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Community Property
April 4, 2018

There was a recent story about a California man who was a high-level Silicon Valley executive. He met his sixth wife when he went to a bar where she worked as a waitress. They married. The honeymoon was short-lived. They battled for a while. The man passed away and...

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Do You Have a Valid Will?
April 18, 2018

California Probate Code 6110 sets forth that anyone 18 and older can execute a valid will provided that the will is a in written form, is signed by the testator (individual executing the will), and the signing is done in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must be...

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Intestate Succession
May 12, 2018

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...

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Acts of Independent Significance
May 24, 2018

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...

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Pour-Over Wills
May 30, 2018

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...

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Alter Ego
May 31, 2018

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...

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Gifts to Caregivers
June 8, 2018

An elderly woman lives alone in an apartment in the San Francisco area. She has two children, a son and a daughter. Her relationship with her children has been rocky over the years. There were many stretches in which she was not on speaking terms with either child. While...

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Adeemed Property
June 15, 2018

Suppose a person passes away with a will in place. Shortly after his death, his children unseal the will and review its contents. The will states that the deceased’s Maserati, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Ferrari go to his son and his summer home goes to this daughter. The deceased...

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Anti-Lapse
July 6, 2018

Consider the following common scenario: Mark is a successful business executive in his mid-50s. He worked hard over a number of years and, in the course of time, amassed a sizable estate. He owns a home in Northern California and has put away savings over the past 10 years....

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Substantial Compliance
July 6, 2018

David was in his late 60s. recently, his health had turned for the worse. While he worked hard at his construction business and was very successful, he also made time to exercise regularly in the California sun. Therefore, his failing health was a shock to the family. It seemed...

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