Many California living trusts contain a “spendthrift clause”— a clause designed to protect trust assets from claims made by a beneficiary’s creditors.  Spendthrift provisions commonly include a “shutdown clause,” which stops payments to a beneficiary during any time that the trust could be subject to creditors’ claims.  A recent decision held that under California Probate…

At the conclusion of a trust administration, trustees sometimes ask beneficiaries to acknowledge receipt of their final distribution and release the trustee of liability.  While seeking a release is permitted under California Probate Code Section 16004.5, the release must be given voluntarily by the beneficiary.  This article discusses Section 16004.5 in the context of Bellows…

In a trust administration, a “reserve” is money the trustee retains for a period of time after the trustee believes the trust administration is complete. The key here is the world believes, because sometimes, when it seems all the work is done—property sold, tax returns filed, taxes paid, creditors’ claims extinguished, and beneficiaries’ gifts distributed—things…

Almost half of all Americans under the age of 30 do not save for retirement.  Further, there appears to be a disparity between what many millennials believe to be good financial planning, and what they practice.  According to a Wells Fargo Millennial Study conducted early in 2016:   85% of millennials say that saving for…

As this dismal election season slouches towards Gomorrah, we examine the candidates’ positions on two issues familiar to San Francisco Bay Area trust and probate attorneys—the federal estate tax and the “step up” basis rule for capital gains. The federal estate tax is a tax levied upon a person’s estate at their death.  (Some states…

Many baby boomers—the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964—have retired or are heading toward retirement, with roughly 10,000 retiring every day.  Are they prepared?  Based on savings statistics and actuarial charts, the answer is a resounding no.  Insufficient savings and a lack of planning paint a gloomy picture for many retirees.  This means…

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