Disinheritance: The Elephant in the Room

Posted April 9, 2013 in Estate Planning by Michael Lonich.

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April 9, 2013
Disinheritance: The Elephant in the Room
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Are you a bad person for wanting to disinherit a son, daughter, or family member who would otherwise have a stake in your property at your death? Definitely not. Disinheritance actually happens more often than you think. You can effectively disinherit an heir by clearly stating your intent to do so in your will or trust documents to ensure that your decision to disinherit won’t be misunderstood as a mistake.

The reasons for considering disinheritance may vary. Perhaps you have a strained relationship with a family member and wish to leave them nothing. On the kinder side of things, maybe you helped put your daughter through law school, but your son never asked for a dime. By disinheriting your daughter, you can “even the score” by ensuring your son receives all of your remaining assets.  No matter what your reason, disinheriting by will can give you an opportunity to control where your assets go—and do not go—after death. Additionally, in your will, you can state your reason for the disinheritance to assure there are no hard feelings if that is a concern.

Disinheritance is not an easy topic for discussion. Nevertheless, if you are interested in disinheriting a potential heir via your will, you should discuss the idea with your estate planning attorney. You may also wish to discuss the possibility of creating a living trust which will give you the opportunity to designate beneficiaries and determine how much (or how little) they will receive upon your death.

The attorneys at Lonich & Patton have decades of experience handling complex estate planning matters including wills and living trusts. If you are interested in developing an estate plan or reviewing your current estate plan, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich & Patton for further information.

Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Private Justice: Family Law’s Low-Hanging Fruit

Posted April 2, 2013 in Family Law by kfrench.

If you are contemplating divorce, there is one question you ought to ask: is a private judge right for me? The answer could be a positive one if you are looking to conclude your divorce quickly and would prefer to avoid the crowded (and very-public) family court. What’s the catch? Well, private temporary judges (typically retired veteran family lawyers) must be compensated for their time much like an attorney.

Nevertheless, hiring a privately compensated temporary judge could be an investment for you and your family. Although there is a cost on the front end, a private judge will undoubtedly have more time to devote to your case. This means that your divorce could be finalized in a fraction of the time with a private judge, compared with the several months or even years that you could spend tied up in the public family court . Your judge will apply the exact same California family law statutes, evidentiary codes, and rules of court as a publicly-sitting family judge. However, the scheduling flexibility that comes with a private judge means that you can work through your case on your time. As a result, you and your spouse will spend less time in litigation, potentially saving your family a great deal of money and stress in the long run.

Private judging is legal in Santa Clara County and can be requested through the Clerk’s office.  A private judge may not be the best option for every family, so talk to your family lawyer for more information. Contact the certified Family Law Specialists (as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization) at Lonich & Patton to learn more about the possibility of pursuing divorce with a private judge. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling complex family law matters and have worked directly with private judges in the past.

Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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