California Estate Lawyer Blog

Published by Newport Beach, CA Estate Planning Lawyer - Trust Litigation Attorney — Theodore M. Hankin, Attorney/CPA

04/04/2018 02:02 PM
Explaining Dynasty Trusts and Philanthropy 
Dynasty Trusts ensure that wealth gets passed down to successive generations. Here's how to ensure that charitable beneficiaries are also allowed to be included in within your Dynasty Trust. 

09/19/2016 10:22 PM
Top Attorney – Theodore M. Hankin
By Who’s Who Directories Newport Beach, CA WW/Press/September 19, 2016 –Theodore M. Hankin, Attorney with Messina & Hankin, LLP, was selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Top Attorneys of North America 2016 edition of The Who’s Who Directories. The accomplishments and achievements attained by Mr. Theodore Hankin, in the field of Legal Services, warrants inclusion into the Top Attorneys of […]

09/21/2015 07:05 PM
Did You Know That You Can Include Your Pets in Your Estate Plan in California?
It’s true.  Sometimes referred to as “companion animals”, California Probate Code §15212 specifically provides for the creation of a trust to care for your beloved dog, cat or other companion animal after you pass. An “animal” is defined as a “domestic or pet animal” (California Probate Code §15212(i))…. could be a horse or pot-bellied pig […]

09/17/2015 09:11 PM
Why a Trust and Not a Will in California?
A frequent question that comes up when doing estate planning in my Newport Beach, California office is why should one pay for a trust, when a will is so much cheaper.  My response is are you thinking long-term or short-term? If you are thinking short-term, a will is always going to be cheaper than a […]

09/15/2015 12:00 AM
My Loved One Died; How Do I Know if a Probate is Necessary in California?
Virtually every decision regarding probate is based on title to or value of assets owned by the decedent. Title is important because ownership can transfer as a matter of law (e.g. joint tenancy with right of survivorship, where the surviving joint tenant takes by recording an affidavit, death of joint tenant); or a bank account […]

09/14/2015 09:26 PM
If a Parcel of Land Owned by a Decedent Was Not Titled to the Trust in California, is All Lost?
In other words, must there be a full-on probate in California because the real property asset (assuming a value in excess of $20,000.00, no joint tenancy or transfer on death provision in the deed) was in the decedent’s name alone when he/she died? Likely the answer is no.  Assuming that there is a trust and […]

09/10/2015 06:27 PM
Litigation is Like Lawyer Shows on Television (NOT)
By California Trust Litigation Attorney – Ted Hankin Over the years I have watched many attorney-themed television programs.  I understand, given the time allotted, one must take the case and try it to conclusion within the obligatory one hour format.  Unfortunately, this perception of a sprint to the finish line is not reality; litigation is more […]

09/10/2015 05:29 PM
Monetary Damages Do Not Necessarily Achieve An Emotional Win
In California, over the years, I have handled many cases involving disputes between family members over the estates of a deceased relative. Brothers against sisters, sisters against brothers, uncles against nieces, nephews and others.  Some cases go to trial; other cases settle.  In all events, however, someone is going to be disappointed with the outcome, […]

06/17/2015 03:16 PM
I’m the Successor Trustee in California; What do I do Regarding Giving Notice?
In California, a typical estate planning tool is the revocable trust. A husband and wife usually create one jointly, with the two of them serving as co-trustees until one dies. Then the other becomes the sole trustee. When the surviving spouse dies, the trust will usually name a successor trustee to take over the responsibilities of trustee. A key feature of a revocable trust is to recognize that what was once a revocable trust becomes an irrevocable one when both of its creators /settlors or grantors die.

03/10/2015 10:45 AM
When can Judgment Creditors Reach the Assets of a California Spendthrift Trust?
In California, Probate Code Sections 15300-15301 protect the principal and income of a spendthrift trust from judgment creditors. A spendthrift trust is one where there is a restraint written the trust instrument to prevent a transfer of a beneficiary’s interest. This protection does not exist with respect to distributions from a spendthrift trust, once the […]