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San Mateo California Estate Planning Law Blog

How can mediation help with estate litigation?

When drafting an estate plan, one thinks that everything will be planned for when they pass. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Loved ones dispute about the legality of a will or trust, arguing that certain assets should have been left to them. This can lead to lengthy disputes that can prolong the probate process. Thus, many beneficiaries consider alternative ways to address these problems.

How can mediation help with estate litigation? Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that is essentially a negotiation between two parties that is facilitated by a neutral third party. This process does not involve any decision-making by the neutral third party and can be either initiated by the parties or compelled by the courts.

How the tax reform impacts estate planning

Many thoughts and concerns go into planning for the future. When drafting an estate plan, many individuals in California and elsewhere are concerned about how taxes will impact their estate plan. However, when U.S. laws change, this could alter how individuals act when drafting an estate plan, what is included in the plan and whether they draft an estate plan early in life or not.

In response to the expected tax reform, those working in the estate planning industry were surveyed on how they expected these changes would affect their practices. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act intends to double estate and gift tax exemptions. However, most of those surveyed did believe that these changes would affect them. Roughly 70 percent stated that they represented clients with a net worth of less than $25 million.

Helping you navigate through the divorce process

No marriage is perfect. Spouses in California and elsewhere will likely deal with many marital issues throughout their marriage. However, when these issues and disputes outweigh the good times in the marriage, this is often the time when one or both spouses decide it is best to call it quits. Even if it is a joint and amicable decision, this does not make the divorce process any easier.

Being on the same page when it comes to filing for divorce might be a goo starting foundation, but it does not mean that all issues presented throughout the process will be as easy or amicable. Divorce can get messy, and when it does, it is valuable to understand what methods spouses can use to work through them.

The threats seniors face when under guardian care

More than 1.5 million adults in the U.S. are under guardian supervision. As a recent article in The New Yorker makes clear, they face unprecedented risks of losing their homes, their savings, and their legal rights.

A legal guardian is tasked with protecting the interests of another individual (called a “ward”) who is unable to care for him- or herself. Guardians are granted authority, by law, to manage a ward’s legal affairs. They assume broad control over a ward’s assets, their medical care, their living arrangements, and other considerations that affect a ward’s day-to-day life.

Helping you utilize mediation in a will or trust dispute

It is difficult to make everyone happy when making a plan for the future. When drafting an estate plan, it is likely that some family members and beneficiaries will not agree with your decisions. However, at the end of the day, the contents of your will and trusts are up to you. But this will not stop some family members from getting into a dispute following your death and the execution of your will or trusts.

Probation litigation is a possible outcome for individuals in California and elsewhere. While it is a challenging process to be involved in, it is often necessary to sort out the disputes arising around a loved one's will or trust. However, the costs associated with the process can sometimes be daunting. Because of that, some will seek to avoid litigation and utilize the mediation process.

How can you use virtual mediation in your divorce?

The decision to divorce is stressful enough. Now spouses need to consider the entire process and how it will hit them mentally, emotionally and financially. Married couples in California and elsewhere understand that divorce can hit your pocket hard. Additionally, it is not know as a legal process that is completed quickly. Thus, divorcing couples often seek out other avenues and options when it comes to reaching a final divorce decree. Mediation is one of those options.

The mediation process uses a neutral party to help divorcing couples move through the divorce process. It is cost-effective, and if couples are willing to hear each other out and negotiate, it can be completed successful in a short period of time. While couples will typical do this either face-to-face or at least in the same vicinity in separate rooms, it can also be conducted virtually.

Estate-planning anxiety extends to medical workers

Living wills are a critical aspect of protecting yourself when setting advanced directives during estate planning. Interestingly, a new study finds that there is a surprising group of individuals who have not set a plan in the event that they are incapacitated: hospice workers.

According to a recent study from the Florida Atlantic University, 52 percent of hospice workers have not set up their advanced directives. The study, which was released last month, studied 890 healthcare providers at a nonprofit. Overall, about one-third of all Americans have advanced directives in place.

4 reasons the court will throw out a will or trust

A carefully prepared and valid estate plan should be able to stand up to any challenge from an unsatisfied beneficiary, supposed long-lost relative or anyone else who claims they were cheated out of their inheritance. Still, challenges do occur.

Many will or trust challenges are dubious, but there are valid reasons to question the authenticity of a loved one’s estate. California law recognizes several reasons for a probate judge to throw out a will or trust as invalid.

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1720 S. Amphlett Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94402

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