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May 2017 Archives

What is spousal fiduciary duty?

In California, married couples have what's known as a spousal fiduciary duty to one another under the state's Family Code. According to the code, the marital relationship "imposes the duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take unfair advantage of the other."

Sibling disputes and how they give way to probate litigation

When a family member dies, even the closest of siblings can become estranged, especially when money or property is at stake. Probate issues have a way of bringing out siblings' stubbornness and reviving contentious emotional discussions as well. Because most siblings don't find themselves involved in probate litigation until they reach their 50s or 60s means that there's a lot of emotional baggage.

Dying intestate: What it means for your family

You always meant to get around to writing a will, but you never did. Now, in the aftermath of your death, your family is learning that not having a will can cause trouble. When you die without a will, the laws of intestate succession determine who inherits your estate, and it may not be whom you expect.

Protecting your children's inheritances if they divorce

If you're drafting your estate plan with the intention of leaving some or all of your assets to your adult children, it's essential to talk to them about their inheritances once you've determined what you are going to leave them. For many families, this may be the first time that parents and kids have discussed just how much there is in the estate. Many kids are surprised to find that their parents, whom they've always seen as tight with a buck while growing up, have actually amassed a good deal of money.

Why should you have an advanced health care directive?

If you're a Californian doing your estate planning, it's essential to understand that it can, and maybe should, involve more than a will and other documents that detail how you want your assets disbursed after your death. For example, you can designate your wishes for your health care ahead of time in case you are unable to speak for yourself later.

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