Category Archives: Wills & Trusts

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California Court Says Mother’s Trust Can Fund Trustee to Fight Trust Contest after Her Death

There’s a new no-contest case in California — Doolittle v. Exchange Bank (pdf).  The twist here is the beneficiary who contested the validity of trust amendments also sought to broaden the reach of California’s no-contest statute.  Apart from its holding (a defense-of-claims provision is not the same thing as a no contest clause and therefore trust assets are … Continue Reading

Federal Estate Tax Exclusion Bumps Up a Bit for 2016

It’s that time when the IRS announces what you can pass on to others next year without paying federal gift or estate tax.  Revenue Procedure 2015-53 contains 27 pages of inflation-adjusted items for 2016.  Wedged between the inflation adjustments for the foreign earned income exclusion and the “tax on arrow shafts,” are the 2016 numbers for the unified … Continue Reading

Michael Jackson’s Will Makes Sense in California

There is nothing dramatic about the structure of Michael Jackson’s basic estate plan.  At least not in California.  It looks like Michael Jackson set up a revocable living trust (the Michael Jackson Family Trust) and a "pour over" will (pdf).  Most Californians who establish estate plans, even Californians with modest estates, use revocable living trusts to dispose of their … Continue Reading