One Big Happy Family, Right?

by Genene Dunn The most common answer received to the question of what is most important in one’s life is: family. Most people feel that family comes before anything else, and for some family is everything that matters to them. Growing up we may have been more concerned about how much fun you have with […]

Trustees Who Breach Their Fiduciary Duties

Ignorance of the Law is Not an Excuse by Elaine M. Watrous, CLPF ​It is shocking to see how many Trustees break the law and violate their fiduciary duties. The California Probate Code contains all the duties and responsibilities that Trustees must comply with in order to properly administer a trust yet so few family […]

What’s Yours Is Mine, Right?

It is commonly known that California is a community property state and when a person gets married, there is no longer a thought process of “what’s mine is mine” as it then becomes “what’s mine is ours.” While most people understand the concept of community property in that everything that is owned by a person […]

What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You Before You Started Your Own Business

by Jim Cover Like many of my clients, you might be self-employed and facing something similar to the stories below: high taxes, little to no retirement, and exposure to unnecessary risks. You are operating a small company out of your home or garage; perhaps you sell Real Estate, are a consultant, or are building an […]

Unreal Tax Stories: CoverLaw goes head to head with the IRS

by Janeen Christoff • photography by Lana Farfan, Caught in the Moment Photography If you dread tax season and/or dealing with the IRS you have good reason!  “Our tax code is wordy, about 4 million words. It’s always changing, too. Since 2001 alone, there have been more than 4,500 changes.”  – Robert W. Wood, contributor for Forbes […]

Death and Taxes

Last will and testament

Will Rogers once said that the only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. At the risk of contradicting an American icon, in some cases, Congress has allowed Death Taxes to get better, rather than worse. Ever since President Ronald Reagan signed the landmark Kemp-Roth Tax Cut […]

Witness for the Execution

The other day, my law clerk placed a document on my desk that we both knew upon cursory review would prove highly problematic for our client. It was a will drafted by an attorney that had been executed without witnesses, only a notary. Which means that in spite of the best intentions of the individual […]

Trust Administration: How Can I Keep It Simple?

Across the country, accountants and attorneys who administer trusts are hearing the same question more and more often: “If I don’t have any tax to avoid, why do I have to split my trust in half just because my spouse died?” Unfortunately, the answer is simple- When your spouse dies, you may have to divide […]

Trust Administration: How Can I Keep It Simple?

Across the country, accountants and attorneys who administer trusts are hearing the same question more and more often: “If I don’t have any tax to avoid, why do I have to split my trust in half just because my spouse died?” Unfortunately, the answer is simple: When your spouse dies, you may have to divide […]

The First Call

“My husband wanted me to call. We’re selling dad’s house, and we just wanted to confirm that there is no personal liability for my sister Nancy and me as trustees in listing the place.” This question was posed by the daughter of a longtime client who had recently passed away after naming his daughters as […]