Beware of Artists Bearing Gifts

It is always nice to receive a gift. As my mom told me and my siblings repeatedly when we were growing up, “you should appreciate the gift because it’s the thought that counts, not whether or not you like the actual gift.” However, you should be aware that if you receive a gift of artwork.. read more →

Who Owns The Second Warhol Painting of Farrah?

Former Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett died of cancer on June 25, 2009 at the age of 62. Farrah’s trust provides that upon her death, all of her artwork and objects of art are to be distributed to her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin (UTA). Her trust does not define the term.. read more →

Is A Stuffed American Bald Eagle Worth $65 Million or $0?

Is a stuffed American bald eagle worth $65 million or $0? This is a question raised in the estate of the late art dealer Ileana Sonnabend. Ms. Sonnabend’s estate, valued at approximately $876 million, contains a sizeable art collection by such notable artists as Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Cy Twombly. Included in.. read more →

Death Of A Party In A Personal Injury Lawsuit

What happens when the plaintiff (the injured person) or the defendant (the person accused of causing the injury to the plaintiff) dies during the pendency of a personal injury lawsuit? Facts.  Derrick Defendant loses control of his truck and smashes into the car driven by Phil Plaintiff. Both parties are seriously injured in the accident... read more →

What Is A POLST?

POLST stands for Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. A POLST is a legal document to be signed by both a patient and the patient’s doctor, where the patient sets forth his or her wishes regarding end of life treatment. The instructions in the POLST must be based on the patient’s current medical condition and.. read more →

The ABCs of Community Property

Community property is a marital property system that defines what assets are jointly owned by spouses during their marriage. California applies its community property laws to registered domestic partners as well as to married spouses. For purposes of this article, references to spouses are also references to registered domestic partners unless stated otherwise. The determination.. read more →

Considerations When Adding Children On Title To Real Estate

Problem.  Bob and Mary Smith are in their 70s. They want their eldest daughter, Darla, to assist them in managing their assets. So, Bob and Mary add Darla as a signatory on all of their bank and brokerage accounts and they add Darla on title (as a co-owner) to all of their real estate holdings. .. read more →

Keep Your Estate Plan Healthy With A Periodic Check-Up

Life is constantly changing. Family dynamics, relationships, world outlook, finances, family businesses and the law all change over time.  It is important that your estate plan changes and grows with you and continues to meet the needs of you and your family. Just like you need to go to the doctor on a regular basis.. read more →

If You Think You Don’t Have An Estate Plan, Think Again. The State of California Has Prepared One For You.

I’ve heard many people lament that they do not have an estate plan.  Unbeknownst to them, this is not true.  Granted, they have not purposely prepared an estate plan nor had an estate plan prepared for them. But, they do have an estate plan. The State of California has prepared a generic estate plan for.. read more →

Saving For College On A Tax Favored Basis: The 529 College Savings Plan

Kids grow-up fast.  Before you know it, they are ready to embark on their college careers. Unfortunately, the cost of college tuition has escalated substantially over the last 20 years, placing a significant financial burden on parents, grandparents and students alike. I recently performed an informal survey to find out what some California colleges are.. read more →