Alter Ego

A wealthy California real estate mogul passes away. Immediately, his wife starts fighting with the children regarding who will get the money. This wife, who was the mogul’s fourth, is not the mother of any of his children and was, in fact, 30 years his junior. With the amount of money at stake, both sides […]

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Pour-Over Wills

Suppose a wealthy California businessman is sitting in his lawyer’s office discussing how to structure his will. He recognizes that there are different factions in his family (he was married twice with children from both marriages). Though during his lifetime the animosity stayed under the rug, he has serious concerns that the animosity will percolate […]

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Acts of Independent Significance

The population in general, and litigators in particular, do not appreciate vague language. They want language that is to the point. They want language that addresses specific issues. They do not want language that is open to multiple interpretations. There are times, however, that such language is necessary. Sometimes broad language is essential for capturing […]

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Intestate Succession

Someone who passes away without a will is called “intestate.” The California Probate Code provides rules for those who die intestate wherein the decedent’s property passes to his or her heirs. There are different rules that apply, depending on who is the next of kin. Common Law Suicide In Common Law, which is the law […]

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