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    2014 Annual Gifting Exclusion

    The annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2017 is $14,000 per person. This means that a person can gift up to $14,000 per year to anyone without using any of their lifetime gift tax exemption amount or paying any gift tax. A married couple can collectively gift up to $28,000 to any person in 2017. This is a simple and effective way to financially help your loved ones and to reduce the size of your estate.


    Are you comfortable with this?

    Things That I Say To Clients

    Estate planning is so personal and so important that you really need to feel comfortable talking to your attorney about your family's sensitive issues.  Some of the things that I say to estate planning clients when I meet with them are as follows:

    “Estate Planning involves two of the most important things in your life: your family and your hard earned assets.  It’s intensely personal and very serious.  It’s your legacy.  A well thought out estate plan should be tailored based on a person’s individual goals, family circumstances, and unique concerns.  There is no cookie cutter approach to it.”

     “My job is to think of the what if scenarios that you haven’t considered.” 

    “You need to be comfortable telling me some of the most personal details of your life, especially where it concerns potential beneficiaries and conflicts.  That’s the only way that I can try to plan for them.”

    There is no way to plan for all of life's possible contingencies. However, a well thought out estate plan should take into consideration the circumstances of your particular situation. So, I always encourage clients to give me more information, rather than less, and let me determine if it's a contingency that needs to be planned for.  That's my job.  



    What can an estate planning attorney do for you?

    As a lawyer, there are many services that I can provide you with. While my speciality is in estate planning, probate and trust law, business planning and related litigation go hand in hand with estate planning. I can provide guidance to you in these areas to help you plan and protect your person, family, and business interests in the here and now and in the future.

    Here is a brief list of the services that I regularly provide for my clients. 


    • Wills
    • Revocable Trusts
    • Irrevocable Trusts
    • Life Insurance Trusts
    • Special Needs Trusts
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Health Care Directives
    • Medi-Cal Planning
    • Advanced Estate Planning Techniques
    • Succession Planning
    • Family Limited Partnerships
    • Probates
    • Trust Administrations
    • Conservatorships
    • Guardianships


    • Probate Litigation
    • Trust Litigation
    • Conservatorship Litigation
    • Personal Injury Claims
    • General Business Disputes


    • Entity Formation (LLC, Corporations, Partnerships)
    • Entity Dissolution
    • Sale and/or Purchase of Business
    • Business Agreements
    • Leases

    Feel free to call me at (209) 521-1500 or contact me using the form on the right to schedule a free initial consultation. 


    Do trusts avoid court? 

    Trust Litigation

    Trust administrations are generally not court supervised.  Trusts are private documents and the trust administration is handled by the trustee without court involvement. However, that doesn't mean that someone can't take these private documents to court to contest some aspect of them. 

    Many of the same legal issues that invite probate litigation can also be asserted in trust litigation matters, such as:

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    What are some reasons to challenge a Will?

    Probate Litigation

    Although a probate proceeding is supervised by the court, there is plenty of room for litigation (going to court) in probates.  Probate litigation can involve the following types of legal issues:

    1)      The decedent lacked capacity to execute the Will.

    2)      The Will was procured by the undue influence of others, fraud or duress.

    3)      The Will was not properly executed.

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