Buying or Selling Real Estate in California? What Happens When There Is an Encumbrance on the Property?

When you finally find the California property of your dreams you will discover that there are one or more encumbrances on it. What is an encumbrance and how does this impact you and your purchase or sale of real estate? Accepting, removing or otherwise resolving the encumbrance issue depends upon the nature of the encumbrance. […]

5 Reasons Why It’s Better to Mediate Your Claim Than Going to Court

When something goes wrong in a business or personal partnership, many people think that if it gets bad enough, the next step is to hire a lawyer and go to court (like so many courtroom dramas on TV). Realistically though, with a long list of cases backlogging courts, mediation might be a faster and more […]

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts

Trusts can benefit almost any estate plan, offering a range of unique legal, personal, and tax-related perks to help you reach your financial goals. When the time comes to create a trust, you must know the difference between two key types: revocable and irrevocable trusts. Here’s an overview of what each trust type entails and […]

6 Things to Include in Your Lease Agreements

When you’re renting out a space to new tenants, it’s important to create a solid legal foundation for your rental relationship. That’s where the lease agreement comes in. An effective and legally binding lease agreement should have certain key elements to protect the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenants. 1) Who’s renting […]

Our Trust Obligations

“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14 NIV. In other words, we hold everything we consider ours in trust for God and each other. Let’s do our best to be good trustees.

Understanding the Role and Responsibilities of a Fiduciary in Estate Planning

A fiduciary is an individual or institution that acts on your behalf and puts your interests first when making decisions. Unlike other companies that promise to put the customer first, those acting as a fiduciary are legally obligated to do so. There are many different jobs that require people to operate as a fiduciary, including […]

Introduction to Crummey Trusts

There are many different types of trusts that people can use as part of their estate plan, some more well-known than others. One such trust is known as the “Crummey” trust, named for the case of Crummey v. Commissioner, 397 F.2d 82 (9th Cir. 1968). A Crummey trust is an irrevocable trust that enables annual […]

5 Key Benefits to Hiring an Attorney for Your Real Estate Purchase

There are some situations where hiring an attorney is a natural move: a contentious divorce, battle over custody, or a criminal arrest. When it comes to buying a house or other piece of real estate, though, not everyone hurries to call an attorney. Perhaps they assume that advice from homeowner friends, combined with a lot […]

A Brief Introduction to the Charitable Remainder Trust

Since 1969, many people have used charitable remainder trusts, or CRTs, to maximize their incomes, minimize taxes, and support charities that have special meaning for them. At one time, they were regarded as simply another medium for the wealthy to make large donations. Nowadays, people with modest estates also use them to donate small amounts […]