Issue: Earlier this week, a potential client emailed me with a question about the manner in which a successor Custodian of an UTMA Account can be appointed. She wrote the following: My father recently died. Several years ago, he established an UTMA account for my 15 year old daughter. The financial institution where the account [...]
Issue: Earlier this week, one of my clients emailed me with a question about the current status of the federal gift tax laws, as follows: I’d like a little advice on a gift tax issue. Until now, I have kept gifts to my various family members under the taxable level (or at least in good [...]
Issue: I received the following question from a Caller: My mother recently died and I have just learned that I am the Executor of her Estate. My wife told me that she thinks I will have to file a “706,” which she says is used to pay taxes on my mother’s estate. Is this true? [...]
Estate Planning Defined – Can The Trustee of a Continuing Trust Who is Also The Beneficiary Withdraw Trust Principal?
Issue: I recently received the following question from a Caller: I am a beneficiary of a “Bypass Trust,” which was set up after my Father’s death and had been managed for the benefit of my Mother during her remaining lifetime. My Mother just died. I have been told that my share of the property remaining [...]
Estate Planning Defined – What are the “Pros” and “Cons” of “Transmuting” Property Owned by a Married Couple in California?
Issue: Married couples who reside in California have the opportunity to accumulate community property, separate property, quasi-community property, or some combination of the three. Sometimes a married person may wish to convert his or her separate property to the community property of the married couple or even to the separate property of the other spouse. [...]
Estate Planning Defined – How Can an HEIR AT LAW Recover Her Share of an Inheritance After the Close of the Probate of Her Relative’s Estate?
I recently received a question from a potential client who called me regarding the probate of a relative’s estate. She told me that her relative died without a Last Will & Testament in place. Apparently, the Caller was not notified that her relative had died and she did not receive any property from her relative’s [...]
In this post, I define community property, which is a term that, I have found, is not always clearly understood by those who use it. First, community property can be either real property (farm land, raw land, land improved with buildings, a condominium, a townhouse, a single family dwelling, etc.) or personal property (bank accounts, [...]
This post is Part 3 of our 3-part series in which we answer the question: What is an “Estate Plan”? From Part 1 of this series, I gave you the general definition of an estate plan and listed the two primary types of estate plans: An Estate Plan that is built around a Last Will [...]
This post is Part 2 of our 3-part series in which we answer the question: What is an “Estate Plan”? From Part 1 of this series, I gave you the general definition of an estate plan and listed the two primary types of estate plans: An Estate Plan that is built around a Last Will [...]
Hello! Welcome to the first blog post of Estate Planning Defined. I am James B. Creighton, attorney at law, and I am the author of this blog, which is intended to provide estate planning, probate, trust, and long term care planning information to the community. My firm is Creighton Law Offices and we are located [...]