decedent’s Outstanding Tax Debt

In United States v. Shriner, 2014 WL 992300 (D.Md. March 13, 2014), a U.S. district court granted the government a summary judgment. The court held that the personal representative was personally liable for the decedent’s back income taxes.  The personal representative distributed the estate assets before paying the outstanding tax liability. The personal representative relied [..]

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Learning from Others’ Mistakes: Update Your Estate Plan Regularly

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will Philip Seymour Hoffman, a renowned actor, died earlier this year from a toxic mix of drugs. He leaves behind his long-time girlfriend, Mimi O’Donnell, as well as the three children they had together. Hoffman was only 46 years of age when he died. According to a recent article in MSN Money, the Oscar [..]

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California Estate Planning: Preparing for the Unexpected and Expected

Recent Losses: Muppets Voice and Devo Musician The entertainment industry recently lost two well-known members. As reported by CNN, John Henson – the son of famed puppeteer and creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson – died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 48. John Henson, along with his siblings, carried on their late [..]

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King’s Kids Quarrel Over Ownership Rights

MLK, Jr.’s Children Argue About Bible and Nobel Peace Prize Last month, we honored the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a day set aside for people to remember the civil rights leader and his peaceful messages. Unfortunately, as recently reported by the Associated Press, his three surviving children – Martin Luther King III, Dexter [..]

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The Bare Necessities of Estate Planning in California

The unexpected – a subtle reminder Some of us made New Year’s resolutions this year to take our ‘dream’ vacation’ or become more fit – and one couple visiting the Pasadena area from Scotland may be able to check both those items off their list. As recently reported by the Redlands Daily Facts, a stealth black bear [..]

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Pets and Estate Planning

Can a pet be included in my estate plan? For many, an estate plan creates peace of mind. A sound estate plan ensures that an individual’s assets and property will be managed and dispersed as he or she wishes after death. An estate plan can also put to rest any qualms about a person’s final [..]

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Contesting a Will in California

Can a will be challenged after a testator’s death? Under California Probate Code, it is possible to challenge and ultimately void or alter a will after the testator – the person that made the will – died.  It is important to note that while it is possible, it is uncommon for a will to be voided [..]

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Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

No one lives forever Sadly, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, the new year started with the loss of a Redwood of the music industry – Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers.  Rock legends and a name like Everly – can hoodwink the mind into thinking of eternal life – but we do not live as [..]

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Living Wills: Important Plan of Action that Most Americans Don’t Make

What is a living will? An article recently posted in HealthDay discusses researchers’ findings that show most Americans do not prepare for end-of-life decisions.  A living will – also known as an advance directive and in California referred to as an advance health care directive (AHCD) – is a document that specifies end-of-life care desires. [..]

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Discussing Your Estate Plan with your Children

Is ‘inheritance talk’ a taboo holiday topic? The holidays are fast approaching and so is the end of yet another year.  Family traditions and gatherings are abounding during the holidays.  For many, these are times to gather with family members, enjoy each other’s company – talk about the ‘old days’ as well as catch up [..]

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