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Agoura Hills estate planning, probate & trust attorneys

Blog Posts in 2013

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We're Moving

Dear Clients and Friends, Effective today, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, we've officially moved offices to our new location at The Ridge in Agoura Hills: Stephens Law Group 30200 Agoura Road, Suite ...
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I'm a Trustee? What happens if I don't send a §16061.7 notice?

If the Trustee of a California Trust fails to send the required Notification by Trustee (also called a California Probate Code §16061.7 Notice ), or fails to properly serve the Notice on its ...
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I'm a Trustee. How may days before I have to send the §16061.7 notice?

In most cases, California Probate Code §16061.7 requires that the Trustee send the Notification by Trustee within 60 days of the triggering event (usually the death of the Trust's Settlor). ...
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What information must a §16061.7 notice contain?

When the Trustee of a Trust is required to send a §16061.7 Notice (also called " Notification by Trustee "), according to California Probate Code §16061.7(g), it must include 5 ...
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What is a §16061.7 notice?

Under Section 16061.7 of the California Probate Code, certain Trustees are required to send a legal notice to the Trust's beneficiaries and other interested parties. In estate planning law, this ...
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What's the difference between a Settlor, Trustor, and Trustmaker?

A good question. And the answer is quite simple. As used in estate planning law, the terms " Settlor ", " Trustor " and " Trustmaker " are all interchangeable. They all ...
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Where can I get a free copy of "Seniors and the Law"?

Another good question from many of our California clients; and here's the answer: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/Seniors.aspx Seniors & the Law — A Guide for Maturing ...
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Is my Will a "Pour-Over" Will?

A " Pour-over Will " is one that leaves your otherwise probatable assets to your Trust. But rarely will you see the words "Pour" or "Over" in the title of your Pour-Over ...
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What are the inflation-adjusted 2014 estate and gift tax exclusion amounts?

The IRS recently published Rev. Proc. 2013-35, which sets the inflation-adjusted exclusion amounts for 2014, for estate taxes and gift taxes. Estate Tax Exclusion Amount : For an estate of any ...
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"Portability" - what's that got to do with the new 2013 IRS Estate Tax Return?

The IRS recently released its new Form 706, U.S. Estate Tax Return, here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f706.pdf Thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), and its new $5.25 million ...
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Do I need a Living Trust?

We get this question a lot. And the California State Bar Foundation (one of our favorite providers of free, easy-to-read consumer guides on many legal subjects) does a good job providing the answer: ...
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Do I have to give a copy of my Trust to the bank?

Your Trust is a private document. It usually contains confidential information about you, your family, and even the people you're disinheriting. You probably don't want the bank knowing who ...
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What does it mean to "fund" a Trust?

When attorneys talk about "funding a Trust", they're talking about the process of transfering assets to the Trust. A Trust (sometimes called a Family Trust, Living Trust, or Revocable ...
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Can the County reassess my property taxes like that?

Can the County Assessor reassess our property taxes, if all we did is change a joint tenancy to a tenancy-in-common? The short answer? Yes (according to at least one California court). The ...
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How does a Trust avoid probate?

A Trust is essentially a relationship, or contract, among three parties: A Settlor who creates the Trust; A Trustee who manages the Trust assets; and A Beneficiary who receives the Trust assets. ...
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What is a Trust?

Okay, pop quiz. Which of the following is the best definition of a "Trust"? A legal entity that holds title to your assets; The fiduciary relationship between a Trustee (legal title) and a ...
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Do I Need Estate Planning?

When you think about it, estate planning is the process of making decisions now so that other people don't have to guess what you want done later (at your incapacity or death). A good estate plan, ...
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Do I need a Will?

We get this question a lot. And the California State Bar Foundation (one of our favorite providers of free, easy-to-read consumer guides on many legal subjects) does a good job providing the answer: ...
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Are probate and estate taxes the same thing?

Question : Are probate and estate taxes the same thing? Answer : No, they have only one thing in common – they both occur after your death.Other than that, they really don't have much to do ...
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How long should a California probate case take?

In California, probate court cases last about 1 year. But it's not unusual for it to take longer. Here's why: In most counties, it takes 4 to 8 weeks before the court will hear a Petition for ...
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Probate court costs how much?

You may have heard that Probate Court in California costs a bundle, but is it really that much? The short answer is: probably. Under California Law (CA Probate Code §§10800-10810 to be ...
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Thinking About Organ Donation?

Have you considered being an organ donor? You can share that you’re an organ donor on your Facebook timeline. Here's how: At your Facebook profile, click Life Event at the top of your ...
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Making End-of-life medical decisions in California

Every good estate plan includes some type of medical Power of Attorney or Advance Directive. This document appoints a "health care agent" to make medical decisions for you if you become ...
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Want your heirs to get along? Talk to them.

Do you want your heirs to get along? An estate plan works best when every beneficiary knows in advance who'll inherit what, and why. It's important to tell your heirs, especially your adult ...
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Eureka! California's Unclaimed Property Law

Are you looking for lost money? Believe it or not, you could be one of millions of Californians who is owed money by the State. The California State Controller's Office acquires hundreds of ...
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Agoura Hills estate planning, probate & trust attorneys

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